Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) Multi-Agency Task Force (MATF) seized and quarantined 14,227 pharmaceutical items at a company in Trincity on Friday. The items which were found to be unregistered and therefore not allowed to be sold in Trinidad and Tobago were estimated to be valued at over $1.5 million. The items quarantined at the warehouse were estimated to be valued at over $10 million.”Food and Drug inspectors acting on intelligence swooped down on the warehouse at Tissue Drive, Trincity Industrial Estate, around midday on Friday and ordered that the pharmaceutical section of the warehouse be placed under immediate quarantine owing to the lack of a Pharmaceutical Wholesale Licence or a licensed pharmacist for the site.
During the exercise, CFDD inspectors found several breaches of the Food and Drug Act Chapter 30:01. Seizure notices were issued to the warehouse manager, and the warehouse area was secured and ordered sealed by the CFDD inspectors. The seized items were taken to the Chemistry Food and Drugs Laboratory Building, Frederick Street, Port-of-Spain, for safekeeping and further investigation.
CoP Erla Harewood Christopher assured that the MATF will continue to investigate reports to identify the origin of unregistered pharmaceutical items entering the country. Enforcement at pharmacies started 3 months ago by the Pharmacy Board of Trinidad and Tobago. New Pharmacy Board president Clinton Sahadeo said he could not give any definitive statements as they had not been notified if the pharmaceuticals seized had been listed.
The TTPS has confirmed that this ongoing investigation has triggered further investigations as officials move to crack down on the sale of expired and unregistered drugs at pharmacies across the country. The Food and Drug Division confiscated several drugs, including vitamins, from over 40 pharmacies across T&T in August. The value of the drugs seized was at that time estimated at half a million dollars.
Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh has not yet commented on the seizure and quarantine of the unregistered items.