The House of Assembly heard today that some pharmaceutical companies were charging Government health care institutions a higher price for medication than what they were asking from private companies.
Parliamentary representative for St George North Gline Clarke made the charge as debate on the Government’s 2015-2016 Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure entered the fifth straight day.
Directing his attention to Minister of Health John Boyce, the Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) parliamentarian said: “You need to look at that. You must examine what is happening where some pharmaceutical companies are giving one price for medication provided to Government facilities and another to the private sector.”
“They control the market and they give the [state-run] Queen Elizabeth Hospital [QEH] a higher price structure,” he said, pointing out that, “this year, I have heard that Government is spending $28 million on drugs and medication.
“We need to ask the Minister of Health to examine the pricing structure offered to the Government.”
The St George North MP also charged that even though the ruling Democratic Labour Party had promised improvements at the Accident & Emergency Department when it assumed office in 2008, there was no noticeable improvement over the past seven years.
Clarke emphasized the need for improvements to the physical plant of the QEH since, he said, Government did not have the money to construct a new hospital as promised by some members of the Freundel Stuart administration.
Earlier, Clarke charged that some suppliers were threatening to withdraw credit to the QEH because of the non-payment of debt.
Noting there had been several disputes between management and technical staff of the hospital over the years, Clarke called for effective channels of communication to be established between the two parties.