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George: Drugs not under threat


marciadottin, [email protected]

George: Drugs not under threat

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BARBADIANS WITH HYPERTENSION need not worry that their health will be compromised by the fewer drugs freely available under the Barbados Drug Service (BDS).
That’s the assurance given by Dr Collette George, chairman of the Drug Formulary Committee, who has sought to allay any fears that the decreased range of drugs now available to patients under the Government’s health scheme would impact negatively on the health of patients suffering with hypertension or other chronic diseases.
“Reports in last week’s SUNDAY SUN gave the impression that patients with hypertension would suffer as a result of the cuts made to those freely available under the drug service,” said George.
“That is not so . . . . This is causing unecessary fear . . . . The health of every Barbadian suffering with a chronic disease, be it hypertension, diabetes or otherwise, has not been compromised. Let us be clear on that.”
She added that while the range of medication offered has been narrowed, those still on the list were legitimate and viable alternatives that served a similar purpose.
“Even so the drugs have not been taken off the market. Health care has not been compromised in any way.”
Last week, the Barbados Association of Medical Practitioners expressed concern about the announced cuts to the list of drugs provided free under the BDS formularly. The cuts take effect from April 1.
Though intended to cut cost from $53 million in the current financial year to $36 million in the next, the official said that advice had been provided from both the World Health Organisation and the Pan American Health Organisation before any decision was taken regarding the cuts to the formulary.
Asked to comment, Minister of Health Donville Inniss would only say:  “I have noted the comments in the NATION newspaper and I find them to be very suspect, but not surprising. But I will address this and other issues quite soon. I have informed the president of BAMP and the leadership at the NATION to let them know I will soon be going public on these and other matters very soon. There seems to be some agenda to cause unnecessary fear among Barbadians about the state of the nation’s health care.”
 

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