The quality of any medicine is determined by its effectiveness, safety and ultimately the health outcome of a patient. If that quality is questionable, then any efforts and investment into public health systems and medicines regulatory systems will be compromised. MCQSD functions as a critical part of robust mechanisms for regulating medicines in CARICOM, in close cooperation with Member States, CARPHA Caribbean Regulatory System (CRS) and other partners such as PAHO/WHO. In June 2018, the Department established a post-market surveillance (PMS) programme for medicines circulating in the pharmaceutical markets of the Caribbean.
The programme’s objectives are to:
- Develop risk-based criteria for the selection of medicines to be tested, in order to prioritize those that pose risks to public health.
- Proactively monitor selected medicines on the Caribbean market for quality, safety and efficacy.
- Develop competencies to enable sampling and testing of medicines on the market, as routine surveillance of the quality of medicines.
- Collaborate with the CARPHA CRS, CARICOM Expanded Technical Advisory Committee on Pharmaceutical Policy (TECHPHARM), and national focal points to select medicines for annual post-market surveillance, including drawing on the CARPHA CRS regional network for pharmacovigilance and post-market surveillance.