Arab Pharmacists Meet in Sanaa [Archives:1998/18/Law & Diplomacy]

May 4 1998

The extraordinary meeting of the Council of Arab Pharmacists Association was held during 25-27 April in Sanaa to discuss topical issues concerning Arab pharmacists and doctors alike.
Dr. Ahmed Sameer Al-Noori, President of the Arab Pharmacists Association, stressed the importance of “formulating a medicinal policy and a general strategy to establish a strong foundation to better serve the drug sector in the Arab world.”
He added: “The pharmacist is responsible for drugs in terms of industry, dispensation, and administering. The responsibility must be carried out with high professional ethics, as medicines affect the very existence of a human being.”The participants in the meeting discussed reports submitted by the previous meeting which was held in Tunisia and followed the extent of implementing its decisions and recommendations. Regarding the Arab world in general, the Arab Pharmacists Association emphasized its commitment to integrating the drug sector. As for Yemen, the Association expressed its admiration for this country’s honorable positions.
The meeting called for the following:
– Establishing a common Arab medicine market
– Achieving Arab medicine security
– Developing the Arab medicine industry
The participant doctors and pharmacists commended Yemen’s policy of openness to other Arab medicine markets. They also called for protecting the Arab medicine industry from any changes in world markets, especially when relevant WTO terms come into effect in 2005.
Dr. Al-Noori said: “We observed that in Yemen there are pharmacies run by unqualified people. Medicines are not like any other commodity. They are directly related to the health and life of the people who take them. Only fully qualified and licensed pharmacists can dispense medicines.
“We also visited the medicines factory in Yemen and feel very proud of what we have seen. There is a lot of cooperation between this factory and factories in Syria and other parts of the Arab world. Yemeni medicines are not subsidized by the state, yet they are sold at reasonable prices.
“The Arab Pharmacists Association has adopted a plan to compile a unified Arab pharmacopoeia.”
Following this meeting, a permanent committee was formed to start work on this pharmacopoeia, which will include the specification of raw material imported by the Arab medicine industry. This will facilitate registering medicines produced in one country in all other Arab countries.
“The Arab Scientific Academy of Pharmacy was established. An Arab center for drug research and monitoring will be established in Libya,” said Dr. Al-Noori.
Mr. Ali Obeid Al-Salami, Deputy Minister of Health, said: “Yemenis and the rest of the world aim to achieve administrative and financial reform. That is why we in Yemen always aim to provide the citizens with reasonably priced medicines, despite the Ministry’s limited resources.
“We also aim to modernize our laws to go with the rest of the world.
“The other important thing is regulating the distribution of medicines and establishing regional warehouses within easy access of health establishments. That is why the Ministry of Health wants to get more participation by society to financially support the Ministry of Health.”
Ahlam Al-Mutawakil,
Yemen Times