Substandard, falsified medicines continue to flood Guyanese market

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Substandard drugs and other medicines not registered by authorities in Guyana continue to be sold to the populace, according to Government Analyst-Food and Drug Department (GA-FDD).

Director of the GA-FDD Marlan Cole on Tuesday stated that the prevalence of substandard medicines being sold continues to be a thorn in the side for relevant authorities.

“Globally, there is a study out and it was mentioned that 10 per cent of medications that are being released are substandard.

“If you have a market of almost 300 billion persons in both low and middle-income countries, if 10 per cent of the medication is substandard, then about 30 billion annually from low and middle-income countries now have to fork out of their pockets directly because of substandard medication and sometimes this is not extrapolated into the deaths that is caused.”

He explained that recently, drug samples were sent to the Medicine Quality Control Surveillance Department, a drug testing laboratory in the Caribbean that was relaunched and accredited by the Jamaica Accreditation Board this year, to ensure safe reliable medicines as part of preserving a healthy Caribbean.

“And the results of the analysis from drugs that we would have submitted that we procured in our national health care delivery system which are there in our public health care delivery system, the results are not encouraging…10 out of several other results of analysis there is that phrase – does not meet the standard. So, these are drugs that we would have taken off our local market and submitted to the drug-testing lab in Jamaica and these are the results, not from our lab, this is from the lab in the region.”

Cole reminded that the first line of defence against this issue is the proper and careful registration of drugs and that this is one of the main focuses of his Department for this year.

The GA-FDD Director opined that falsified and substandard drugs are a burden to the healthcare delivery system and this is why it is imperative that healthcare agencies be more vigilant and detect them.