The Chief Medical Officer has flatly denied the Barbados Association of Medical Practitioners’ claims that doctors have been excluded from consultations on the introduction of medical marijuana.
In an interview last Friday with Barbados TODAY, BAMP president Dr Abdon DaSilva accused Government of neglecting the umbrella physicians’ body before adding marijuana-based medicines to the National Drug Formulary.
He said: “The Government of Barbados has not seen it fit to consult the Barbados Association of Medical Practitioners with respect to marijuana, period.”
Dr DaSilva also declared that while others saw it important to consult with the very people who are required to write prescriptions and may have to do so for the marijuana medication, “obviously the Government did not see it as important”.
But in a statement issued through the Government Information Service (GIS) today, Chief Medical Officer Dr Kenneth George refuted Dr DaSilva’s claims.
Dr George said BAMP had been involved in the selection process to decide which medicinal marijuana drugs would be made available.
He said in the statement: “BAMP is represented on the Drug Formulary Committee which, after reviewing the evidence, had recommended the five medicinal marijuana drugs to be placed on the Barbados National Drug Formulary.”
The Drug Formulary Committee, which is chaired by UWI lecturer in Clinical Pharmacology Dr. Kenneth Connell is responsible for recommending new drugs for the Barbadian market.
The Chief Medical Officer also disclosed that BAMP sent members to a recent training seminar sponsored by the ministry, held in conjunction with the UWI Faculty of Medical Sciences and the Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning at Cave Hill.
The seminar, dubbed Therapeutic Prescribing of Medical Marijuana Products, brought together doctors, pharmacists and other health care providers who will be involved in prescribing and dispensing the medicinal cannabis products.
Dr George also gave an assurance that the ministry welcomed further discussion on this initiative and was willing to hear any concerns that doctors may have.
On May 21, Minister of Health and Wellness Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Bostic announced that his ministry had approved five medicinal marijuana drugs to be placed on the national formulary.
Addressing a training seminar for health care providers on therapeutic prescription for medical marijuana, Bostic said that the drugs would be imported by the Barbados Drug Service.