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Statement by Minister of Health and Wellness, Lt. Col. Jeffrey Bostic regarding the Barbados Drug Formulary

The new Barbados Drug Formulary came into effect on 1 April 2018, under the previous administration with agreement that a grace period would be allowed until 30 June 2018.  The Cabinet of Barbados, after reviewing all the information related to changes in the Barbados Drug Formulary, has agreed that the grace period would come to an end as agreed on 30 June.

In the event that the Barbados Drug Service is unable to source quality generics from the 1 July, the Barbados Drug Service will continue to ensure an uninterrupted supply by providing the appropriate branded drugs, under the Special Benefit Scheme.   The cost of these branded drugs will be reimbursed to the private sector until a secure supply of generics can be established.

Drugs that are on the Formulary, that are Special Benefit Drugs (hypertension, diabetes, cancer, asthma, glaucoma and epilepsy) will be available in the private sector. However, a dispensing fee will apply.

To arrive at the new Drug Formulary, the Drug Formulary Committee carried out in-depth consultations and research to execute the formulary review process. The therapeutic categories researched and reviewed included: epilepsy, psychiatry, glaucoma, diabetes, hypertension, pain management, asthma, antibiotics, and cancer. Clinical experts including private and public sector doctors and pharmacists were selected to represent their respective interests in these therapeutic groups.  Senior personnel from the Ministry also participated.

The changes to the Formulary took into account current guidelines and protocols; clinical and scientific evidence, as well as cost.

The Ministry of Health and Wellness as a responsible health care provider will endeavour to provide a consistent supply of pharmaceuticals to the Barbadian public. The Ministry in this process, as recently as yesterday, reached out to our stakeholders, including the Barbados Association of Pharmacy Owners, the Barbados Association of Medical Practitioners and the Barbados Pharmaceutical Society and apologised for any misunderstandings. It was further agreed that the roll over date would be June 30.  The parties also committed to meeting on July 20 to review progress and decide on any specific changes that may need to be made.

It was further agreed that the primary focus must be on providing quality patient care to all residents of Barbados. To ensure that we are able to achieve this, I have committed to open and regular dialogue with all the parties involved.  I will also undertake a review of the process within the next few months to determine the effectiveness of the roll out.

Let me reiterate that our objective is to ensure that no citizen is left behind. To this end, the Government of Barbados will continue to work with all stakeholders to address all challenges and to deliver the highest quality service to the people of Barbados.

Ministry of Health & Wellness

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