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EDITOR IN CHIEF- ABDULLAH BIN SALIM AL SHUEILI

MoH taking steps to ensure adequate supply of medicines

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Muscat: The Ministry of Health, represented by the General Directorate of Medical Supply, is taking all measures to tackle shortage of medical supplies and ensure adequate stock of medicines.


Ibrahim bin Nasser al Rashidi, Director-General of the General Directorate of Medical Supply, said Oman, like other countries in the world, faces shortage of medical supplies that affect health services.


He explained that one of the main reasons for the shortage of medicines is the logistical challenge faced by local and international suppliers due to restrictions on shipping, customs delays, or lack of raw materials. Political factors and economic fluctuations have a role in the smooth flow or obstruction of the transport and distribution of medicines in general.


He pointed out that patients suffer from a lack of medicines, which causes a delay in the treatment plan. Pharmacists are exposed to pressure in meeting patients’ needs.


He stated that the shortage hits patients with chronic diseases more badly as they need medicines on a regular basis. Some of these medicines may be life-saving, pain-reducing, or speeding up the recovery process.


Al Rashidi said the MoH is working to secure the supply of vital medicines including improving the speed of supply operations and enhancing the capacity for local production of vital medicines.


On the main challenges of the drug shortage, the top official stated that there are economic and logistical challenges, political crises, climate change, challenges related to the quality of the drug, the lack of alternatives in the local market, and the unexpected increase in drug consumption.


He stressed that there are many measures taken to confront the drug shortage by enhancing awareness and improving oversight of drugs and pharmaceutical industries, as this can be achieved by following quality and safety standards in drug manufacturing and distribution.


Regarding enhancing local production and international cooperation to secure medicines, the government is encouraging businesses to invest in the pharmaceutical industry and encourage companies in domestic development and production of more medicines.


He stressed that the ministry seeks to enhance international cooperation to secure medical supplies through cooperation with the World Health Organization and other countries, which helps ensure the availability of necessary medicines in Oman and avoid shortages in the future.


Heba bint Njeim al Abri, a pharmacist at the General Directorate of Medical Supply, indicated that there are many solutions and procedures followed to reduce the shortage of medicines.


She stated that among the measures is to increase investment in the pharma sector and establish strategic partnerships to purchase and distribute medicines effectively in line with the priorities of the Oman Vision 2040. — ONA


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