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Withdrawal of licenses ‘arbitrary’
KUWAIT CITY, Sept 30: A member of the Board of Directors of the Kuwait Pharmaceutical Association Muhammad Nahis Al-Enezi affirmed that the manner in which more than 60 pharmacies were violated was marred by haste, selectivity, and discrimination in applying the law. In a press statement, he stressed that the decisions to close pharmacies and withdraw licenses were arbitrary and unprecedented.
Al-Enezi praised the existence of an impartial judiciary that all resort to in the State of Kuwait, revealing that the decisions resulted in submitting more than 60 grievances to the Minister of Health and filing fast-track cases at the Administrative Court against the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Commerce and Industry to stop the harm and abuse inflicted on pharmacy owners. He indicated that such decisions harm the reputation of pharmacists and license holders.
It is noteworthy that the Ministry of Health had issued a decision to close about 65 private pharmacies in mid-August, which led to the affected pharmacists resorting to the Administrative Court and filing a lawsuit to cancel the decision. A few days ago, the pharmacists succeeded in obtaining an urgent judicial ruling from the Administrative Court to cancel the decision of the Ministry of Health and reopen their pharmacies.
Meanwhile, Al-Enezi appealed to His Highness Prime Minister Sheikh Ahmad Al-Nawaf to hold accountable any minister or undersecretary who issues wrong administrative decisions that result in the wastage of state funds (or the ministry concerned) in the form of financial compensation in the event that final judicial rulings are issued. He stressed the importance of every state official bearing the consequences of his or her decisions. Al-Enezi said, “The laws regulating the sector of pharmacy and distribution of medicines are still under review in the relevant ministerial committee.
The Kuwait Pharmaceutical Association is represented in this committee, but it does not hold its meetings regularly and is rather slow in reviewing the laws.” He also called for amending the laws and placing them in a sound legal framework to improve the work environment. However, Al-Enezi said he wondered about the reasons for the “harsh campaign against pharmacy owners in the private sector despite their commitment to many new circulars regulating the sale of medicines” including electronic payment.
Furthermore, Kuwaiti pharmacist Shaima Abdul Hussein affirmed that the decision to withdraw licenses and close pharmacies was the result of simple administrative errors that do not amount to closure and do not affect the lives and health of patients. She praised the rulings of “the honest Kuwaiti judiciary” and congratulated her colleagues in the profession for the return of their rights and the opening of their pharmacies. In addition, pharmacist Bashayer Al-Mahrous expressed her happiness with the Administrative Court’s decision to cancel the decisions of the Ministry of Health. She said, “We were completely confident about the fairness and integrity of the Kuwaiti judiciary in supporting private sector pharmacists and lifting injustice against them. The decision to close pharmacies was made in an arbitrary manner, causing severe material and moral losses to pharmacists, patients, and the state.” She praised the fairness of the Kuwaiti judiciary.
By Marwa Al-Bahrawi
Al-Seyassah/Arab Times Staff
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