PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad and Tobago, December 15, 2019 (CMC) – The Ministry of Health says it has “ramped up its regulatory function”, after a carrying out an investigation into the discovery of counterfeit drugs in Trinidad and Tobago.
In a statement, the Ministry gave no details of the findings of the investigation, saying it was now in possession of a preliminary report of its Chemistry, Food and Drugs Division on the matter.
“As a result, the Ministry has ramped up its regulatory function, in accordance with the Food and Drugs Act, the Dangerous Drugs Act and other related legislation. This function includes the inspection and seizure of counterfeit pharmaceuticals from retail and wholesale outlets, where required,” the Ministry said in the statement.
It said that in addition to ongoing, routine inspection schedules, “additional inspections will be conducted in pharmacies throughout Trinidad, with immediate effect”.
The statement gave no specific reason for the investigation, but recently, a tainted eye injection, brought into the country through “illegitimate importation channels”, resulted in seven diabetic patients going blind, in either one, or both, of their eyes.
The government has since recalled the medication, which contains Triamcineclone Acetonide as its main ingredient. The drug was a preparation from an India-based company.
“It would have had to be brought into the country via parallel illegitimate importation channels. The Chemistry, Food and Drug Division of the Ministry of Health has already seized stocks of this drug from the supplier,” the Ministry said in a statement then.
In its latest statement, it is urging consumers to ensure that the product being bought has not expired, the labels are printed in English and that the bottle or packaging is sealed.
It is also urging consumers to ensure that there is no “unusual odour or colouration” to the product, and that it has no “other abnormality”.