Registration, procurement of medicines high on agenda for health officials
-PAHO/WHO, Govt and stakeholders meet to discuss policies
An integrated approach is what is needed to improve availability and access to quality medicines. This was the main focus at a two-day stakeholders’ meeting which commenced on Tuesday at Pegasus Hotel, Kingston.
The Pan American Health Organisation/World Health Organisation (PAHO/WHO) along with Guyana’s Public Health Ministry and the Government Analyst-Food and Drug Department (GA-FDD) will be placing emphasis on the regulation systems which will guarantee the quality, safety and efficacy of medicines.
Washington’s PAHO adviser on Regulatory System Strengthening in Medicines, Dr Charles Preston, at the opening ceremony noted that the main focus would be on the Regulatory System Strengthening in Guyana, a country which has been highlighted as a leader in the Caribbean region, for utilising and implementing sound practices in this regard.
“We have registered medicines through the Caribbean regulatory system here in Guyana and also Guyana is also participating in the regional system for pharmacovigilance and post-market surveillance. So PAHO’s approach to countries in the Caribbean and small countries in general is to advocate that if they can to try to work together through these kind of more regional and collective approaches….one of the things that PAHO likes to try to focus on with smaller countries is that they can do a couple of key regulatory functions.”
According to Dr Preston, one crucial element is the marketing authorisation of medicines, to ensure that medicines entering a country are safe, quality and effective.
“What kind of systems do you need to put in place? The other thing we like to focus on is how do you monitor the medicines when they are in the market, what are the kinds of processes and procedures that need to be put in place. What happens if somebody identifies a substandard or falsified medicine, how does that get reported and the other thing we like to focus on is licensing and establishment.”
Meanwhile, PAHO/WHO Resident Representative in Guyana, Dr William Adu-Krow noted that his organisation continues to support the Regulatory System Strengthening in Guyana as all stakeholders celebrate Guyana’s national regulatory authority as a leader on these issues in the Caribbean Community (Caricom).
“The session will include in building on prior progress in key regulatory modules including legal and organisational framework, market authorisation, licensing of establishments, pharmacovigilance and post-market surveillance with the Government of Guyana and other key development systems stakeholders…The sessions will include various topics and discussions including to build up progress and further refine approaches.”
He further noted that the discussions will also be based upon good distribution practices, and specific topic areas including cold-chain requirements as well as the development of an Action Plan for PAHO Guyana Cooperation on Regulation Systems Strengthening in 2020.
“PAHO/WHO will continue to provide technical cooperation to improve access to safe, effective and quality assured medicines…” he added.(Kristen Macklingam)