Member of the Joint Select Committee to look at regulating operations of pharmacies Jennifer Baptiste-Primus yesterday questioned why Government should have to pay for the cost of pharmacies wanting to supply C-DAP drugs to customers.
President of the Council of the Pharmacy Board of TT Andrew Rahaman raised the issue where new pharmacies had to pay $68,000 to supply C-DAP drugs. That, he said, was unfair when older established pharmacies had, over the years, been able to do so without any extra cost.
He said many of them complained they could not find that kind of cash after stocking up on other medications.
Chief Medical Officer at the Health Ministry Dr Roshan Parasram explained that the cost was for the hardware to facilitate an inventory management system, which the older pharmacies already had.
Baptiste-Primus queried who would have to foot the bill if the pharmacies did not, to which Parasram replied, "the Government."
"Why should the Government have to pay for the hardware?" she asked, while other committee member Ramona Ramdial said she found it unfair.
However, permanent secretary at the ministry Asif Ali said they were able to negotiate and the cost was reduced to $35,000. This money is to be paid to the ministry.
However, Rahaman told Newsday the reduction in the cost was news to him.
"This is the first time I am hearing this. I don't know anything about that. There has been no correspondence and until there is confirmation the price is still $68,000."
Rahaman also said that pharmacies received $8 for every item dispensed through C-DAP, a reduction from $10.