The days of popping into a Dubai pharmacy to grab a packet of Augmentin will soon be over…

A new draft law by the UAE Health Ministry has been created to prevent the dangerous practice of selling antibiotics without prescriptions.

In a report by the Khaleej Times, Dr Amin Hussein Al Amiri, assistant undersecretary for public policy and licensing at the Ministry of Health and Prevention (MOHAP) said that the new legislation is currently being drafted by MOHAP. He also added that the new law will follow the World Health Organisation’s guidelines.

The news comes after global reports indicated that between 50 and 80 per cent of germs have developed a strong resistance to antibiotics, which leads to the deterioration of the immune system. Dr Al Amri explained that this makes treatment more difficult and draws out the duration of a disease. In more serious cases this increases the risk of long term complications.

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Dr Al Amri added that the new law addresses in detail drugs that strictly require prescriptions, in a bid to further regulate the pharmaceutical profession and help stop practices which impact drug resistance.

The doctor also emphasised that the new law will be strictly regulated. The ministry and the local health authorities will intensify the supervision and inspection of pharmacies in the country to further assist in regulation, and doctors will also be made more aware of the need to be strict in the prescription of antibiotics.

You will, of course, still be able to get a prescription for antibiotics from your GP when necessary. Just when the new law and the no-prescription-antibiotics ban will start hasn’t yet been released.

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Image: Getty