Press Release

Ministry of Health & Social Development
Release Date:
Wednesday, 18 September 2019 - 6:46pm

Residents of the Virgin Islands are reminded to have a sufficient supply of medication during this hurricane season.

Chief of Drugs and Pharmaceuticals Services Mrs. Gracia Wheatley-Smith said the Territory experienced challenges with medication availability after the 2017 disasters and residents should be proactive in ensuring they are not put in a vulnerable position while they are still in an active hurricane season.

Mrs. Wheatley-Smith explained that it would be in anyone’s best interest to have one month’s supply of medication and persons can request a refill on their prescription forms from their doctor as their hurricane stock.

Mrs. Wheatley-Smith stated that residents should ensure that medications are properly labeled in the event that they are displaced during an active hurricane to prevent any mix up. Proper labeling would also ensure ease of administering.

 “Sometimes, when you get stressed out, so many things can go wrong…so it is best that your medications are properly labelled, visible and properly seen in the event that someone else has to assume the responsibility of giving them to you,” she said.

Parents are also urged to ensure that there is sufficient pain and fever medication on hand, safeguard and keep medications out of the reach of children and ensure they are dispensed with a child proof seal.

Persons are advised to place medication in sealable plastic bags in the likely-hood that there is flooding. Those who require insulin are advised that it should be stored out of direct sunlight and away from heat generating appliances. Insulin that is being manufactured today can last up to 28 days in room temperature.

In the event that there is no electricity, persons can store insulin in a cooler with ice. For proper storage, place a barrier on top of the ice followed by the insulin that has been placed in a zip lock bag. Do not place the insulin directly on the ice. One can also purchase an insulated bag that is designed for proper storage and transportation of insulin. If insulin freezes and then thaws, it should be not be used and should be discarded immediately as it is no longer effective.

For more information on medications in the Virgin Islands, persons can telephone the Drugs and Pharmaceuticals Services Unit within the Ministry of Health and Social Development at (284) 468-4526 or by email at

The Ministry of Health and Social Development aspires to provide a caring and integrated system of health and social services that facilitates the recovery of human development and quality of life in the British Virgin Islands.


Adrianna J. Soverall

Ministry of Health and Social Development
Tortola, British Virgin Islands
Telephone: 1(284)468-2272 or 2174