Ministry of Health implements new pharmaceutical regulations

Friday, June 16th, 2017

In an effort to ensure Belizeans are receiving quality medicinal products, the Office of the Director of Health Services made an announcement on Tuesday, June 6th via a press release, informing pharmaceutical importers that all custom entries will now be processed by the Ministry of Health (MOH) in Belmopan. Such entries could be over the counter medication, FedEx, Amerijet, prescription medications and others. This transition is expected to commence on July 1, 2017, and the new regulation will effect roughly 60 registered pharmaceutical importers within the country.
Dr. Ramon Figueroa, MOH Chief Executive Officer, stated that this new process will allow the MOH to track pharmaceutical drugs coming into the country. “There are two things. One is the issue of customs and customs entries, while the other is the establishment of a registry for Belize. We want to regularize the whole importation and distribution of pharmaceuticals and medical equipment…We have had importations where we get a lot of pharmacies having products that come from uncertain pharmaceutical companies and dubious countries. This is an international money making industry, and our role is to protect the public. We have to ensure that we put proper standards and guidelines in place,” said Figueroa.
He further explained how this endorsed policy will ensure that quality medication is entering Belize. “All medications registered in Belize need to go through proper scrutiny to ensure that they have the proper documentation in terms of manufacturing practices and the quality of the products. In terms of Customs, we need to have better control, because we are trying to enforce the importation of good- quality medication, so we also need to ensure that the medications that are coming in are going through the proper channels. And that is why we are centralizing the customs application process,” said Figueroa.
Any queries in relation to this should be forwarded to the Office of the Director of Health Services at the Ministry of Health. For more information, please contact Dr. Marvin Manzanero at 822-0809.

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