Kuwait’s Ministry of Health initiates measures to boost drug security

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Minister of Health Dr. Ahmed Al-Awadi

KUWAIT CITY, Dec 3: In a proactive move to bolster the nation’s pharmaceutical capabilities, the Ministry of Health has outlined a set of six strategic measures aimed at enhancing treatments and fortifying the country’s drug stock. These measures, disclosed in response to a parliamentary inquiry by Representative Muhalhal Al-Mudhaf, were detailed by Health Minister Dr. Ahmed Al-Awadi.

  1. Pharmaceutical Policy and System Development: Minister Al-Awadi underscored the importance of “establishing and activating a system for evaluating, selecting, and classifying medicines.” This initiative includes the creation of a list of essential medicines that must be readily available at all times for patients in need. Furthermore, a proposal to update the law on drug circulation and pharmacy practices is underway to reinforce drug security and introduce substitution policies.
  2. Enhanced Storage Capacity: Al-Awadi highlighted the establishment of strategic warehouses in each health district, accompanied by additional facilities under medical warehouse management. The goal is to expedite the reception and distribution of medicines to hospitals, ensuring ample space for new shipments.
  3. Rationalizing Drug Usage: A program to review the use of medicines in hospitals and health centers is in the works, with a focus on linking patient health records with the medicine dispensing system. This integration aims to minimize waste, enhance efficiency, and contribute to national awareness campaigns promoting the rational use of medicines.
  4. Crisis Readiness: The Ministry is working on a reference guide for risk and crisis management in the pharmaceutical and medical equipment sector. This includes diversifying supply sources, prioritizing unified Gulf purchasing, and giving precedence to local contracting to ensure readiness in times of crisis.
  5. Supporting Pharmaceutical Research: A system for monitoring drug savings, forecasting needs, and establishing a database of national indicators for the pharmaceutical system is in development. This will aid decision-makers in selecting, pricing, and supplying medicines efficiently.
  6. Administrative Development: The Minister disclosed plans to expedite the documentary cycle for drug requests and contracts. Additionally, measures include the activation of policies for replacing redundant and expired drugs, reclassifying special order drugs, and enhancing the Oracle system in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance.

Addressing concerns about diminishing drug stocks, the Minister explained that fines were imposed on companies for reaching zero stock levels, attributing the issue to fluctuating production rates and acquisitions of pharmaceutical companies. The Ministry prioritizes addressing low-stock items by implementing corrective measures and imposing penalties on companies facing supply challenges, ensuring the urgent procurement of essential medicines from health offices.

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