Caribbean Countries Pool Resources to Lower Drug Costs. Essential Drugs Monitor No. 008 (1989)
(1989; 1 page)


In 1986, the Eastern Caribbean Drug Service (ECDS) was founded by members of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS). The ECDS provides pharmaceutical services to the participating countries of Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Kitts, Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The services include centralized public tendering for pharmaceuticals, regional coordination, administration, and quality assurance. The implementation of centralized purchasing led to a decrease in unit prices of pharmaceuticals, as shown by a graph in the article. The ECDS Policy Board has Ministry of Health representatives from each participating country to ensure the decisions made meet the needs of everyone involved. There are also two Sub-committees, the Tenders Sub-committee and the Formulary and Therapeutics Sub-committee. The former is comprised of the chief pharmacists or supply officers of each country, and the latter is comprised of senior physicians appointed by their respective ministries. In July 1988, the ECDS published the first ECDS Regional Formulary and Therapeutics manual. It contained drug information for doctors, pharmacists and nurses, prescribing guidelines and comparative daily costs for each drug within a therapeutic class.

Abstract written by M. Tobin, 2013.

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