Bahrain 'free of fake medicines'
Manama, May 12, 2013
Bahrain is free of counterfeit medicine due to its rigid monitoring and control of imported products, a top official said.
However, it should not lower its guard against "gangs" that are always looking to find new ways of introducing fake products, National Health Regulatory Authority (NHRA) chief executive officer Dr Bahaa Eldin Fateha was quoted as saying by the Gulf Daily News, our sister publication.
"We assure people that no counterfeit medicine is present in Bahrain," he added.
"This is due to the rigid monitoring and control of medicine coming to the country and is also due to partnerships with bodies concerned to deal with such issues, including an excellent partnership with the Customs Directorate.
"But we have to be alert against gangs that produce fake medicines with no respect for human health and life and try to find ways to introduce such products in the market."
Dr Fateha was speaking on the sidelines of the Drug Safety and Counterfeit Medicines Meeting, which was held at the Ritz-Carlton, Bahrain Hotel and Spa.
The event, under the patronage of Health Minister Sadiq Al Shehabi, was organised by the NHRA and sponsored by the French regulatory body Servier. It featured around 130 experts in the field from various countries, including the US, the UK, the UAE and Bahrain.
Dr Fateha stressed one of the main objectives of the NHRA since its establishment by royal decree in 2009 was not to allow a single tablet, ampule or bottle of medicine of suspicious origin into the country.
"This was one of our main objectives and we will continue with it," he said. "This conference is all about being ready to act should that threat resurface."
One of the NHRA's key goals is to prevent medicine bought online from entering the country and only allow those imported with an unequivocal prescription.
Meanwhile, Health Minister Sadiq Al Shehabi said Bahrain's annual budget for medicine is around BD40 million ($105.7 million).
"The ministry has taken precautions to ensure all medicine entering the country is safe and effective," he said.
"Strict regulations to monitor and test medicines are present, where random samples are taken to be tested to ensure it is not fake and is effective. I can assure that medicines available in Bahrain is the safest." – TradeArabia News Service