In a circular issued on May 4, 2017, the Directorate General of Pharmaceutical Affairs and Drug Control, MoH, stated, “It has been found that some companies are importing medicines through air courier without taking prior permission from the
Directorate General of Pharmaceuticals and Drug Control. The importation and wholesaling of medicines are allowed only for licensed drug stores, according to Article 1 of the Pharmacy Practice Law issued by Royal Decree 35/2015.”
The circular further stated that import of medicines should take place only after approval from the directorate. “All are strictly advised to follow the law, failing to do so, the issue will be referred to the Pharmaceutical Violation Committee for legal action.”
An official from the ministry said, “There are medicines which are allowed to be carried for personal use. Such medicines if within permissible limits are released by MoH. However, if it is in large quantity then there are restrictions.”
Regarding medicines which need prior approval, he said, “There are many people who get medicines through courier companies. People also get medicines through their relatives or friends which are confiscated at the airport if permissions were not taken. The confiscated medicines are dumped in the ministry’s storehouse.”
The official also informed that a large quantity of illegally-brought medicines were taken from the storehouse in Al Khuwayr recently and destroyed with the help of Be’ah.