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03 June 2023

Pharmacies shut down for violations

Dr. Amin Hussein Al Amiri, Assistant Undersecretary for Public Policy and Licensing Sector for the UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention and Vice Chairman of the Medical Licensing Committee(Supplied)

By Staff

The UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention has enforced the closure of medical and pharmaceutical establishments that have been found to violate healthcare laws and regulations.

The move follows the Ministry’s continuing nationwide intensive inspection drives to review healthcare centers and pharmaceutical companies are compliant and fully committed to the requirements stipulated by the Ministry to ensure the health and safety of UAE residents and nationals.

Since the beginning of 2016, the Ministry has ordered the closure of seven establishments--four medical centers and three pharmaceutical facilities-- for a duration ranging from 30 to 60 days.

Dr. Amin Hussein Al Amiri, Assistant Undersecretary for Public Policy and Licensing Sector for the UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention and Vice Chairman of the Medical Licensing Committee, said the Ministry has intensified its inspection campaign to ensure that medical services and pharmaceutical products offered are in line with the best local and global practices.

However, some of them have been given an opportunity to enhance their facilities to make them compliant with prevailing laws as well as safe for the well-being of the community.

Dr. Al Amiri added that one of the main reasons for the Ministry’s decision to conduct inspections was the difference in the records of prescribed medicines, including supervised private medicine and the pharmaceutical actual inventory.

Discrepancy in some of the pharmacies’ inventory clearly indicates that it is selling some of the items without prescription, leading to the possibility of misuse of the controlled and semi-controlled drugs that may lead to addiction in young people.

Dr. Al Amiri said that the Ministry has received a complaint from a patient about a pharmacy which was managed by an intern pharmacist in the absence of pharmacist-in-charge. This is clear violation of the Federal Law No. (4) of 1983 that states that a pharmacy is not allowed to be managed by unlicensed people.

Accordingly, the Committee decided to close the pharmacy for a period of 30 days, prohibiting the pharmacist-in-charge from working during the same period.

Closure of two pharmacies manipulating with controlled and semi controlled medication

The Ministry has also decided to close two pharmacies for a period of 60 days each while prohibiting the pharmacist-in-charge to work during the same period. The action was taken following the discovery of manipulations and inconsistencies in the number of medicines, indicating that they were sold through unofficial means.

Sterilization system

During a sudden inspection of a medical facility, inspectors observed that the dental clinic was very dirty with rusted and dusty dental tools and an old dental chair. In addition, there were expired dental medicines in large quantities and absence of any type of protection in the treatment room. Therefore, the Commission has decided to close the facility temporarily, allowing it improve upon the noted irregularities.

Closure of clinic with cancellation of license

Following continuous audit of systems and onsite visits, the Ministry has found a clinic to be operational without renewed license. Accordingly, the Committee has decided to close it entirely in the absence of a licensed doctor in the facility.

Closure of gynecological and childbirth clinic

After reviewing the inspection report of a gynecological and childbirth clinic, the Commission found that it had a preliminary approval and not the final approval. Moreover, it did not have any licensed employee and sold medicines to patients based on oral prescription from the doctor.

The inspecting team also found some sterile medical items in an open sterilization bags as well as some tools that were not packed in sterilized bags but were left in a closet with food items. Therefore, the Commission decided to close the clinic temporarily, allowing it to upgrade its facilities to attain the final license from the Ministry and recruit licensed medical and technical staff before reopening it.