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Dubai: The health authority in the UAE is cracking down against products sold on social networking sites that may contain microbial contamination.

The Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) issued a circular warning residents against purchasing the unregistered supplements sold online.

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Dr Fatima Murad, deputy director of the Medicine Department at MoHAP, said that the warnings were issued against health supplements manufactured in the US by Eight and Company LLC, Sprayology and King Bio, “due to possible microbial contamination”.

On its website, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that: “The administration or use of drug products with microbial contamination could potentially result in increased infections that may require medical intervention, and could result in infections that could be life threatening to certain individuals.”

The ministry also issued a warning against batch No. 476597 of the "Accu-Chek Performa 50 Test Strips" which may produce high or low false results.

“The product is safe and registered with the health authority. However, in the interests of patient safety, the ministry of health warned against using these affected devices,” said Dr Murad.

The ministry stressed on the dangers of purchasing medicines online, and pointed out that fake medical products are constantly advertised on the internet and social networking sites. Statistics issued by the World Health Organisation (WHO) showed that more than 95 per cent of medicines being promoted on the internet are fake and adulterated, while the trade volume of counterfeit medicines is valued at US $100 billion (Dh367 billion) annually.   

The UAE's strict regulations have succeeded in reducing the spread of fake medicines in the country, and with the cooperation of the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA), has blocked a number of websites that promote fake medicines.

The Ministry of Health and Prevention urged the public to submit their queries of medical products by phone: 02-3201448 or by e-mail: pv@moh.gov.ae.