The very professionals who are required to write medical prescriptions for patients in Barbados say they have been excluded from Government’s efforts to introduce medical marijuana to the country.
In fact, President of the Barbados Association of Medical Practitioners (BAMP) Dr Abdon DaSilva said today, the island’s umbrella body for doctors has been left out of the process spearheaded by the Mia Mottley administration as they move ahead with plans to add medicinal marijuana to the National Drug Formulary.
“The Government of Barbados has not seen it fit to consult the Barbados Association of Medical Practitioners with respect to marijuana, period,” Dr DaSilva told Barbados TODAY.
The BAMP president lamented that while some others may see it as important to consult with the very people who are required to write prescriptions and may have to do so for the marijuana medication, “obviously the Government did not see it as important.”
Dr DaSilva then turned his wrath on the media for its handling of the medical marijuana issue when he said BAMP tried to introduce it last year.
“The press has not been kind to BAMP when we tried to roll this thing out. The press, rather than highlight the importance of marijuana last year, saw it fit to vilify the doctors, using some person, a lawyer, to beat up on the doctors. So I don’t know where you Press are coming from now,” the BAMP head declared.
On May 21 this year, Minister of Health and Wellness Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Bostic announced that his ministry had approved five medicinal marijuana drugs to be placed on the National Drug Formulary.
Addressing a training seminar for health care providers on therapeutic prescribing of medical marijuana products, Bostic said that the drugs would be imported by the Barbados Drug Service (BDS).
The seminar, sponsored by the Ministry of Health, in conjunction with the Faculty of Medical Sciences and the Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, brought together doctors, pharmacists and other health care providers who will be involved in prescribing and dispensing the medicinal cannabis products.
The minister stressed that the smoking of marijuana would not be part of the process since there was no scientific evidence to suggest that there were any benefits in terms of ailments.
“The drug formulary committee made a strong recommendation on this…so that was ruled out from day one, and that was presented to cabinet and it was accepted, and we are going to stay with that until any other information is made available to the ministry to suggest otherwise,” he explained.
Persistent efforts to reach Minister Bostic were futile.