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In discussion during the opening ceremony of the Barbados Drug Service (BDS) Training Workshop were, from left, Janet Phillips, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health and Wellness; Dr. Kenneth George, Chief Medical Officer; Minister of Health and Wellness, Lt. Col. the Hon. Jeffrey Bostic; and Director of BDS, Maryam Karga-Hinds.

BDS commences drug regulation training

Yesterday marked the opening of the Barbados Drug Service (BDS) Training Workshop, designed to furnish drug inspectors and pharmacists with the expert theoretical and practical knowledge to deliver the best and effective service possible with a focus on drug regulation.

The training workshop, themed “Drugs in the 21st Century: New Challenges, New Solutions”, is hosted at the Accra Beach Hotel and will run until September 18. Speaking at the opening, Director of Barbados Drug Service, Maryam Karga-Hinds, explained that it was important to not only provide quality drugs, but for training to occur especially in the current COVID-19 environment.

“The nature of this virus and the fact that there is neither cure nor vaccine currently available, clearly shows the importance of medicines in treating diseases, hence the need for this type of training in drug regulation to ensure efficacy, availability, quality and safety of medicines,” said the director.

Lauding the work done by medical workers during the lockdown, Karga-Hinds publicly thanked all the pharmacists present for their work during the tough and at times overwhelming period.

By the end of the course, the director outlined that the participants would be acquainted with some of the aspects of legislation governing pharmacy in Barbados. She explained that the sessions will feature discussions in the regulation of drugs, especially narcotics, psychotropics, chemical precursors and therapeutic substances.

“Hospital pharmacy, chain of custody in legal matters, drug resistance, drug testing, both analytical and forensic testing will be discussed,” listed the director.

Chair of the Pharmacy Council, Shirley Holder also highlighted the importance for the training, stating that there was a situation of undesirable practices in the wider community of displaying products for sale which should only be sold in pharmacies.

“With the coming of the medical marijuana legislation and the number of health items carried all over the island and the beauty supply stores which sell products that should only be sold in pharmacies, additional drug inspectors would be needed to facilitate the Barbados Drug Service, the Pharmacy Council and the Ministry of Health and Wellness in carrying out the regulatory functions and ensuring compliance to the pharmacy act,” said Holder.

Fifteen presenters, along with persons from the Supreme Court, the Royal Barbados Police Force, the Barbados Defence Force, the Forensic Science Centre, the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, the Psychiatric Hospital, the Geriatric Hospitals, the Ladymeade Reference Unit, all the Polyclinics, the District Hospital and outpatient clinics are all participating in the workshop. The goal of the Barbados Drug Service was to touch on all Healthcare institutions in both the public and the private sectors where the perspectives from both the scientific and law enforcement would be presented.


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