The appointment of the new director of drug inspectorate has brought to the forefront a wide range of shortfalls within the system in respect of imported pharmaceuticals and persons practicing without a license. According to the Pharmacists’ Association of Belize, there is need for drug inspectors across the country to ensure that proper procedures are followed and that medications sold at pharmacies are approved by the ministry. A case in point says P.A.B. President, Hortence Humes, there are seventeen pharmacies in San Pedro, but only two licensed pharmacists on the island.
Hortence Humes, President, Phamarcists’ Association of Belize
“The drug inspector, they make inspections to see that you are getting controlled drugs; I need to see who are getting these drugs, who are you selling to. That means that you need to have a record of, by law, you should have all those records of where are these going to and if at any time we say, we need to go and…”
Dickie Bradley, Host
“Who looks at the book?”
“It’s the drug inspector; they should go in there and they should look at the book. But that hasn’t been done because you only have one person and you have so many drug stores. Like in San Pedro, you have seventeen drug stores and two pharmacists on the island. So all of these things.”
“Go slow. So there are seventeen pharmacies—places where they sell pharmaceuticals—but yo only have two people weh qualified?”
“…on the island.”
“So weh dehn do, deh spend wah hour dah one, spend wah hour dah di next one and cover all of them? Who polices the police?”
Marisol Melhado, Vice President, Phamarcists’ Association of Belize
“This is exactly our concern.”
“This is where an inspectorate would come in?
“So you all are telling me that it is possible that seventeen drug stores have been operating? And of all places, San Pedro where all the tourists they want their drugs…and if it is one things with Americans, they have to get their drugs.”
The association also clarified on the Dickie Bradley show that they are not against the appointment of a drug inspectorate, but it must follow due process.