Crackdown on pharmacies, pharmacists over violations

By Vinod Nair — MUSCAT: APRIL 29 – The Ministry of Health’s Pharmacy and Drug Control Department imposed penalties and warned a number of pharmacies for not to repeat such irregularities. The penalties included imposing a fine on some pharmaceutical companies and on a number of pharmacists in the range of RO 500 to RO 1,000. In some cases, pharmacies were shut down and the licence to practice the profession removed from a pharmacist. One of the pharmacies operating in North Al Batinah Governorate was referred to the Public Prosecution because the owner of the pharmacy was dispensing medicines in the absence of pharmacist. In another case, the committee decided to cancel the licence of a pharmacist and decided not to allow him to practice the profession in the Sultanate. The drugs were stored in a unauthorised building, which did not meet the health and technical requirements for the preservation of medicines and stipulated by Ministerial Resolution No 74/2000. The committee decided to impose a fine of RO 1,000 on a company in South Al Batinah Governorate because a car was used to store medicines in unsuitable conditions. A pharmacist from Dhofar Governorate was fined as she was absent from the committee for two consecutive terms. The committee imposed a fine of RO 750 on a drug store in Dhofar Governorate and a similar one on a pharmacist working in North Al Batinah for dispensing antibiotics without a prescription. IT also sold expired medicines. The Ministry of Health has urged all citizens and residents not to hesitate to report any irregularities or illegal practices monitored by any pharmaceutical institution. The Ministry of Health has issued an appeal that customers should not request any antibiotics from pharmacies without a prescription for the health and safety of everyone and the obligation to dispense medicines after a doctor and prescription. The meeting was held under the chairmanship of Dr Mohamed bin Hamdan al Rubaie, Director-General of pharmacy and drug control and chairman of the committee.