MOH: Promoting products through doctors is illegal

Updated 27 February 2013
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MOH: Promoting products through doctors is illegal

The Ministry of Health has made it illegal for pharmaceutical companies to use doctors working at public hospitals in the Kingdom to promote sales of their products through agreements that require them to dispense medicines manufactured solely by that company.
“The ministry has implemented a number of measures designed to prevent companies from promoting their products through doctors,” Assistant Director General of Health Affairs, Makkah Region, Dr. Abdullah Al-Zahrani, said.
“The Performance Supervisory Department is monitoring hospitals and clinics in this regard,” he added.
Dr. Al-Zahrani said the ministry will fine private hospitals that violate regulations. Some pharmaceutical companies are working to promote their products by targeting doctors. The companies offer gifts and free travel for promoting their products by writing prescriptions.
“There are some representatives of pharmaceutical companies who visit doctors in their clinics to show them their latest products and discuss how to promote their products. However, many doctors refuse to take commissions for prescription,” Dr. Abdul Al-Salam Ameer, a dentist at a private hospital, told Arab News.
Many prescriptions have been dispensed to patients, who did not need them, because the doctor’s deal with the company requires him to do so. “Representatives of pharmaceutical companies make inquiries at hospital pharmacies about sales of their products. This way they can determine if a doctor is keeping their agreement. Pharmacy staff often won’t deal with them,” Ameer added.
“Doctors should prescribe proper medicine at good prices,” Ahmed Ghunaim, an Egyptian resident said. “I suffer from toothaches. I went to a dental clinic but my dentist prescribed a really expensive medicine. Then I discovered that this clinic had contracted with a pharmaceutical company to sell this expensive medicine.”


Saudi Arabia to send Syrians an additional $100 million of humanitarian aid

Updated 2 min 15 sec ago
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Saudi Arabia to send Syrians an additional $100 million of humanitarian aid

  • Total relief provided by the Kingdom since the war began now stands at about $1billion
  • Latest package announced by Foreign Minister Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir at conference in Brussels

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia will provide an additional $100 million of humanitarian aid to alleviate the suffering of the people of Syria, through the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center.

The announcement of the latest aid package was made by Minister of Foreign Affairs Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir on April 25 at an international conference on the future of Syria and the region, held in the Belgian capital Brussels. He pointed out that the meeting comes after the suspected chemical attack in the city of Douma, in eastern Ghouta, which killed dozens of civilians, including women and children.

“The world is facing a regime allied with terrorist militias who believe that spreading atrocities and committing crimes will bring victory to it, and that war crimes are bearing fruit,” said Al-Jubeir. “In addition to bombing civilians with explosive barrels, the policies of starvation and siege, ethnic and sectarian cleansing, and the demographic change of Syrian cities and towns, its use of chemical weapons have shocked the entire world.”

He said that the only acceptable solution to the Syrian crisis is a peaceful political resolution, and that Saudi Arabia has been working to achieve this since the crisis began, while also working with others to end the continuing human tragedy in the war-torn country.

The Kingdom has played a role in unifying the ranks of the Syrian opposition and encouraging them to speak with one voice, he added. After the Riyadh 1 Conference in 2015, Saudi Arabia hosted the Riyadh 2 conference for the Syrian opposition in November 2017, which succeeded in unifying the factions and establishing a negotiating body to take part in the rounds of talks held since then, earning praise from the United Nations.

The foreign minister also reiterated his country’s support for the efforts of the UN secretary-general’s envoy, Stephan de Mistura, to resume negotiations between all sides of the conflict.

“The Kingdom hopes that the agreements endorsed by the international resolutions on the ceasefire and the delivery of humanitarian aid to its beneficiaries will be implemented throughout Syria, regardless of their ethnic, religious, sectarian or political affiliations, and calls for the speedy release of detainees and abductees and clarifying the situation of those absent,” said Al-Jubeir. “It also renews its demand to punish individuals and institutions for war crimes and to prevent their impunity.”

He added that the worsening humanitarian crisis affecting refugees inside and outside of Syria should add to the urgency of finding a political solution and resuming the negotiating process as soon as possible.

Since the war began, the Kingdom has taken in about two and a half million Syrians and treats them like its own citizens, Al-Jubeir said, providing them with free health care, work and education. Saudi universities and schools have more than 140,000 Syrian students. He added that Saudi Arabia is also supporting and helping to care for of millions of Syrian refugees in Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon, in coordination with the governments of those countries. The humanitarian assistance provided so far totals about $1 billion.