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
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
“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.