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Aug 28, 2018

Why Containers of Pharmaceuticals Remain Stuck at Port

Marvin Manzanero

Earlier this year, we reported on a shortage of medical supplies as well as medicines. The Ministry of Health had given assurances that the shortage was been taken care of, but complaints have persisted. While the ministry says that there is no shortage of medication, a certificate of Good Manufacturing Practice has complicated the importation of medication since it came into law in July of 2017.  Today, we asked the Ministry of Health to explain why certain meds cannot be accessed by pharmacies and therefore unavailable to persons who use them. According to the Director of Health Services, Doctor Marvin Manzanero, while most pharmacies have been adhering to the rules and regulations, one company has not been compliant.


Dr. Marvin Manzanero, Director of Health Services

“We are aware of an issue that Brodies has seemingly been flagging to us as a Ministry of Health. Understand the rules or regulations, law, set into play from July of last year. Everybody was given a grace period, if you will, which expired in November of last year. Brodies, and I am saying that specifically because it is an item that I think you had carried before, they had a shipment that had five different pharmaceuticals companies; none of the companies that they had brought in met the requirements which means GMP, CPP, labels need to be in English and Spanish. Notwithstanding that, we managed to give them permission for four out of the five companies under the understanding that they are going to bring in the necessary documentation. That’s two, three months ago; they still haven’t brought it in. There is one particular company, a distributing company, ZIOTIS—and I can mention that company—which it is all products are labelled in Turkish. We said we can’t allow this shipment to come in. They were alerted of this from May of this year and we told them what the process was. I think what made it a little more complicated in that particular item is that once they sent us what it is that they were trying to bring into the country, when we did an inspection, a visual inspection of what was happening there on the ground, it didn’t match. So the products that they said they were bringing in are not the products that we found when we went there: they had different expiry date, different batch number, different pharmaceutical company. So because we are unable to verify that in point of fact what it is that they are saying that they are bringing in is what they are bringing in and to safeguard people, the health of people, we have said to them we can’t allow this to come in. We gave them the option of shipping it back; apparently the company doesn’t want it to be returned to them, so Brodies is saying well what do we do. Well, the rule has been there for more than a year; it’s not that I am going to bend it back for anybody. And it is applicable to everybody; no single company has been allowed to do that.”


According to Manzanero, the few Turkish-labelled pharmaceuticals that remain on shelves were purchased during the grace period that was given to pharmacies to transition to the new law.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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1 Response for “Why Containers of Pharmaceuticals Remain Stuck at Port”

  1. roger says:

    nah they just gaining time to introduce there Marins pharmaceutical importations to the market.People open your eyes, its not care for the people its their personal gain. plain and simple.

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