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 Cultural Exhibition concludes in Moscow

Seven Saudi films from young local directors streamed during the exhibition. (SPA)
Updated 18 June 2018
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Saudi Cultural Exhibition concludes in Moscow

JEDDAH: The Saudi Cultural Exhibition in Moscow, organized by the General Culture Authority on the sidelines of the FIFA World Cup, has concluded its activities and events.
The four-day exhibition attracted a large number of visitors, who were informed about Saudi culture, art and heritage through short films, traditional costumes, folkloric shows, and books translated into Russian.
There were also various pavilions, including for Arabic calligraphy, Saudi hospitality, Arabic coffee, henna and fine art, as well as one aimed at children. Seven films by young Saudi directors were screened, and were well received by audiences.
Seven Saudi films from young local directors streamed during the exhibition.
The exhibition was part of the General Culture Authority’s efforts to inform people about Saudi culture, art and identity.