Still from the first meeting of the Board of Directors of the Emirates Drug Establishment Image Credit: Supplied screengrab

Abu Dhabi: Following its formation by the UAE Cabinet earlier this month, the Board of Directors of the Emirates Drug Establishment held its inaugural meeting to outline strategies that will enable it to achieve its overarching objectives, foster collaboration for public health enhancement, and reinforce the UAE’s standing as a global and regional hub for the pharmaceutical and medical sectors.

Chaired by Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Emirates Pharmaceuticals Foundation, the meeting was attended by Dr Maha Taysir, Deputy Chairperson of the Board; Dr Fatima Mohammed Hilal Al Kaabi, the General Director of the Foundation, as well as the council members Dr Issa Abdul Fattah Kazim, Badr Saleem Al Ulama, Dr Aamer Ahmed Sharif, Dr Farhan Malik, and Professor Chris Evans.

During the meeting, the Board emphasised the need to align the institution’s organisational structure with international best practices and proposed a comprehensive operational plan to improve the quality of services provided to patients and the community. The Board underscored the importance of enhancing the availability, quality, safety and effectiveness of medical and pharmaceutical services and discussed strategies to attract leading industry professionals to the UAE’s medical workforce.

In his opening remarks, Dr Al Zayoudi outlined the institution’s primary goals, which include developing research and development, attracting both local and foreign investment, and enhancing the national production and export of high-quality medical and pharmaceutical products.

Drug security

He said: “Under the guidance of our wise leadership, the UAE is strengthening its global position as a hub for the future economy, rooted in knowledge and innovation, and has become a preferred destination for attracting investments and talent, particularly in the medical and pharmaceutical manufacturing sectors. The Emirates Drug Establishment aims to enhance the UAE’s leading role in the medical field by developing our national drug manufacturing capabilities, accelerating research and development, and attracting targeted investment in the pharmaceutical sector. This will contribute to greater drug security in the UAE and wider region, and we look forward to the many untapped benefits that await.”

Regarding drug security, he outlined the establishment’s commitment to developing national processes to guide the development, accreditation, manufacturing, marketing, and distribution of pharmaceutical and medical products in line with the highest global standards and practices.

As the Director of the Emirates Drug Establishment, Dr Fatima Al Kaabi said: “In our ongoing efforts to establish the Emirates Drug Establishment as a trusted partner in elevating healthcare standards in the country, we will forge ahead with building the Establishment’s organisational structure and recruiting a highly skilled workforce both in line with the outcomes of the Emirates Drug Establishment Board of Directors’ inaugural meeting and the most stringent international benchmarks.”

About the Establishment

The UAE Cabinet approved the formation of the Board of Directors for the Emirates Drug Establishment in December. This board, which will serve a three-year term, is tasked with overseeing the federal institution’s mandate to regulate and manage all medical products at the national level. The institution’s jurisdiction extends across the entire country, including free zones, and encompasses a broad spectrum of products. These include pharmaceuticals, medical devices, healthcare products, essential items, nutritional supplements, cosmetics, veterinary preparations, fertilisers, agricultural conditioners, plant growth regulators, pesticides, and products of genetically modified organisms. The Council of Ministers’ decree law also permits the inclusion of any other medical products.