The UAE’s Ministry of Health and Prevention (MOHAP) has warned against the rise of counterfeit drugs online and said that the ministry is currently keeping a close watch on websites suspected of this activity.
H E Dr Amin Hussein Al Amiri, assistant undersecretary for the public policy and licensing sector at MOHAP, cautioned residents and citizens from buying medicines from online, saying that 90% of the drugs promoted online are counterfeit and life threatening according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
Dr Amiri said that according to WHO, counterfeit drugs kill hundreds of thousands of patients annually.
According to a press release, most of the counterfeit drugs sold online and smuggled into countries are medicines used to treat chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and obesity. Fraudsters capitalise on the increasing demand for such products and the high prices of original medication. There is also a lack of awareness about the issue.
Dr Amiri said that many of these counterfeit medications are promoted via social media networks.
MOHAP plans to oganise a conference next months to discuss the rise of counterfeit goods in the market and how it can be tackled.
The Second Emirates International Conference on Combating Drug Counterfeiting Next month will be held from May 1 to 2, 2017 and will be attended by organisations such as the US food and Drug Administration (FDA), Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), the European Drug Authority, the United Nations (UN), the Belgian Drug Authority, the US Government Drug Enforcement Office, the Swedish Drug Authority and Society for the Protection of Property Rights, Dubai Health Authority (DHA), the Health Authority – Abu Dhabi (HAAD), the General Administration of Drugs at the Ministry of Interior, and the Ministry of Economy.