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Healthcare Issues / 28 Dec 2017

Ministry of Health and Prevention chairs meeting of Higher Committee for Monitor and Review of Schedules of Narcotic and Psychotropic Substances

Ministry of Health and Prevention chairs meeting of Higher Committee for Monitor and Review of Schedules of Narcotic and Psychotropic Substances

Pursuant to the amendments to Federal Law No. 14 of 1995, the Higher Committee for Monitor and Review of Schedules of Narcotic and Psychotropic Substances recently held a meeting chaired by His Excellency Dr. Amin Hussein Al Amiri, Assistant Undersecretary of the Ministry of Health and Prevention’s (MOHAP) Public Health Policy and Licenses and Chairman of the Higher Committee for Review of Schedules of Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances. Present during the gathering were representatives from the Federal Drug Control Authority, the Department of Criminal Evidence of Dubai Police, and Dubai Courts, Sharjah Courts, Dubai Police, , Abu Dhabi Health Department, .and Department of Criminal Evidence of  Abu Dhabi Police

H.E. Dr. Al Amiri said the Ministry will continuously cooperate with the Higher Committee to protect the society from dangerous narcotic substances that cause health and economic burdens. Forming part of this commitment is to update laws and legislations increasing control of narcotic and psychotropic drugs, as well as ensure that free zones strictly comply with federal laws on importation and re-exportation in collaboration with concerned administrators. The collaboration also covers continuous development of relevant effective mechanisms.  

He referred to the importance of the role of the Ministry of the Interior, local police departments, the Public Prosecutor's Office and the recommendations made by the Committee in order to provide medical and security reasons for encircling and criminalizing users in the judiciary. He pointed to the leadership of the UAE in the field of combating narcotics and psychotropic substances, through the inclusion of any material that causes scientifically proven drug impact, and added that the country has succeeded in fulfilling its international obligations as the ratification of all international conventions on drugs and psychotropic substances.

Quasi-control and disposal of illegal substances based on Interpol guidelines 

The Committee discussed the misuse of the drug Tropicamide, which is used to enlarge the pupil and is available in two concentrations: MYDRIACYL 0.5 per cent 15ML BELG and MYDRIACYL 1 per cent 15ML DP BELG, where observations were received on this subject in the administration of medicine. A survey was also prepared to measure the change in consumption. Where there was contact with the local agent and private pharmacies and the questionnaire was found to be a misuse of this drug by young people between 20 to 30 years of age. In places where pharmacies did not offer this drug initially and started offering it later, the drug consumption rates increased by an average of 74 per cent to 102 per cent between 2015 to September 2017. The existence of wrong practices in the use of this product globally and locally by some addicts to maintain the effect of the drug for longer periods of time, were also discovered. The Supreme Registration Committee adopted conversion of the exchange of Tropicamide (eye drops) from POM (administered as a prescription) to a semi-controlled drug. On the other hand, in order to reduce the abuse of medical means (Ethyl Chloride Sprays), the dispensary was modified to be marketed as a semi-controlled product, and it is used as a sprayer residue from playground injuries. It was noted that there were some abuses and misuses locally and globally on this matter.

Approval of the addition of any compounds belonging to the NBOMe and psychologically active groups was added to Table 5 (within the phenethylamine derivatives groups). The NBOMe group was publicized by Interpol in October 2017. The meeting also dealt with the establishment of a mechanism to destroy seizures sent by the Public Prosecution that are not mentioned in Tables 1, 2, 4 and 5.

Discuss requirements of the dialogue meeting with partners of General Department of Forensic Science and Criminology 

On the other hand, in order to search for the possibility of anticipating the state to know the new drugs in the domestic market and abroad. The Committee's work included discussing the mechanism of affiliation to a program that limits all narcotics listed in the Anti-Narcotics Law so that it can be easily searched on the lists, in addition to newly discovered materials such as the UN Smart Program. It was found that the Forensic Evidence Department in Abu Dhabi Police was the forerunner in this regard and the participation of the rest of the federal authorities was agreed upon.

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