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OECS Pharmaceutical Procurement Services issues advisory

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Contact: Claudia Monlouis

Monday, January 24, 2005 – Ministry of Health has endorsed a Public Health Advisory issued by the OECS Pharmaceutical Procurement Services (PPS), on Non – steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs commonly referred to as NSAIDS.

The Advisory has triggered concern from the medical community, including the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), regarding the serious side effects that can occur if the drugs are not utilised in conformity with stipulated directions.

Chief Medical Officer in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Stephen King said the drugs, such as Aleve, Celebrex, Voltaren and Cataflam are very effective in treating many medical conditions. But importantly, consumers must be careful of extended use of the drugs, which can lead to strokes and heart attacks. The drugs are also best used under the guidance of a medical doctor for a limited time.

“What Saint Lucia is saying and the PPS in fact, is that we support the United States Food and Drug Administration guidelines. First of all, the doctors need to weight the risk benefit of using non-steroidal anti inflammatory drugs in the drugs I mentioned with their patients, and discuss with their patients so that everybody is quite clear, and understands that the benefits outweigh the risk of using the drug,” Dr. King said.

Dr. King said he did not expect the drugs would be removed from public use at this time. Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs are among the most popular drugs prescribed worldwide.


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