TT’s antiquated law blamed for series of Pharmacy raids

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TT’s antiquated law blamed for series of Pharmacy raids

This country’s antiquated and outdated legislation is said to be the reason behind a number of raids on Pharmacies recently.

This according to Glenwayne Suchit, president of the Private Pharmacy Business Association (PPBA).

On the heels of the seizure of 14,227 unregistered pharmaceutical items valued at over $1.5 million at a warehouse in Trincity this past weekend, Suchit, in an interview with GML, said the raids were not new and initially began in July and have continued since.

He said following dialogue with the Chemistry, Food and Drugs Division (CFDD), the PPBC had, “been putting out notices to pharmacies throughout the country to desist from buying any products that the CFDD are deeming to be unregistered or illegal, and in some cases, counterfeit and dangerous drugs.”

Suchit assured: “There is nothing wrong with these drugs. The drugs they are talking about, which the CFDD claim are not registered, includes Emergen-C, caltrate, certain brands of Vicks, and certain types of topical ointments that are sold freely over the counter in all first-world countries such as the US, Canada, Europe and so on.”

He said the law is to blame, adding: “The Pharmacy Board Act was last updated in 1962 and try as we have to get the laws changed…nothing has been forthcoming.”

He pointed out, “The registration process for any individual or company was probably taking a couple years because we didn’t even have a Drug Advisory Unit at the CFDD for a number of years.”

However, Suchit said, “The process of registration deteriorated to being almost non-existent during a number of years coming up to COVID and subsequent to that. Now, it is probably very stagnant.”

“The CFDD has the authority to come into our establishments, peruse and go through and identify and seize anything they think that is not registered. So they started this drive to clean up the system in July/August by visiting pharmacies and in some instances, with police officers and some without police officers…no search warrants, no court orders or anything, and blatantly seizing things from people’s shelves.”

As pharmacy owners, Suchit said when they are approached by pharmaceutical companies offering products for sale, the onus was not on them to make sure the products were registered.

“As legitimate companies coming to sell us products, we would anticipate and assume that these products have been registered by the CFDD. However, there are loopholes that can cause these things to arise,” Suchit said.

Suchit said they are now demanding companies provide a certificate of registration before making purchases.