Drug study of MCMH presented
September 28, 2010
Drug study of MCMH presented

A study has been carried out at the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital (MCMH) to evaluate antimicrobial drug utilization to improve patient safety, preserve antibiotic sensitivity and optimize fiscal impact.{{more}}

The findings of the study were presented at the Methodist Church Hall on Saturday, September 18, where over 100 health professionals gathered for a workshop organized by the SVG Pharmacy and Therapeutic Committee (PTC), the Ministry of Health and the Environment, with technical and financial support from the Pan American Health Organization, (PAHO). The seminar was entitled “Appropriate Medication use… Not Misuse”.

The SVG Essential Medicine List was also launched at the workshop and a presentation was done by Francis Burnett, Head of The OECS Pharmaceutical Procurement Services Unit, (OECS-PPS), on the “Importance of Rational Drug Use”.

The study was initiated by Joann Ince-Jack, Chief Pharmacist/PTC Coordinator, and was conducted in collaboration with Ilonka O’Garro, Pharmacovigilance Officer and Dr. Diane Hindman, Pharmacist, who evaluated the data and made the presentation at Saturday’s event.

The study was initiated because globally, over the years, there has been an increasing demand within the hospital environment for a broad spectrum of antibiotics due to increasing incidence of resistant micro-organisms.

This has been identified as a growing concern in St.Vincent and the Grenadines, because of the potential for increasing the cost of medication and budget limitations.

The study showed that the MCMH is generally considered the epicenter of antibiotic resistance. It disclosed that hospitalized patients are very likely to suffer from debilitated physical condition and deficiencies of the immune system and require intense antibiotic therapy for a longer duration and for severe infectious complications. With these in mind, the two-part study was designed in order to review the usage of antimicrobials at the MCMH in December 2009, and to make recommendations. It was also done to review all of the infection cultures received at the MCMH in SVG from October to December 2009, and to assess the bacterial sensitivity and resistance patterns.

According to the study conductors, this serious public health problem results from irrational prescribing by doctors and veterinary practitioners; patient non-compliance; pharmacist dispensing without prescription; over-promotion by pharmaceutical companies and distributors; misuse and abuse of antibiotics e.g. uses of antibiotics for the common cold, influenza and other viral infections, and widespread use of antimicrobial agents in veterinary medicine and animal husbandry.

Minister of Telecommunications, Dr. Jerrol Thompson, a microbiologist by training and a practicing medical doctor, joined Burnett in congratulating those who conducted the study.

They acknowledged that this was the first of its kind in the region.

Burnett said that he would like to see the study repeated in the OECS-PPS countries. (HN)