x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Pharmacies closed over violations

Authorities found a sanitation worker and perfume representative selling medicine to the public.

Two pharmacies in the northern Emirates have been closed for 60 days and their cases referred to police after authorities found a sanitation worker and perfume representative selling medicine to the public. Representatives of the Pharmaceutical Authorisations Committee (PAC) found the unqualified staff posing as pharmacists when visiting the two facilities for inspections. The PAC can close any facility in the northern Emirates found to be violating the 1983 federal pharmacy law, which requires that all pharmacies be manned by a fully qualified pharmacist at all times.

The two workers were referred to the police for selling medication to the public illegally. The committee suspended for 60 days the licences of the trained pharmacists who were supposed to be on duty. During a recent meeting at the Ministry of Health, Dr Amin al Amiri, the head of the PAC and executive officer for medical practice and authorisation, said: "The inspectors' reports prove that the two drugstores were run in the absence of the authorised pharmacists. Both fraudsters were on residence visas, but were supposed to be working as a sanitation worker and a perfume seller."

He added that the ministry is strict on such serious infringements of the law, as every breach puts a member of the public's health at risk. The ministry did not identify the closed pharmacies. munderwood@thenational.ae