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UAE issues guidelines for marketing medical products

They will also regulate relationship between pharma firms and doctors

Gulf News

Dubai: The Ministry of Health and Prevention on Saturday issued guidelines for marketing and trading in medical products in the UAE.

The guidelines aim to codify the standards that govern the relationship between medical product companies or their representatives with health-care professionals, to develop health-care practices and benefit patients.

It also aims to regulate the implementation of all marketing activities of medical products in accordance with the highest standards of ethical conduct, while adhering to appropriate procedures to ensure compliance with this system and other applicable rules of conduct.

The scope of application covers all institutions involved in the marketing of medical products in the UAE — local agents, marketing consultants, health-care providers including hospitals, health centres, pharmaceutical companies, doctors and pharmacists, among others.

Dr Ameen Hussain Al Amiri, assistant undersecretary for Public Health Policy and Licensing at the Ministry of Health and Prevention, said the guidelines were issued in accordance with the Ministerial Resolution No. 1412 of 2017, as part of the ministry’s strategy aiming to provide a vital legislative framework as well as excellent regulatory and supervisory services for the governance and leadership of the health sector in line with the country’s Vision 2021.

The guidelines will help regulate the circulation of pharmaceutical products so as to protect public health, identify and analyse the challenges and changes within legal frameworks governing the trading in pharmaceutical products as well as coordinate with bodies concerned to ensure the response to the national needs, thus enhancing the competitiveness of the medical sector to keep pace with global best practices.

Al Amiri added that the UAE market for medicines stood at Dh9.61 billion in 2016 while the value of spending on medicines is expected to reach Dh13.13 billion by 2020 and to Dh21.74 billion by 2025.

There are now 18 pharmaceutical factories in the UAE and by 2021, there will be around 34 factories, he further said.