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Aug 23, 2019

Government seeks to monitor usage and safety of pharmaceuticals

The Ministry of Health hopes to put in place a plan to monitor the use, effectiveness and safety of medications in Belize. This initiative is the first of its kind in the country and the Ministry has engaged the help of the Pan American Health Organization and the Medicines and Health Products Regulatory Authority of the United Kingdom. A mission was in Belize this week conducting what is called a pharmacovigilance systems assessment. Acting Technical Advisor at the Pharmacy Department of the Ministry of Health, Samira Gongora, and Mick Foy, the Head of the pharmacovigilance strategy in the U.K. provide details of the assessment.


Samira Gongora, Acting Technical Advisor at the Pharmacy Department

Samira Gongora

“Pharmacovigilance is looking at pharmaceuticals and being vigilant to ensure safety because we know we have the new food and drug act and with that act we are ensuring that safe medications are coming into the country so we need to make sure that when it comes it remains safe and when it is being used by the patient that it is efficient for them, it’s ensuring that we are using the right drug for the right disease at the right dosage, so that is at the facility level with the doctors. we are ensuring that at the patient level that they don’t have an undesired effect and in addition to that we are reporting to our international stakeholders, PAHO, Through Vigicarib in the region and then further on into Sweden where they get all the reports of EDRs.”


Mick Foy

Mick Foy, Head of the Pharmacovigilance strategy, UK

“So the objective here is to understand what pharmacovigilance looks like in Belize at the moment and how we can help improve it. In a simple form, that is what we are here to do. I think the tangible objectives are to be a plan on how we move from the current system into a new system that may be formed into new regulations, new responsibilities, a better understanding by different stakeholders as to the role that they play in protecting patients from harms that medicines may cause.”

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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