What do I need to know about the changes to the Formulary 2018-2020?

|   Drug Service News

With the changes to the Formulary, will I still be able to get my medication as I did before?
As in previous years, with the changes you may not receive the same brand which you were getting before but you will receive an equivalent.

However, some medications have been deleted from the Formulary; therefore your doctor and you would have to decide if you will be changed to another product or if you will continue with that medication and purchase it from a private pharmacy.

How will I know if my medication has been deleted from the Formulary

To find out if the medication you were taking is still on Formulary contact your doctor, pharmacist or the Barbados Drug Service at 535-4300 or drugservice@health.gov.bb

I just filled my prescription would I be able to obtain refills or would I have to go back to the doctor?

Providing that you filled the prescription before the end of March 2018 and you have valid refills; you can repeat your current prescription until the end of September 2018.

Would brand-name drugs be available?

Some brand-name drugs would continue to be available through the Drug Service while others may be replaced by a generic equivalent.

What is the difference between brand-name and generic drugs?

Generic drugs have exactly the same drug, dosage, intended use, effects, side effects, route of administration, risks, safety, and strength as the brand-name drug but may be manufactured by different companies. In other words, their effect on the body should be exactly the same as the brand-name counterparts.

Who made these changes and why were they made?

The review of the Formulary was done by a number of experts in their fields, including local doctors and pharmacists, and was based on regional and international guidelines. The changes were made in the interest of good patient care and to provide you with the best medication available.

What is the Formulary?

The Formulary is a list of medicines with their indications, side effects, contraindications and dosages. The main function of the Formulary is to specify which medicines are approved to be prescribed and dispensed to beneficiaries through the Barbados Drug Service pharmacies or the private participating pharmacies.


Who are beneficiaries of the Barbados Drug Service?

  • Citizens and permanent residents of Barbados who fill their prescriptions at a public sector health institution i.e. the polyclinics, outpatient clinics.

  • Citizens or permanent residents of Barbados 65 years and over and under 16 years old who fill prescriptions for medication on the Barbados National Formulary at a Private Participating Pharmacy

  • Citizens or permanent residents of Barbados who fill prescriptions for medication on the Barbados National Formulary for the treatment of asthma, cancer, diabetes, epilepsy, glaucoma or hypertension at a Private Participating Pharmacy

What is a Benefit Drug?

A Benefit Drug is a medicine or related item listed in the BNDF used in the treatment of:

  • Asthma

  • Cancer

  • Diabetes

  • Epilepsy

  • Glaucoma

  • Hypertension

How does BDS ensure the quality of drugs provided?

  • All drugs accepted or contracted for the first time must provide samples for testing

  • Random testing of drugs is carried out periodically

  • The manufacturer must be registered with BDS as an approved supplier.

  • All drugs tendered under the BDS programme must be sold in the country of manufacture.

  • As part of our monitoring your doctor may report any reactions which you have to the medication by completing an Adverse Drug Reaction Form or you can contact BDS, at 535-4300 or drugservice@health.gov.bb, and tell us about it yourself.

What forms of identification can be used to fill a prescription?

  • A Barbados Identification (ID) card or passport with a valid ID number on which the nationality is Barbadian.

  • Where nationality is NOT Barbadian a Certificate of Permanent Residence or a passport with a stamp, from the Immigration Department, that states that permanent residence has been granted.

  • NOTE 1: Children from 6 weeks old must have a minor’s ID card to benefit in both the private and the public sector. Under 6 weeks old the Immunisation booklet with a parent’s ID card can be used.

  • NOTE 2: The Barbados Driver’s licence is not an acceptable form of identification because it does not identify the nationality of the owner.

  • To benefit you must produce one of the approved forms of identification at each visit to the pharmacy.