Barbados is set to become the first country in the region to establish a pharmaceutical industry.
Describing it as a “game changer”, Prime Minister Mia Mottley said once the industry was fully developed, Barbados would focus specifically on creating cancer treatment medications, vaccines, and drugs for women’s reproductive health care.
Speaking during a press conference at the Grantley Adams International Airport (GAIA) on Tuesday evening, Mottley said the development was one of the biggest achievements coming out of her recent trip to Rwanda.
She said the pharmaceutical industry would provide jobs for as many as 5 000 Barbadians.
The Prime Minister said Barbados would focus on pharmaceuticals using mRNA technology.
“….Perhaps the biggest game changer since we have come to office is about to unfold and we have been working on it very quietly for the last six months or so, and that is addressing the issue of pharmaceutical equity and creating a platform for jobs, investment and earnings for a pharmaceutical industry in Barbados for the first time.
“I’m not sure if people understand how complex it is to establish the manufacturing of pharmaceuticals. First and foremost, the regulatory framework is extremely complex and that is the first thing that we will be engaged in over the course of the next nine to 12 months or so,” Mottley outlined while stating that Barbados would be working together with Guyana in establishing the industry.
Mottley said the government of Rwanda, the European Union, the European Investment Bank, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Susan Buffett Foundation had already pledged to assist in creating the industry.
“This has been a major, major, major achievement for a small state like Barbados, to be able to locate itself centre of the Americas as a location for the development of a pharmaceutical industry.
“We will create the regulatory framework for these things to happen. What is at stake is potentially at least 4 000 to 5 000 jobs in the next four to five years in Barbados, but the platform for it has started from as early as April of this year and the fact that the joint communique involves the president of the European Union, the president of the European Investment Bank, the president of Rwanda, the president of Guyana, the Director General of the WHO, the head of the Susan Buffett Foundation and myself tells you that this is not speculative, that this is serious work in action,” Mottley said.
She further disclosed that the head of the Rwandan Food and Drug Administration has been in Barbados for the past seven weeks and preliminary work with officials from the Barbados Drug Service and Ministry of Health had already started.