x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Police warn pharmacists

Police in the northern emirates are warning private medical practitioners, clinics and pharmacies against dispensing drugs without prescriptions.

SHARJAH // Police in the northern emirates are warning private medical practitioners, clinics and pharmacies against dispensing drugs without prescriptions. Ajman Police have closed five pharmacies this year that were offering drugs without an official prescription, said Col Majid Salim al Nuaimi, head of the CID. The head of the anti-narcotics department, Col Khalifan Nassir al Suwaidi, said police were carrying out regular inspections together with the Ministry of Health to catch prescription violators.

The drug most commonly sold without prescription was Valium, with evidence that some shops' staff were accepting cash in lieu of prescriptions, said Col al Suwaidi. Yesterday's warning from the northern emirates' police marked the International Day Against Drug Abuse. Brig Humaid Mohammed al Hudaidi, the director general of Sharjah Police who also heads an anti-narcotics national committee, said medical authorities needed to strictly control drug prescriptions and monitor pharmacists. He warned private medical practitioners, clinics and pharmacies that those who engaged in unethical actions would be prosecuted.

"We're all aware of the risks caused by the spread of drugs in our communities and the price our young dear ones have had to pay for this," Brig al Hudaidi said. The UN Office on Drugs and Crime this week released the World Drug Report 2009, which found that the UAE was increasingly becoming a market and trafficking point for illegal narcotics. ykakande@thenational.ae