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‘UAE protects public from error of giving wrong drugs’
By A Staff Reporter March 06, 2018
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DUBAI: The Ministry of Health and Prevention has issued a circular directing doctors practicing in the UAE private medical facilities to issue an electronic or printed medical prescription instead of handwritten ones within six months from the circular’s issuance date. The move will prevent the error of giving wrong medicines to patients by pharmacists due to illegible handwriting on prescriptions, which could lead to wrong medications being dispensed or incorrect doses recommended and this could in some cases cause serious complications. The circular is addressed to the directors of medical districts, managers of private and public medical facilities, private medical practitioners, and managers of private pharmacies.

Dr Amin Hussein Al Amiri, Assistant Undersecretary for the Ministry’s Public Health Policy and Licensing, said that handwritten prescriptions issued by government or private medical facilities will not be accepted after the indicated deadline. According to him, there are specific UAE laws that mandate precise details to be clearly written on the medical prescription including the medicine name, dosage, route of administration, the name of the patient and the doctor, the physician’s signature, and the date of the prescription.  He added: “To protect public health, we call on all health facilities licensed by the Ministry of Health to adhere to this circular and work on implementing its provisions in the best possible way.”

Dr Amin revealed that error due to illegible medical prescription is a global phenomenon. A US study conducted by the Medical Institute in Washington concluded that unreadable prescriptions lead to about 7,000 deaths worldwide

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