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Medicines in Dubai to have distinct barcodes

Dubai Health Authority adopts international standard to eliminate errors in pharmacies

Gulf News

Dubai: Medicines dispensed by pharmacies at Dubai Health Authority (DHA) health centres and hospitals will now have barcodes to reduce the possibility of errors, a senior official said on Tuesday.

Humaid Al Qutami, chairman of the board and director-general of DHA, said the barcode system provides comprehensive and intelligent solutions in the management of pharmaceuticals and drug dispensations, relying on the world’s most widely used barcode system, GS1 Standards, which is implemented by the majority of international companies and pharmaceutical companies.

The DHA has made it obligatory for all pharmaceutical companies, agents and suppliers to supply medicines with a barcode based on the GS1 Standards and 2D Data Matrix.

Dr Ali Al Sayed, director of the pharmaceutical services department at DHA, said the department is overseeing the system to verify the barcodes’ compliance with approved systems.

He added that the barcode system is compatible with the EPIC system and the smart pharmacy system. He pointed out that the system is the first step in a larger project that aims to ensure the supply chain and the safety of drugs supplied to the authority and to avoid any counterfeiting and cheating with drugs. He said that the authority will be working with GS1 in the next phase to ensure the safety of medication.