Health Ministry says different insulin drugs were purchased, after claims of shortage

Wednesday, November 2, 2016 - 14:00

The Ministry of Health has responded to claims that there is a shortage of insulin in this country, by pointing out that some of the medication to which people have become accustomed have been replaced by other medication.

The ministry says this is based on recommendations that arose from the Pharmaceutical Tender Evaluations.

The following is the Health Ministry's statement:

"In response to claims of insulin shortages in Trinidad and Tobago made by President of the Diabetes Association of Trinidad and Tobago, Mrs. Zobida Ragbirsingh, the Ministry of Health wishes to inform the public of the following.

At the 2015/2016 Pharmaceutical Tender Evaluations, the medications available on the National Formulary were reviewed and selected. The selections are based on the recommendations of practitioners who determine what items will provide the best value for patients.

The following is a breakdown of some of the changes made in order to ensure continued quality service delivery as well as the best value for money.

1.       Novo Brand Insulin- It was replaced by a different brand of Regular ® Insulin Humulin R which has been readily available.  

2.       Gilbenclamide 5mg Tablets- Based on the opinions of Endocrinologists, this was removed and replaced by Gliclazide, also on CDAP which has been found to be safer and more effective.

People requiring treatment for chronic conditions often develop an attachment to certain brands of medication.

However, the Ministry of Health wishes to assure the public that all decisions and changes to the National Formulary were based on meticulous research and consideration and the medication currently available offers the same quality of treatment and management as those to which persons might have grown accustomed."