MoH to keep close tabs on pharmacies

ABU DHABI - The Drug Control Department at the Ministry of Health (MoH) will be keeping close tabs on the pharmacies and deploy more inspectors to ensure the outlets comply with the laws and regulations of the ministry, according to a health ministry official.

By Nada S. Mussallam

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Published: Thu 15 Jul 2004, 10:02 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 1:46 PM

The department is considering reinforcing the existing cadres by 20 per cent, Humaid Al Shamsi, Assistant Under-Secretary for Pharmacy and Supply Department at the ministry, told Khaleej Times.

"The inspection operations will focus on checking the quality, availability and the prices of the drugs, especially in the wake of the ministerial decision of cutting down drug prices by 15 per cent," he said.

There are more than 900 pharmacies operating in the country, overseen by only 25 inspectors.

The official revealed that a ministerial circular will be issued next week, making it mandatory for pharmacies to stick to the new prices fixed on the medicine packets.

The circular will also state that pharmacies have no right to offer any discounts on drugs or change the fixed prices, he said.

Non-compliance with these terms will be considered flagrant violation against the pharmacy rules and regulations, warned Mr Shamsi.

He reiterated that the conditions set by the department for granting licence to these outlets to function in the country ensure that these pharmacies meet high quality standards and criteria and comply with international pharmacy regulations.

"Pharmacies functioning in the country, therefore, do not require strict monitoring that usually includes a large number of inspectors," clarified Mr Shamsi.

He revealed that the department has also chalked out a plan to empower employees in the field of pharmacy at the different medical districts, affiliated to the MoH with monitoring and inspecting authorities.

The move comes within the framework of the efforts undertaken by the ministry to ensure that operating pharmacies abide by the provisions stated by the federal pharmacy law set by the country, he said.

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