Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 9th 2017 Contents A8 news
guardian.co.tt Sunday, July 9, 2017
The St. Peter’s Private Primary School,
a leading Primar y School in South Trinidad,
is inviting applications for :
• VICE - PRINCIPAL
• ENGLISH LANGUAGE ARTS SPECIALIST TEACHER
• ART TEACHER
Job Summar y:
Effective and dynamic delivery of the Primary School Curricula so as to achieve
targets and objectives.
a. A Bachelor of Education Degree or equivalent Formal Training.
at a Senior level.
c. Excellent inter-personal and communication skills.
St. Peter’s Private Primar y School
P.O. Bag 1172
Or e-mail to info@stpetersprivateprimar y.org
Deadline for applications: July 14th 2017
Acute Stroke Unit
1st In The Caribbean
• 24 HR Acute Stroke Service
• Complete Neuro Diagnostics
• Carotid Duplex Ultrasound
• Brain, CT, MRI & Angiogram
• EEG- Brain Function Analysis
• Specialised Neurologist For Stroke Thrombolysis
• Vascular Surgeon For Carotid Surgery
• Full Hospital ICU
• Stroke Rehabilitation & Physiotherapy
FOR BOOKINGS PLEASE CALL:
662-2766, 662-3256, 662-3259
Cor. Albert & Abercromby Sts.,
St. Joseph, Trinidad.
RHONDA KRYSTAL RAMBALLY
The shortage of critical drugs like
metformin, simvastatin, enalapril
and insulin in the Chronic Disease
Assistance Plan (CDAP) is now an
added pressure on many who de-
pend on the free drugs.
Many are complaining that they have
to dig deep into their pockets to pay for
drugs. Already, citizens are faced with
rising food prices and job losses.
These drugs are for common diseases
like diabetes, hypertension and choles-
terol. Hypertension has the highest
number of patients in CDAP—384,489.
For hypertension, patients are given
either atenolol, bendrofluazide, enal-
april, frusemide, lisinopril, methyldo-
pa or nifedipine. Told the drugs are not
available under CDAP, some patients
verbally abuse pharmacists. They are
now forced to fork out as much as $500
a month, depending on the illness.
Since the inception of CDAP in 2003,
5,420,788 prescriptions have been
filled. As at April this year, there were
681,969 patients who access CDAP and
953 physicians and 299 pharmacies that
dispense the drugs through the plan.
There are 11 treatment areas which
includes diabetes, glaucoma, hyper-
tension, cardiac disease and arthritis.
National Insurance Property Devel-
opment Company Ltd (Nipdec) man-
ages the health system supply chain, on
behalf of the Ministry of Health.
In the fiscal year, 2013/2014, Gov-
ernment spent $441 million on all its
President of the Pharmacy Board of
T&T Andrew Rahaman confirmed the
shortage and abuse by the public.
He said different drugs were available
at different times such as the metform-
in, simvastatin, insulin and omeprazole
which is for acid reflux,but they have
no control over its availability through
the CDAP programme.
Patients forced to spend more
A man who gave his name as Em-
manuel from St James said for the past
few months he had been spending up to
$400 for medication to treat diabetes
“Everytime I go to the drugstore they
telling me they do not have (CDAP
drugs) but I could buy it (from the
pharmacy’s supply). I am a pensioner
so where I getting extra money all the
time to buy. Sometimes it really hard.”
Another pensioner, also with the
same illnesses, said he would ask
“It frustrating sometimes because
when you get your supply and that fin-
ish after three months and you go back
with the prescription, they telling you
to come back in a week or sometimes
He said he would end up buying the
Esther from Palmyra said since CDAP
was introduced she had never encoun-
“I will go to the health centre then
take my prescription to the drugstore
in San Fernando and get fix up. I never
However, her sister, who goes to a
pharmacy in Princes Town complained
that since the year started she had to
buy insulin, omeprazole and metformin.
“I can’t hold back. I have to buy it.
What else I will do?”
San Fernando pensioner M Kanhai
said he has never had to buy the drugs.
“Some people I know buy. If it is im-
portant you buy. The longest I had to
wait was about a week or two.”
He suffers with sinus and acid reflux.
Hypertension and diabetic patient,
Satee, from Central said it has been
months she was spending money on
“I don’t like to be short of insulin
and that expensive...almost $200 for
it. Everywhere I go is a problem. If it
free it free but why I must pay every
‘We are not cheating you’
Rahaman said he wanted the public to
understand that pharmacies were not
cheating them in any way by offering
Pharmacists face abuse
over shortage of CDAP drugs
the drugs for purchase.
He said, “The Government provides
the actual medication and we just dis-
pense it. It is not that we buy it and give
it to them under CDAP and then we
charge the Government for it.
“They do not recognise that. Most
times the brands that the Government
brings in under CDAP is not a brand
that we could buy in any event. When
we sell our brand that we buy we cannot
put it back in our stock to sell.
“We are verbally abused by the pub-
lic because people do not understand.
So they think if we have it to sell them,
why we just can’t give it to them under
CDAP and Government reimburses us.”
Other issues he highlighted were out-
standing payments to pharmacies and
pharmacies awaiting to be CDAP-ap-
proved since 2015.
The Sunday Guardian spoke the
owners of several pharmacies who
confirmed that there has been some
• Continues on Page A9
A pharmacy employee reviews
medication on shelves.
PHOTOS: RHONDA RAMBALLY
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