Medicine Usage and Trade in Yemen: Reality & Ambition [Archives:2001/32/Health]

August 6 2001

Yasser M. Ahmad
Yemen Times
The issue of medicine trade and usage in our country has been discussed and dealt with many times in the press. However, no notable steps were taken so far.
It is well known that various types and brands of medicine penetrate into our markets illegally through smuggling and corruption. It is about time this vital issue is taken seriously by the authorities concerned. In the capital of Yemen, Sana’a the first scientific symposium was held during 16-18 July, 2001 in the Yemeni Syndicate for Pharmacologists & Doctors. The Symposium aimed at acquainting the Yemeni doctors and pharmacologists with ways to tackle some problems concerning the trade and use of medicine. In addition to this, great attention was given to vocational and the scientific issues relating to the field of medicine and pharmacology. The symposium focused on the two issues: the Role of the Medicine Salesmen and the Negative Consequences of Medicine Smuggling
Role of the Medicine Salesmen
The role of medicine salesmen in pharmacies in the developing world have superficial knowledge in the field of medicine and lack the scientific knowledge regarding the proper way of giving instructions to medicine buyers on how to use their medicine.
The weak knowledge of those salesmen may well sabotage all the efforts of the inscribing doctor and demolish all the benefits of the medicine for the patient.
Studies have revealed that medicine salesmen in different pharmacies in the country did not give sufficient instructions to the patients. It is only logical to conclude that patience misuse their medicine unlike what had been inscribed by their doctors
Patients don’t receive the necessary instructions and information leading to deteriorating health conditions plus a waste of money. Sometimes patients don’t understand how to dose themselves causing possible poisoning and severe harm.
Negative consequences of medicine smuggling
Researches in the seminar also dealt with the negative impact of smuggling of medicine products. One of the main reasons of the spread of medicine smuggling is inflation and the greed of some dealers who aim through smuggling at gaining great amounts of money in a short time regardless to what they cause to the public.
So far, little has been done by the concerned authorities to stop smuggling as the excuse for the little action is the inability of the security forces to secure the borders. Those who are responsible in this field particularly the Ministry of Health has to take lawful measure against the outlaws.
There are inevitable consequences of smuggling of outdated medicine products including nephritic failure, cancer, digestive disease’s and immune-deficiency. Smuggling has a great impact on the social and economical facet. Those who work in smuggling have no working experience and are not specialized in this field causing a lot of damage to the patients using those medicine. The conditions are getting from bad to worse as more dealers found a haven in Yemen to sell their outdated or defected smuggled medicine.
The symposium concluded with a set of recommendations to the government in this regard for the sake of Yemeni people’s health and future.