Tabaquite Member of Parliament Suruj Rambachan wants to know if unsafe drugs are being administered to patients in hospitals in Trinidad and Tobago.
Rambachan, a former Minister of Government, issued a press statement on Saturday following an issue which he raised in the House of Representatives on Friday.
The following is Rambachan’s statement”
“In response to a matter on the adjournment in my name brought to the Parliament yesterday regarding the availability of drugs for a patient Mr Barran Roopchand of Preysal, Couva , a very useful discussion took place across the floor and several serious revelations and allegations were made by the Minister of Health (Terrence Deyalsingh). I have gone through the statement of the Minister and record here under extracts from his statement which are worthy of analysis. I urge you to read the extracts which are available on “ U tube” on my face book.
1. From the statement made by the Minister of Health the following questions must be asked:
- Was Mr Barran prescribed drugs that are unsafe for his health and a threat to his life
- Does the Minister of Health have a right to review the medical files of a patient and make conclusions when he is not a medical professional.
- Did the Minister in coming to his conclusions (wherein he stated that he wants to save Mr Barran’s life) consult the doctor or any doctors familiar with conditions like that of Mr Barran.
- Is the Minister saying that the doctor prescribed dangerous drugs for Mr Barran given the extensive research evidence the Minister presented in Parliament.
- Was the Minister saying that the doctors are colluding with drug manufacturers to cause to be dumped into Trinidad dangerous drugs and if so why are these drugs continue to be allowed into TT.
- What is the position of the Medical Association on the accusations of what has to be best regarded as possibly unethical practices by certain doctors.
- At the end of the day can the Minister say how and when Mr Barran will get the drugs he has not gotten since 27th July 2016 and which he cannot afford.
- Finally why are doctors prescribing drugs that are not on the lists available at the hospitals.
- Has the Minister concluded by his own statement that unsafe drugs were prescribed for MR Barran
Incidentally there were three drugs on the prescription and not four as indicated by the Minister.
EXTRACTS FROM THE RESPONSE OF THE MINISTER OF HEALTH.
“Mr Barran has four drugs on his prescription. Two drugs are not on national formulary. The doctor wrote a prescription.
This drug prescribed for Mr Barran should not have been prescribed for him… because these drugs were causing deaths cardiovascular incidents and so on. The particular drug recommended for Mr Barran… has not even been approved for sale in the US ….because it is a highly dangerous drug and because I reviewed Mr Barran’s case file… he suffers from a co-morbidity where this drug as prescribed is contra-indicated because he could possibly die . The evidence goes on to say that none of these drugs are first line drugs. They should never have been prescribed to Mr Barran. And I want to tell you house that first line drugs are available in TT but because we have a corrupt drug procurement system which does not place the consumer and the patient at the center…. it is a business and the doctors are the ones who advocate on behalf of drug manufacturers to put these drugs on a formulary that have no right to be on a formulary…not wrong drugs…. They are prescribing drugs in their own self-interest. I want to tell this honourable house that in TT there are first world first line drugs available for this gentleman and he has no reason to suffer. They are available in the pharmacy but because of prescribing habits because of financial gain our patients are made to suffer. I want to save his life by telling him to on a first line drug that is readily available in TT and let me tell you sir there are first line first line drugs to treat the same condition They are available in the hospital….Talk to the pharmacist… The front line drugs are available now and have been available for six months. The front line safe drugs. You have to speak to the person who prescribed the unsafe drugs for Mr Barran.”
2. The full statement of the Minister can be reviewed on my face book page where the parliamentary procedures for yesterday have been posted.