The Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA) is setting up an electronic system to track pharmaceuticals from production to consumption, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.
The aim is to track products’ distribution and ensure their availability and safety. The system will be supplied with data from barcodes on packaging. The SFDA is testing it in partnership with relevant authorities before the official launch.
After that, a smartphone app will be launched to enable consumers to read the barcodes, ensure product safety, check prices and registration details, read warnings, send comments and report side effects.
The initiative aims to tackle drug fraud, reduce the wasting of medicines, and pull a drug from the market if a warning is issued.
In April, the SFDA also ordered drug and pharmaceutical companies to refrain from advertising on social media platforms unless they have obtained a license to promote their products.
The SFDA issued the order in the wake of a reported increase in the number of pharmaceutical products advertised on social media sites.
In addition, the SFDA announced it would strictly apply penalties stipulated by the Pharmaceutical Firms Systems and Regulations if drug companies violate the decision.
Advertising material, including data and leaflets, should not propagate information that does not comply with the content and chemical properties of pharmaceutical and herbal products.