Statement delivered at the conclusion of the meeting between the Ministry of Health/Barbados Drug Service and Stakeholders in the Pharmaceutical Sector, on Thursday, April 19, 2018, at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre
In response to a number of concerns and questions that have been raised with the Ministry of Health regarding the changes to the Barbados National Drug Formulary and the conditions that will govern those changes, the Ministry of Health this morning convened a meeting with our stakeholders who are involved in the delivery of pharmaceutical services to the people of Barbados.
Among the participants were members of the Barbados Association of Pharmacy Owners, the Barbados Pharmaceutical Society, and Suppliers of Pharmaceutical Products to the Barbados Drug Service, Members of the Drug Formulary Committee, the Barbados Association of Medical Practitioners, and a representative of the insurance industry. On the Government side, there was Senior Management of the Ministry of Health and the Barbados Drug Service.
Our discussions were conducted in an atmosphere of frankness and respect. At the conclusion of this meeting, we have been able to come to a common understanding of how the new Formulary is to be implemented and the conditions that will govern its implementation going forward from today.
Effective Monday, April 23, 2018, products affected by the changes to the Formulary will continue to be available to the patient under the Barbados Drug Service’s Benefit Service until June 30, 2018, with the exception of the dispensing fee which is paid for drugs accessed in the private sector. The Barbados Drug Service will reimburse the cost of these items to the private pharmacies.
Both new prescriptions and valid refills will be honoured during this period. Patients are advised that they will not receive these items under the Barbados Drug Service’s Benefit Service after June 30, 2018. This period provides an opportunity for doctors to transition patients to the new medications. Patients are advised that they may also consult with their pharmacist or contact the Barbados Drug Service at 535-4300.
The changes were made by groups of local experts, doctors, pharmacists and the DFC. They were based on regional and international guidelines, and they were made in the interest of good patient care and to provide the best medication available.
During the meeting, we also discussed the establishment of a mechanism to improve communication between the Ministry of Health/Barbados Drug Service and our key stakeholders in the pharmaceutical sector. A number of proposals were put on the table and the Ministry will examine these and have further discussion with our partners in order to choose the mechanism that is best for all of us.
The Ministry of Health will continue to work with its partners to monitor the situation regarding the implementation of the new Formulary to ensure that we can continue to meet the health needs of the people of Barbados in the most effective manner.