Warning against sharing false drug info

Health ministry says false social media posts can result in serious and harmful consequences

The Ministry of Health and Prevention (Mohap) has warned the public about the proliferation of false and unfounded information of certain medicines that are currently being widely disseminated across various social media channels like Facebook, twitter.

Dr. Amin Hussain Al Amiri, Assistant Undersecretary for Medical Practice and Licensing Sector, Mohap, has revealed that news being posted on social media about various medications, particularly the Panadol Baby & Infant Suspension, are untrue.

Dr. Al Amiri said “There has been an increasing proliferation of wrong information on medical products being promoted across social media by deceptive people to induce panic within the community. These people have complete disregard for the health and safety of the public, as well as the potentially harmful consequences of spreading this information which might negatively impact patients suffering from serious health issues”.

Warnings against use of certain drugs via social media channels

As an example of the spread of these false information, Mohap has cited a post warning users against the use of Panadol Baby & Infant Suspension;

(Good Tip: To all those who use this medicine, you should throw it and avoid giving it to your kids as the original UK pharmaceutical has recalled the medicine in the UK, EU and some parts of the GCC. This is due to side-effects of the medicine which may lead to complications such as liver cancer. Please share this post to spread the benefits of this information, you might be able to save one person or child’s life.)

According to the Ministry, no aspect of the post and any other medicine, has been confirmed.

Mohap has also stressed that no warning about the medicine was issued by it nor by the manufacturing company. In line with this, the Ministry has assured the public of the safety of the product and warned that the circulating post is merely a rumour and is not a proven claim.

Misleading posts and news may result in harmful consequences

The Ministry has noted that believing immediately in these misleading and false social media posts can result in serious and harmful consequences. This is because most of the information would probably be incorrect, with the products in question not being registered or the photos not officially approved.

However, the news might reach and negatively impact the decision making of individuals who might refrain from their medical treatment or changing the doses without seeking council from knowledgeable healthcare providers, thus affecting the effectiveness of the medicine and which might be potentially fatal.

Mohap affirms commitment of ensuring the health and safety of the UAE

Al Amiri has affirmed the Ministry’s continuing commitment towards ensuring the health and wellbeing and the safety of the UAE—its nationals and residents. He assured the public that Mohap is working towards ensuring that proper healthcare reaches all members of UAE society.

Dr. Al Amiri revealed that the Ministry continues to remain steadfast in its efforts to promote over-all health and well-being of individuals and the UAE community as a whole according to the implemented laws and policies which were developed to regulate, register and monitor all pharmaceuticals products including traditional and herbal medicines, food supplements as well as other medical treatments. These treatments comply with a strict registration process, so the Ministry is able to monitor and ensure the safety of these drugs and safeguard the patient’s health and safety in line with the saying that “Prevention is better than cure.”

As such, the Ministry would like to encourage the public to cooperate by confirming the source of such posts to ensure its truth and legitimacy. The Ministry serves as the sole trusted source of up-to-date medical information regarding health and safety issues.

Lastly, Dr. Al Amiri urged all UAE nationals and residents to avoid publishing and promoting fake medical news and information from unofficial sources, as they tend to be inaccurate.

In the event that any individual would like to confirm the validity or truthfulness of any news product or social media post about medication currently registered in the UAE or concerning other relevant issues, please feel free to contact the Ministry through pv@moh.gov.ae or through its website http://www.moh.gov.ae/ar/services/pages/taminiservice.aspx

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