CAIRO: An Egyptian court found the owners of three pharmaceutical companies guilty of manufacturing and selling counterfeit drugs to the public.
The owners of Daber Egypt Ltd., Nunu Misr for Child Care and Tri-M Medical were tried and convicted in absentia to one year in prison and fined LE 10,000. Their factories were shut down and company operations halted.
Kamal Sabra, deputy health minister for pharmaceutical affairs, said Tuesday that the ministry had filed a complaint with the prosecutor general last May against the three companies, accusing them of trading in counterfeit drugs.
The verdict comes on the heels of Prosecutor General Abdel Meguid Mahmoud’s approval of Minister of Health Hatem El-Gabaly’s request to crack down on media outlets that promote medical or beauty products not certified by the health ministry.
Mahmoud said he will pursue criminal legal proceedings against companies and supervisory authorities that prove to be involved in the production or distribution of illegal drugs and cosmetics.
El-Gabaly’s crackdown comes one year after Egypt banned pharmacies from selling medical or beauty products not certified by the health ministry.
Last March, the Ministry of Health in association with the Pharmacists’ Syndicate, proposed amendments to a law combating illegal drugs in Egypt that is to be discussed in the coming parliamentary session.
The health ministry’s official spokesperson Abdel Rahman Shahin previously told Daily News Egypt that fake and smuggled drugs are valued at approximately LE 1 billion, about 10 percent of the overall value of the pharmaceutical industry in Egypt.