Dr Sassan Behjat, United Arab Emirates
An increasing demand for homoeopathic treatment by the people of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and a strong political will for regulation of complementary medicines have led to the establishment of a registration system for homoeopathic medicinal products under the Office of Complementary and Alternative Medicines of the Ministry of Health.
The objectives are to make available homoeopathic medicines within a legal framework that ensures consumer protection by guaranteeing that homoeopathic medicines imported into the UAE are of high quality, and that, for homoeopathic medicines sold directly to the public, adequate information is provided to allow informed decisions and to ensure safety of consumers.
Assessment is based on the safety and quality of the homoeopathic products. Manufacturers must be licensed and conform to GMP. Manufacturing processes should be in accordance with one of the internationally recognized pharmacopoeias. Restrictions are placed on advertisements, labelling and the dosage forms of the products. At the same time, homoeopathic practitioners are regulated and homoeopathic products can only be prescribed by licensed practitioners.
Continuing education of practitioners and pharmacists, and awareness programmes for the public, are of key importance.