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Pharmacists to hold exclusivity to advertise medicines

Fri, May. 5, 2017
CAIRO – 5 April 2017: Egypt’s Ministry of Health has provided local pharmacists the exclusive right to advertise medicines in accordance with the Pharmacy Practice Law, said Azza Yassin, representative of the Ministry of Health .

This came during the meeting of the Parliament’s Health Committee on Wednesday, which resulted in the decision that pharmacists would have control over the advertising activities related to their industry. The decision’s rationale is that the pharmacists’ expertise qualifies them to be in charge of advertising for medicines given their educational background and their knowledge about the manufacturing process.

Amendment of the law serves the purpose of not letting the pharmaceutical industry be infiltrated with competitive advertising tactics that prioritize profit at the expense of the Egyptian citizen’s health, according to the same statement issued by the Egyptian Pharmacist Syndicate.

According to the syndicate’s statement, the pharmaceutical union is keen on keeping everything related to the installation, manufacture, distribution and sale of medicines away from potential abusers. Moreover, the amendment also stipulates that foreign pharmacists practice medicine only after fulfilling the professional criteria devised by the Ministry of Health.

However, there are officials who are wary of the decision. “We cannot reserve all that relates to medicine to pharmacists only, because we have many qualified students graduating from other medical fields,” Parliamentarian Mohamed El-Shory told Egypt Today.

On 27 April, pharmacist Mustafa El-Wakil stated that the government uncovered about 76 medicine facilities operating illegally and that caused damages to the Egyptian citizens’ health.

On 30 April, the General Secretariat of the Parliament sent a letter to Mohie Obeid, Head of the Pharmacist Syndicate, saying that the discussion of the new pharmacy draft law was held on Tuesday and lasted for three days.
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