UAE ministry warns against buying medicines, supplements online
The inspection team warned against social media handles selling unlicensed supplements.
The Ministry of Health & Prevention (MoHAP) has issued a warning against the hazards of buying medicines online or relying on their advertised claims.
The ministry has strongly warned against the use of a dietary supplement produced from red rice yeast claiming its ability to unclog blood vessels.
It further underlined that this product is not licensed by MoHAP and its specifications are unknown. All the communicated information by the product is deceptive and not based on scientific grounds. Consuming these products could lead to health hazards to patients with high cholesterol and hypertension.
MoHAP said that its inspection team spotted a video on social media about a Asian man promoting a natural product containing red rice yeast.
He allegedly claimed that the product, after a month-long use, can help in unclogging and cleansing arteries, getting rid of cholesterol, triglyceride, and hypertension. It could protect users from heart attacks, improve blood circulation, enhance memory, physical activity, and sleep patterns.
Dr Amin Hussein Al Amiri, Assistant Undersecretary for Public Health Policy and Licensing said that the promotion of dietary supplements that are of unknown origin and not registered, whether locally or internationally, is morally unacceptable and may lead to health hazards since there are no sufficient studies and information about the product and its specifications.
Dr Al Amiri also warned about the risks arising from buying medicines and dietary supplements online and getting them delivered to their homes.
He further said: "Buying medicine and dietary supplements online became global practice. Therefore, MoHAP imposes strict measures to reduce the entry of such medicines to the country. The measures include the MoHAP employees being on an surveillance with Customs' employees across the country's airports and ports."
"If the inspection bodies seized such products, they would refer the package to MoHAP's employees to be destroyed," Al Amiri added.
"Social media platforms are a positive environment, but they might be used for false allegations. In order to increase their followers, some pages exploit people's concerns about finding the treatment for some chronic diseases without using the registered medicines. Unfortunately, this type of information finds credibility among some individuals who share, copy or republish this information in forums and chatting apps due to the simplicity of dealing with social media apps," Al Amiri elaborated.
He noted that some of this false information could lead to the loss of confidence in the approved medicines for which the pharmaceuticals have spent billions of dollars in conducting research, in addition to hundreds of experiments and trials before its approval.
Generating such rumors or triggering them is a violation of the informatics regulations," said Al Amiri.