Food and Drugs Act

 Instruments Used in Health Care Should Not Cause Injury

Specialized consumer products are used for the prevention and treatment of disease. If use of these products results in injury, even when the directions for use are carefully followed, then they are deemed illegal. The sellers are liable to fines or imprisonment.

Food and Drugs Should be Prepared Under Sanitary Conditions

It is illegal to sell food, drugs and cosmetics if they were manufactured, prepared, preserved, packaged or stored under insanitary conditions. In addition, packages of drugs must have an expiry date printed on them. Any breach of this Act can result in fine or imprisonment.

Drugs Must be Properly Labelled

Apart from the name of the drug, the label on any container of drugs and the label on the outside of the package must contain:

  • the name of the manufacturer or distributor
  • the address of the manufacturer (on small containers the address should be on the outside of the package).
  • all the information needed for the consumer to use the drug properly, including cautions as to possible adverse reactions

Drug Package Must State Net Contents

The Food and Drugs Act states that the label on the outside of each package of drugs must contain:

  • a correct statement of the net contents in terms of weight
  • where the drug is intended to be administered through the skin or mucous membrane by an instrument, the name and proportion of any preservative present must be printed.

Imported Drugs and Cosmetics Must Conform to Established Standard

When drugs and cosmetics are imported into Jamaica for sale to consumers, they must conform to the laws of the country of origin; in other words, if these items are not being used by consumers in the exporting country - then they cannot be imported into Jamaica.

No Additive Allowed for Baby Foods

The Food and Drugs Act stipulates that baby foods should not contain any additives except in the cases of special formulae, bakery products and special dietary foods.

Food Being Sold Must be Fit for Human Consumption

The Food and Drugs Act states that it is illegal to sell any food, which is unfit for human consumption. These could be poisonous or of a generally harmful nature. Persons guilty of such an offence are liable to a fine or to imprisonment with or without hard labour.

Distributin of Drug Samples

Drug samples can only be distributed legally to registered medical practitioners and registered dentists or veterinary surgeons. Manufacturers of the drugs may also distribute samples through persons acting as distributors for them. It is illegal to sell these samples.



Provided by Ministry of Justice