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Electronic system to keep tabs on tranquilizing drugs launched.

RIYADH: ARAB NEWSThe Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA) has launched an electronic system to control the prescription of mental stimulants and tranquilizers, which will control the mechanism of distribution to beneficiary bodies and health organizations.

The electronic system conforms to the rules and procedures of controlling mental stimulants and tranquilizers, sources told Al-Eqtisadiah.

The prescription of these medications will be linked with patients' IDs to protect their health.

The system will include all entities licensed to use tranquilizers, and will be linked with beneficiaries to enable the SFDA to control and follow up on these medications, according to the source.

It said the electronic system allows all government and private facilities to register and define their annual needs, which will be based on the type of drugs needed in addition to updating these needs if consumption increases or other medications need to be added.

Dr. Mohammad Abdulrahman Al-Mishl, executive president of the SFDA, said in a press release following the launch of the electronic system in Riyadh that the system will estimate the volume of tranquilizers, which will be imported and given to the patient.

He said the SDFA has started the first phase of building a data base for beneficiaries to estimate their needs of tranquilizers and control its import licenses.

The SDFA, he said, will approve electronic prescription during the second phase, and allow the sale of mental stimulants and tranquilizers in authorized pharmacies only.

This system prevents multiple prescriptions to the same patient and that each patient can have a single prescription which will be linked to the patient's civil ID card, according to Al-Mishal. These practices aim to protect patients' health.

Al-Mishal said this system will facilitate the process of following up on medication in case it needs to be recalled from the market. It will allow relevant authorities to control and make an inventory of stored quantities and places of these medications in Saudi Arabia. It also provides security authorities with accurate information in case of a criminal action.

He said the licenses to import medications reached 800 last year, pointing out that the system provides supervisory bodies with statistics about available quantities of these medications before their expiry date. It also facilitates the follow-up and inventory of expired medications.

The SDFA aims to convert to a comprehensive electronic system to ensure the safety of food and the effectiveness of medications.

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Publication:Arab News (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
Date:Feb 15, 2014
Words:412
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