The Ministry of Health and Social Development has launched a National Medicines and Therapeutics Committee as it continues to make strides to advance healthcare in the Territory.

Chief Medical Officer and Committee Chairman, Dr. Ronald Georges said that the formation of the council seeks to strengthen the safe and rational use of medicines and therapeutics locally. 

Dr. Georges said, “The formation of this committee is vital as we seek to advance healthcare. Through its work, we will develop a Virgin Islands National Medicines Formulary which will ensure that we have continued access to vital medications needed to serve the needs of the community.”

Other functions of the committee include promoting and improving the rational use of medicines and developing medicine utilisation reviews to ensure that treatment is in keeping with international standards.

The committee will also seek to implement educational programmes to improve prescribing, dispensing and consuming practices.  “The ultimate goal is to increase public knowledge regarding the rational use of medicines and to develop standard treatment guidelines,”Dr. Georges said.

Chief of Drugs and Pharmaceutical Services and Committee Secretary, Mrs. Gracia Wheatley Smith said the committee’s first meeting was held on May 18 to review and improve its terms of reference.

“We also finalised the document as well as set the bar to chart the way for the progress of the committee,” Mrs Wheatley Smith said. She added, “I am excited to see the advancement of medicines and therapeutics through the work of this committee.”

The National Medicines and Therapeutics Committee is made up of representatives from the Ministry of Health and Social Development, the BVI Health Services Authority and private healthcare institutions and is comprised of doctors of varied distinctions, nurses and pharmacists. The committee will meet quarterly with a quorum of at least seven members.

The Ministry of Health and Social Development is committed to ensuring that all aspects of the environment with the potential to negatively impact the health of the population are managed efficiently to enable all persons in the BVI to attain and maintain optimal health and well-being.