The Ministry of Health has assured the public that, although the grace period for patients to receive certain branded pharmaceuticals under the Barbados Drug Service’s Special Benefit Scheme ends today, these pharmaceuticals will continue to be available under the Scheme until the replacement generic drugs arrive in the island.
Minister of Health and Wellness, Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Bostic, gave this commitment today in a statement which addressed the issue.
“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 June 30. However, in the event that the Barbados Drug Service is unable to source quality generics from July 1, the Barbados Drug Service will continue to ensure an uninterrupted supply by providing the appropriate branded drugs under the Special Benefit Scheme,” he said.
He added that Government will continue to reimburse the cost of these branded drugs to the private sector until a secure supply of generics could be established.
Lt Col Bostic revealed that he had met yesterday with all the stakeholders, namely the Barbados Association of Pharmacy Owners, the Barbados Association of Medical Practitioners and the Barbados Pharmaceutical Society, to update them and also to apologise for any misunderstandings that may have arisen in respect of this issue.
The parties, he revealed, committed to another meeting on July 20 to review progress and decide on any specific changes that may need to be made.
“It was further agreed that 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, “ he stated.
He also promised a review of the process within the next few months to determine the effectiveness of the roll out.
“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 the challenges and to deliver the highest quality service to the people of Barbados,” the Health and Wellness Minister concluded.