Qatar to issue law against counterfeit drugs

June 14, 2011

Qatar’s Supreme Council of Health’s Pharmacy and Drug Control Department (PDCD) has issued a new draft law to combat and criminalise the sale of counterfeit drugs in the country.

Dr Aisha Ebrahim Al Ansari, PDCD director, claimed once passed into law, it will be the first in Qatar and in the Middle East, Qatari daily Gulf Times said on Tuesday.

The draft law is currently being reviewed and will later be adopted and submitted to higher authorities for approval.

The counterfeit medicines problem is an issue all over the world related to the manufacturers’ complex distribution networks, she said.

According to the official, determining the size and extent of the problem of counterfeit medicines could be difficult for several reasons.

“The risks of taking counterfeit medicines are that they may not contain complete active ingredients being used by pharmaceutical companies or they may contain a lot of these active ingredients or wrong ones. It is also unhealthy and often manufactured in sites other than the licensed and registered, and is manufactured using equipment below health standards. All these constitute a clear threat to life,” she said.

The fight against counterfeit drugs required the co-operation of all parties concerned including the supervisory authorities of health and pharmaceutical companies, legal authorities, rights groups, consumer and legislative bodies, with increased awareness in the media and the different ways on the threat posed by counterfeit medicines on patient’s health and their safety, she said.

Al Ansari called on international drug companies to reduce prices globally and stressed that it was the best policy to combat counterfeiting of medicines.

“It is important for drug manufacturers to provide original medicines at affordable prices so that patients will not go for counterfeit medicines being sold at cheap prices,” she said.



About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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