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Drug service lauded

Acting Chief Medical Officer, Dr Elizabeth Ferdinand, has lauded the Barbados Drug Service for the pivotal role it has played in the development of the Barbados National Pharmaceutical Policy.

Ferdinand offered this commendation last night while delivering the feature address at the official opening of the 32nd Annual Convention of the Caribbean Association of Pharmacists at Hilton Barbados Hotel. She expressed the hope that this policy would be approved by the Cabinet soon and would become an essential part of Barbados’ health care direction.

The senior health officer told her audience, which included delegations from other Caribbean territories, England and Canada, that the Drug Service was the government department responsible for its pharmaceutical programme. She noted that the programme included the involvement of the private sector in the procurement, storage and distribution of pharmaceuticals to all public and private pharmacies.

She pointed out too that the Barbados National Pharmaceutical Policy was a commitment to a goal and guide for action. “It is an official government statement and a formal record of aspirations, aims, decisions,

and commitments,” Ferdinand said. “This policy falls in line with the Caribbean Pharmaceutical Policy, which was developed based on the framework of the Caribbean Cooperation in Health 111 and which seeks to provide guidance to countries in defining the goals of equitable access, provision of quality and effective medicines and the promotion of a therapeutically sound and cost effective use of medicines by health professionals and consumers.”

In addressing the role played by pharmacists in the delivery of health care, Ferdinand noted that the Barbados Pharmaceutical Society was one of the oldest organisations in Barbados, having been founded in 1948. She noted that the primary objectives of the society were the raising of the standard of education of pharmacists and projecting a positive image to the general public.

The medical expert said that more than 60 years later the society continued to view as a priority, the continuous improvement of the knowledge and education of its members as a means of catering to the needs and expectations of the public.

On the role the annual convention played in the delivery of quality health care throughout the region, Ferdinand contended that it offered an occasion for pharmacists to unite, share best practices and promote discussion on pharmacy practice.

Stressing the role the annual convention played, Ferdinand said: “It also provides opportunities for networking, sharing new ideas, trouble- shooting common challenges and laying ground for new growth. Each link in the chain that represents health care is important and if we in the region are to succeed we need each other.

“Since there will always be a shortage of resources to meet our planned goals and targets, it is essential to establish stronger alliances and partnerships for achieving these common goals.” (NC)

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