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Abu Dhabi launches medicine home delivery service

ABU DHABI, April 7, 2020

Abu Dhabi Department of Health has launched a new initiative under which the emirate's residents will be able to get their medicines delivered at their homes, straight from the pharmacies.
 
Most of the outpatient pharmacies in the emirate have the approval to offer this service, reported the state news agency Wam.
 
All the DoH-licensed pharmacies in government (under SEHA, the Abu Dhabi Health Services Company) and private sectors, which adhere to mechanisms and requirements of DoH - Abu Dhabi's new standards for home delivery of patients' medication, have been authorised for this purpose, it stated.
 
Patients can now reach out to pharmacies directly to order medicines.
 
The service was originally launched to serve the demand of patients and for their convenience, especially for the elderly, vulnerable patients and those who live in remote areas, said senior DoH officials.
 
However, the timing of the launch is critical as it enables the health sector to support the government strategy to ensure taking preventive measures against the new coronavirus, Covid-19, including social distancing, protecting society by encouraging them to stay at home, and ensuring the continuity of care for all residents in the emirate, it added.
 
On the service charges, the DoH said the pharmacies can charge the customers for home delivery services. But iit is the discretion of each pharmacy on whether they intend to charge for the service or not, it added. 
 
The permitted drugs for home delivery are: Over the Counter, OTC (sold directly to a consumer without a prescription); Pharmacist Only, PhOM (sold without a prescription but its safe use requires professional advice) and Prescription Only Medications, POM (that legally requires a medical prescription to be dispensed).
 
For those who want to get home delivery of controlled and semi-controlled medications, special authorisation is required from the DoH - Abu Dhabi to ensure all legal and regulatory requirements are met, it added.
 
Controlled drugs are those that, if not used responsibly, can lead to addiction and have the potential to be abused by individuals. 
 
These medicines are administered to patients of acute and chronic diseases in accordance with modern medical practice. They are mostly administered to in-patients, said the statement from Wam.
 
The pharmacies have to follow drug storage guidelines to ensure that the medicines delivered to patients are packaged and sealed properly.
 
Therefore, pharmacists must ensure that refrigerated medicines are transported in a temperature-controlled container, maintaining the correct temperature as per product specifications during the transit.
 
Also these pharmacies have to maintain the confidentiality of patients’ information during the home delivery. Only patient’s name and his or her contact details will be mentioned on the package.
 
It is mandatory for patients to provide the pharmacy with an original medical prescription, whether digital or a hard copy, as well as verification documents of the patient or the recipient of the medicine, it added.



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