UAE – H.E. Dr. Amin Hussein Al Amiri, Assistant Undersecretary for Public Health Policy and Licensing of the Ministry of Health and Prevention and chairman of the pharmaceutical board of trustees in UAE, chaired the recently held second meeting of the Board of Trustees of the pharmaceutical sector. Executives from local and international pharmaceutical company attended the meeting, in addition to local drug distributors, executives from private pharmacy chains, Ministry and local health authority’s officials.
H.E. Dr. Al Amiri said that the Board of Trustees was formed in pursuant of Ministerial decree No. 158 of 2017. Following the directives of the Minister of Health and Prevention, the Board members were carefully selected to ensure that all stakeholders in the pharmaceutical sector would be fairly represented.
Code of ethical pharmaceutical promotional and commercial practices
According to the Assistant Undersecretary, the attendees arrived at several decisions on pressing issues during the meeting, including the guidelines for the pharmaceutical promotional and commercial practices put in place to ensure that prescription and dispensing of medicines are based on the features of each product and on the patients need. The guide indicates the acceptable percentage of bonuses in the country.
Executive plans regulating drug distribution
H.E. Dr. Al Amiri also reviewed the Board’s responsibilities, including the establishment of a mechanism for consultation, cooperation, and coordination in important matters with relation to the pharmaceutical sector, including policies, development of executive plans regulating the distribution of medicines to protect public health, as well as the analysis of the dynamics of this market and its challenges and variables impacting the local pharmaceutical market. The executive plans are within the legal framework regulating medicine distribution and promoting coordination between parties concerned in this sector. The coordination will ensure sufficient supply of pharmaceutical products according to national needs.
Spotlight on locally produced medicines
Additionally, H.E. Dr. Al Amiri said the Board is also tasked to create effective mechanisms dedicated to facilitating the distribution of pharmaceutical products in the country, as well as encouraging innovation and creativity in the sector to guarantee the local market’s continuous growth and development. The Board members are also mandated to study various investment channels within the sector and extend support to locally produced innovative medicines to increase the country’s pharmaceutical industry’s global competitiveness. He also highlighted the new procedures that have been adopted to help speed up the registration process, especially the innovative medicines approved by the international bodies of medicine, including the acceptance of the files of medicines before its approval in the country of origin—making the UAE the second country in the world to screen, adopt and approve innovative drugs.
Focusing on the production of medicines for chronic diseases and preventing duplication of drug manufacturing
Lastly, H.E. pointed out that the Board’s objectives include laying the foundation for a healthy competition in the sector, avoid duplication in drug manufacturing, encourage specialization, and promote diversity in the pharmaceutical industry. The Board is focusing as well on the production of drugs used to address chronic diseases, including diabetes, obesity, hypertension, and heart diseases, that require chronic treatment programs, in line with the country’s goal to guarantee drug safety in the local market. Also the board discussed was acceptance of some local factories to produce medicines that are not supplied by the global manufacturers, and these will be distributed in the UAE and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.