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Public Health Ministry hosts National Medicines Policy consultation

first_imgA section of the gathering at the Public Health Ministry’s consultation on the formulation of theNational Medicines PolicyThe Public Health Ministry on Monday engaged stakeholders in a consultation on the formulation of the National Medicines Policy, which is expected to be modernised, affording stakeholders the opportunity to have an authentic documented piece of legislation with clear guidelines for them to follow.Monday’s consultation had several objectives: Establish a medicines policy committee and conduct a rapid assessment of actual situations in the pharmaceutical sector in Guyana; develop a roadmap and prepare the second draft medicines policy and distribute it to all parties involved and have a peer review done by stakeholders, which include practitioners, pharmacists, experts, manufacturers, researchers and consumers.In addition, the organisers were also expecting to have in hand a collection of comments and preparation of a second draft for a consensus workshop; establish the National Formulary/Essential Medicines, Standard Treatment Guideline, Therapeutic and Pharmacovigilance Committees.The consultation at the Pegasus Hotel was held under the theme, “Strengthening Pharmaceutical Management and Services through National Medicines Policy Review and Implementation”, and Public Health Minister Volda Lawrence challenged pharmacy officials to embrace change in a sector previously governed by archaic legislation and grounded in disarray. She said that policies merely provided guidelines to help decision-making to achieve rational objectives and were not “set in steel”.She said that it was critical to overhaul the legislation to help deal with the constant short supply of drugs that create a nightmare for doctors to treat their patients. She noted that unless corrective measures were implemented swiftly, the health system would continue to be defective and ineffective.“It means, therefore, that the existing policies, legal and regulatory frameworks and interventions must be re-evaluated and updated. Policy decisions must be evidence-based and tailored to meet the specific needs of our population and health services,” she said.“Let me hasten to assure you that the Ministry of Public Health and by extension, the Government of Guyana, is strongly committed to ensuring healthy lives and the well-being for all at all ages, so it is opportune and imperative that all of us, as stakeholders of our citizens’ well-being, continue to look and assess the existing management systems and strengthen them and make changes where need be, so that the systems can become efficient and effective and accessibility and adequacy of the supply of safe, essential, quality and scientifically sound drugs and medical products can be realised in all health facilities in all regions,” Lawrence added.Meanwhile, Chief Medical Officer, Dr Shamdeo Persaud said that over a decade ago, steps were taken by pharmaceutical officials to clean up the untidiness, but the process was stymied by a lack of commitment.“Organisers anticipate that with the establishment of the new Health Authority there will be full participation and leadership in the Integrated Health Services (HIS); the delivery of quality, effective and responsive health services and prevention measures and improvement in the physical, mental and social wellbeing of all peoples,” Dr Persaud said.He added that the updated policy was required to present a formal record of values, aspirations, aims, decisions and medium-to-long-term commitment of the Government; define the national goals and objectives for the pharmaceutical sector, and help set priorities.Dr Persaud told participants that the fresh policy would also help identify the strategies needed “to meet those objectives and identify the various actors responsible for implementing the main components of the policy (and) to create a forum for national discussions on these issues and resolve them to all access to medicines.”last_img read more