Bahrain bans narcotic painkillers' stocking
Manama, December 25, 2012
Private clinics in Bahrain have been banned from obtaining, stocking and dispensing narcotic painkillers, said a top official.
Patients would now have to go through Bahrain's main hospital to be prescribed the drugs, Dr Baha Eldin Fathea, chief executive of the National Health Regulatory Authority (NHRA), was quoted as saying in a report by our sister publication, the Gulf Daily News.
Bahrain's health watchdog would no longer grant approvals for clinics to stock such medications, he added.
"Any patient who needs painkillers will have to go to Salmaniya Medical Complex (SMC) Accident and Emergency or any other hospital," he said.
"Article 18 of Law 15 of 2007 says that narcotics for private clinics can be issued only after the Health Minister decides on the amount to be given.
"But in 2008, the then health minister issued a directive saying all mood altering and narcotic drugs should only be supplied to hospitals and research centres."
However, Dr Fathea said the 2008 directive was never implemented and private clinics continued to acquire such drugs from the ministry.
"That has now been dispensed with, after this new directive has been issued," he added. "This directive will remain in place until such time a new ministerial order or a government directive is issued."
The action reportedly follows an incident in which hundreds of containers of restricted narcotic painkillers were seized from a private clinic of an SMC consultant on December 13. – TradeArabia News Service