…department to take legal action against defaultersThe Government Analyst Food and Drug Department (GA-F&DD) will be moving against those suppliers who would have supplied institutions in the public health care system with unregistered drugs.According to the GA-F&DD Director, Marlon Cole, the department has received complaints from patients who have received unregistered drugs, and those complaints indicate that this is a widespread problem.“We have environmental officers in all the regions who are appointed Food and Drug Inspectors and carry out our mandate on our behalf. We have regional coverage there. We have persons that would go to the Customs Department and refer entries we would have an interest in. So we have some protection at ports,” he explained.Cole further explained that inspections are carried out at storage bonds and places where these drugs are distributed by the department’s own city inspectors. And then, of course, he noted the mechanisms in place for consumers to lodge complaints…for instance, in the case of wrong labelling.“We will be taking legal action against some importers who are knowingly and deliberately releasing and distributing unregistered drugs into the national health care system. We have been receiving complaints about drugs that are not safe and efficacious after they’ve been used, and we are heavily dependent on those reports emanating out of the health care system,” he explained.“In addition, we would be embarking on our pharmaceutical vigilance system in addition to doing some surveys,” Cole explained. “But the problem with unregistered drugs is widespread, and we’re tackling it in the same way we’re dealing with food.”DrugsLast year, the Public Health Ministry introduced a new system for procuring of drugs and medical supplies, with the aim of enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of the drug supply chain in the country.This was accompanied by several changes in the bidding documents, which were intended to create a more level playing field among competitors. Following the massive shortage of drugs in the country, the then Public Health Minister, Dr George Norton, admitted that the change in the procurement system is probably the likely cause for the drug shortages being experienced.Previously, Public Health Minister Volda Lawrence had said that, in 2016 and 2017, several firms were awarded contracts to supply pharmaceuticals to the health sector, but failed to deliver.The International Pharmaceutical Agency (IPA) was one of those companies that failed to supply all of the drugs it was expected to deliver, because it was not qualified to import some specialised pharmaceuticals.In January 2016, IPA was awarded two contracts to supply the GPHC with pharmaceuticals and medical supplies. On one of the contracts — for $36.5 million — the company delivered only 80 per cent of the pharmaceuticals, because it was not qualified to supply the remainder.The remaining 20 per cent of drugs consisted of narcotics, including morphine, which required special certification for importation. It is understood that in order for a firm to import narcotics-type pharmaceuticals, it must be registered in order to be granted a licence.But the company was not registered to import those categories of drugs, and was therefore denied a licence by the GA-FDD.It has been argued that pre-qualification (a practice from which Government has moved away) could have prevented a company that is not registered to provide specialised drugs from getting the contract.
He accused Britain of trying to cover up the incursion, saying it should “refrain from putting the blame on others.” The U.N. Security Council, meanwhile, unanimously voted to impose new sanctions against Iran for its refusal to stop enriching uranium – a move intended to show Tehran that defiance over its nuclear program will leave it increasingly isolated. British opposition lawmakers called on the government not to allow Iran to use the capture of the military personnel as a tool in the nuclear dispute. “The United Kingdom will not be blackmailed. Iran has a choice: to act responsibly or face greater isolation,” said Menzies Campbell, leader of the opposition Liberal Democrats. But the British government appeared to be avoiding harsh language in its public statements as it continued to gather information about exactly what had happened and why. The British sailors had just searched a merchant ship Friday morning when they and their two inflatable boats were intercepted by Iranian vessels near the disputed Shatt al-Arab waterway, U.S. and British officials said. The Iranians surrounded them and escorted them away at gunpoint. Britain immediately demanded the return of the eight Royal Navy sailors and seven Royal Marines – at least one of whom was a woman – and denied they had strayed into Iranian waters while searching for smugglers off Iraq’s coast. Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett and the Ministry of Defense said the troops were in Iraqi waters when they were seized. Iraq’s military commander of the country’s territorial waters, Brig. Gen. Hakim Jassim, told AP Television News that Iraqi fishermen had reported that the British boats were “in an area that is out of Iraqi control.” In June 2004, six British marines and two sailors were captured, then paraded blindfolded on Iranian television. They admitted they had entered Iranian waters illegally but were released unharmed after three days. Iranian hard-liners have already called for the 15 Britons to be held until Iran wins concessions from the West. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! TEHRAN, Iran – Iran claimed Saturday that 15 British sailors and marines had confessed to entering its waters in an act of “blatant aggression,” an escalation of Tehran’s rhetoric over the confrontation. The British Foreign Office summoned Iran’s ambassador for the second time in two days, saying an under-secretary had spent more than an hour in “frank and civil” talks demanding the safe return of the sailors and Royal Marines, and seeking assurances about their welfare and access to British consular officials. Iran’s top military official, Gen. Ali Reza Afshar, said the sailors and marines were moved to Tehran and under interrogation “confessed to illegal entry” and an “aggression into the Islamic Republic of Iran’s waters.” Afshar did not say what would happen to the sailors. Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad Ali Hosseini accused the British of “violating the sovereign boundaries” of Iran, calling the entry a “blatant aggression.”