MOH warns against hoarding of masks, sanitisers

Muscat: An emergency meeting was held on Wednesday at the Directorate General of Pharmacy and Drug Control to discuss the issue of shortage of face masks and hand sanitizers in private pharmacies in the wake coronavirus cases reported in the country.

The meeting was chaired by Mohammed bin Hamdan al Rubaie – Director General of Pharmacy and Drug Control in the presence of officials from the Public Authority for Consumer Protection (PACP) and managers of private companies that import and distribute masks and hand sanitisers in the local market, including pharmacies.

The meeting discussed the availability of masks and hand sanitizers, including necessary regulations for their continued availability in pharmacies and shops at reasonable prices, while adhering to the necessary standard specifications.

It may be noted that the directorate had issued circular 43/2020, which said that distributors or producers shall sell these products only in local markets and are prohibited from exporting to foreign markets where these products are in demand.

The companies have been urged to consider this situation as ‘purely humanitarian and a special case’ as manufacturers from some countries are prevented from exporting these products in addition to the acute shortage of raw materials.

The meeting urged the local factories of these products to keep up with the steady increase in demand. “These products, whether produced by local companies or imported from abroad, must be in accordance with international specifications and standards. The companies should not take advantage of the situation by raising prices,” Rubaie said.

The meeting affirmed full coordination between the Directorate General of Pharmacy and Drug Control of the Ministry of Health and the Directorate General of Consumer Services and Market Protection at the Public Authority for Consumer Protection (PACP) to ensure compliance with the decisions of this meeting,

This will continue communication between the two directorates calling on everyone to adhere to the directions issued and issued by the official authorities and not to resort to illegal hoarding of these products.


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