Emirates ID mandatory for controlled medicines in UAE

Emirates ID mandatory for controlled medicines in UAE

Dubai - Patients will not be able to have more medications than they need from multiple doctors or pharmacies.



by

Asma Ali Zain

Published: Tue 2 Jul 2019, 4:00 PM

Last updated: Wed 3 Jul 2019, 8:48 AM

All patients seeking controlled or semi-controlled drugs will have to present their Emirates ID when a new medicine dispensing system goes live starting this month. The system has been put in place to prevent the abuse of prescribed controlled, psychotropic and narcotic drugs.
Called the OpenJet, the Unified Electronic Platform has been developed by the Ministry of Health and Prevention in collaboration with the Ministry of Interior and will be rolled out across the country. "This is one system for the whole UAE where the amount of medication given is tracked through the ID," said Dr Fatima Murad Rahim, deputy director of drug department at the ministry.
Patients will not be able to have more medications than they need from multiple doctors or pharmacies. Once a patient visits a doctor, he will be asked to present the Emirates ID, which is then inserted into a reader. Based on the need, the required medication and a refill will be prescribed. This prescription will be recorded in the online system, which links all the pharmacies in the country.
A pharmacist, who chose to remain anonymous, said the system was similar to the one used in the US. "Once the prescription enters the system, we cannot dispense more than required," he said.
At times, doctors don't remember the amount of medicines they had prescribed previously, he added. "Now, once a doctor enters the card into the reader, all details of the patient pop up in the system, showing how much was prescribed and when the follow-up dose is needed."
This way, the patient will also not be able to hop pharmacies with the same prescription, he added.
"At the pharmacies, we will not be able to fill in more than needed since the system will reject it, showing that the patient had taken it earlier," said the pharmacist.
At least 45 deaths have been reported in the UAE over the past three years due to misuse of medical drugs, according to a senior official from the Ministry of Interior.
Brigadier Saeed Al Suwaidi, director general of the anti-drug federal directorate-general, had earlier said that the number of deaths from usage of medical drugs was highest in 2013 at 27.
asmaalizain@khaleejtimes.com
 


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