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Drug service overhaul coming soon, says Inniss

marciadottin, [email protected]

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A major overhaul of the Barbados Drug Service is coming. Minister of Health Donville Inniss announced this while charging that the service suffered widespread abuse.Inniss said he was seeing too many Barbadians abuse the free drug service while “many others are not having the opportunity to enjoy a decent quality of life due to a lack of access to relevant medication”.The minister was speaking at a lecture/discussion sponsored by the Barbados Drug Service in collaboration with the Hope Foundation at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre Tuesday night.“We must have a formulary that is reflective of the realities of today’s world.“The days of luxurious options and severe duplication must come to an end,” he declared. He said there would be “far greater scrutiny and review to justify the range of items being placed on any future formulary in Barbados”.Greater attention would be placed on the cost and efficacy of drugs.Inniss disclosed a new drug formulary committee had been put in place, and for the first time it included a patient advocate.Also serving on that committee being chaired by Dr Collette George are Dr Cindy Flower, the director of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, and two senior pharmacists at the QEH. “We are committed to inculcating the views of a wide cross-section of stakeholders as we reform the Barbados Drug Service,” Inniss told the audience that included doctors, representatives of the Drug Service and sufferers of sickle-cell anaemia. He paid tribute to the work of the previous management of the service, saying: “As we reform the Barbados Drug Service, however, the work of the new formulary committee will be to build on the solid work of your predecessors whom I wish to publicly thank for their commitment and performance over the years.” However, he maintained: “We cannot keep talking of reforms and do nothing. Future generations will not be kind to us.”Inniss said that “some fundamental policy changes” within the drug formulary programme would be made with effect from financial year 2011. (GC)