Health officials repeat warnings against illegal importation of pharmaceuticals and chemicals

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Health officials at the Central Board of Health (CBH) are reminding business owners and other agencies, who illegally import and distribute pharmaceuticals and chemicals, that they are putting peoples’ lives at risk.
Faye Edwards, principal pharmacist and senior drug inspector within the Ministry of Health, issued the reminder in a recent interview, after explaining that there has been an increase in such activities.
She also spoke about people importing rodenticides among food items which is another cause for concern.
“This is an enormous risk to the safety of the public. It is something where you can have transference, in the case of leakage…. By law, no one is allowed to import toxic chemicals in the same containment as food. In recent times, we have had to get CBH involved to have some of these items confiscated,” Edwards said.
She said drug inspectors have discovered this, not only at the various Ports of entry but also at restaurants and other areas where food is being prepared.
“The agencies that deal with the management of pesticides and toxic chemicals will have to collaborate to determine how best we can go forward to manage this. The drug inspectors for the Antigua and Barbuda Pharmacy Council are the ones who are out there mostly dealing with inspections of that nature and this is what we see a lot of,” the senior drug inspector said.
CBH is among a number of government agencies that work closely with the Pesticides and Toxic Chemicals Board, which is responsible for controlling the importation, sale, distribution and use of all pesticides and toxic chemicals in the country.
Earlier this month, the board reported that it was taking a more aggressive approach towards ensuring that the laws governing the importation and management of harmful chemicals are enforced, as well as the implementation of a comprehensive public awareness campaign to educate residents about the proper use of chemicals.

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