Public Health Communications Specialist
Ministry of Health/Social Development
The Ministry of Health and Social Development in its quest to promote a medicine vigilant Virgin Islands, is calling on the community to be more alert regarding their pharmaceutical use.
In order to ensure that the community remains vigilant, the ministry is inviting the public to view part two of a four-part television series focused on pharmacovigilance.
In speaking about the importance of the series, Chief of Drugs and Pharmaceutical Services, Mrs. Gracia Wheatley-Smith explained that the programme is aimed at empowering the community with the necessary information on pharmacovigilance, which means being watchful about pharmaceutical use and observing any adverse effects that may arise.
Mrs. Wheatley-Smith said, “We keep a record of information on adverse drug reactions or events. This information coupled with information gathered from doctors’ offices, pharmacists and even patients themselves will keep us aware of some of the side effects of various medicines from which decisions of the continued use of the medicines are decided.
She continued, “We also want users of pharmaceuticals to adopt this same mentality and not just refer to their medicines as the little blue or pink tablet.”
Mrs. Wheatley-Smith said if persons can increase their awareness of medicines and know how they work, possible side effects can be minimised.
In addressing the role of the pharmacist, she said, “The pharmacist is the link between people, their medicine and advice. One of the primary roles of pharmacists is that of counseling and to inform people about the common side effects of their medicine and what should be done if allergic reactions are encountered.”
Persons interested in learning more about pharmacovigilance are encouraged to tune into CBN channel 51 from today Tuesday, March 3 to Saturday March 14 at 7:00 a.m., 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. daily.
Part three of the pharmaeducation series will address the different types of drug interactions, such as drug food interactions and will be released in the third week of March.
The Ministry of Health and Social Development is committed to enabling effective use and management of medicines.