DUBAI: People with blindness resulting from hereditary retinal degeneration now have hope as a drug to treat the condition is being evaluated by the UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention.

The UAE is one of the world’s first countries to obtain this drug.

Making an announcement to this effect at a meeting of the Drug Registration Committee which was held under the chairmanship of Dr Mohammad Salim Al Olama, Under-Secretary of the Ministry and Vice-Chairman of the Higher Committee for Drug Pricing and Registration and Dr Ameen Hussain Al Amiri, Assistant Undersecretary for Public Health Policy and Licensing, the authorities discussed the technical committee outcomes for registering innovative medicines manufactured locally or internationally.

The total number of such medicines was 94, including 15 innovative products, 14 biological preparations and 65 generic medicines. The pricing of 213 drugs was also discussed.

Al Amiri said MoHAP depends on clinical studies implemented in other countries when it comes to evaluation of pharma products.

“Developing a new pharmaceutical product usually takes 10 years including laboratory studies. The new product is then tested to check interaction of pharmaceutical compounds with living organisms and assure their pharmacological movement in terms of absorption, metabolism processes and methods of excretion. The aim of these tests is to evaluate the side effects and toxicity expected, as well as to determine the effective therapeutic dose, as well as lower, higher and toxic doses. The drug is then tested on patients according to a controlled clinical plan, then to be submitted to global bodies to evaluate and approve its use and put it on the market,” Al Amiri said.