Caribbean Community (CARICOM) states are putting the health needs of their people first following the launch of a system for reporting substandard, falsified medicines in the region.
VigiCarib, which was launched by the Caribbean Regulatory System (CRS) is a voluntary regional system which would ensure that medicines produced are safe, effective and of good quality.
This means products of manufacturers and distributors would be monitored to ensure they are safe and of good quality.
Patients would also be protected under this programme and their confidence in health care is expected to receive a boost.
Through VigiCarib, CRS may share information about problematic products with CARICOM states, pool data to identify signals, and make recommendations to governments about regulatory actions, regional news portal Caribbean360 reports.
The launch of the system comes on the back of concerns over the safety of medicines and monitoring systems in the region. Subsequent calls were made for regional pooling of resources, sharing of information, and how activities can be coordinated for stronger systems.
The CRS is an initiative of the Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM) which is made up of 15 states including Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize,Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, Saint Kitts and Nevis,Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago.
It is managed as a regulatory unit within CARICOM’s regional public health body, the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) and supported by a number of partners, including the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO), PAHO designated National Regulatory Authorities of Regional Reference (NRA/RR) (Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Mexico, United States), and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF).