Wednesday, 30 November 2016

More in medications’ issue

The main headline in the first page of al-Wafd newspaper on Sunday, November 27 was: “medications’ crisis hits health system”… with a subtitle reading: “mafia stands behind disappearance of diabetes, cardio, chest, orthopedics, anaemia medications and medical solutions”…

Everyone knows that the head of al-Wafd party is Dr. Sayed el-Badawi; one of the big names in the pharmaceutical industry in Egypt… and so, al-Wafd newspaper investigative about medications enjoys a special kind of credibility… the thing that makes me continue what I have started around the medications’ issue in Egypt and the necessity to open all its files.

I have already received comments and phone calls regarding the matter… most important, honest and clear of them was that of another big name; who had a long history in the pharmaceutical industry during the sixties… the man said he is in favor of the necessity to have an independent entity supervising the pharmaceutical policy in Egypt and that should be kept away from the negative issues regarding medication… most dangerous of these negative issues is the lack of experience of health ministers who usually come from the medicine sector… and so, the problem being discussed is subjected to politics and empty speeches which eventually badly affect the pharmaceutical industry in Egypt… in addition to some who make use of medications’ subordination to the ministry as money keeps flooding from the fees imposed over registration and other activities and then turns into bonuses.

I received another comment from professor Dr. Muhammd Ra’ouf Hamed whom I depended on a study of his in previous articles I wrote… I here excerpt part of what he said – due to the limited space – around the comments I received:
 “all these comments say “enough supreme councils in everything because they became synonym for non-effectiveness and corruption”… Let me tell you that I totally agree to this point of view, due to the reality we live… as there are already tens of supreme councils that we definitely would have been better in all fields if most of them were up to the tasks assigned to them.

In such regard, I have two notices:

First: the supreme council for medication is an “entity” with a major task of managing the development of national industry of medications, planning and applying policies of making medication available for citizens… being an entity, it means it is a system that can hold the name of the supreme council for medication or any other suitable name.
The important thing is that this entity should be the one entitled to organizing, following and developing all the national affairs of medications which shall be under its control; like responsibilities, tasks and systems… whether these systems were governmental, investment, private, public sector…etc.

Second: in order for this entity to succeed in fulfilling its mission, it has to work according to a scientific methodology in the first place and through the systematic discipline which basically means three things:

First thing: conditions and future aspects of policies, strategies, applications and evaluations are built upon the basis that all national or local entities of medications; whether inside or outside the government, are part of one system.
Here we shall mention that the system is identified as: parts with interconnections that look like one entity due to the organization of such interconnections.

Second thing: any system is somehow part of a bigger system and, in the same time, involves smaller systems within it.
This applies accordingly to all pharmaceutical systems as a whole.

Third thing: every system has main five functions, no matter how high or low the level of the system is.

These main or general functions are as follow:

1- the first function, described as a “political” function, has to do with identifying the main and secondary targets of the system. It is a process where choosing and preferring among alternatives is practiced.

2- the second function, called the “intelligence” function, has to do with knowing the possible alternatives regarding to the system targets… also, finding the information from the surrounding environment, as these information helps discover and anticipate the opportunities, obstacles, challenges and threats.
And so, this function has a special importance in the competitiveness domain.

3- the third function; the “operation” function, includes dedicating the human and materialistic resources and following and rationalizing work.

4- the fourth function has to do with the coordination between the different parts of the system or between other lower systems and one another.

5- the fifth function has to do with the following that every system has the four mentioned-above functions in the lower systems with the desired performance… in the same way, every small system has five functions toward the smaller systems that subordinate to it…etc.

And so, systems become stronger and more developed or weaker and decay as per how they succeed in fulfilling its five general functions, regardless the name given to the national system of medications is.

So, the system, as a methodology and standard, is a way of developing and evaluation for all practices and entities… whether on the level of the field or the nation as a whole… also, it is a way to predict the problems and challenges like it is a way to face any problems or challenges.

Not to mention that medication has particular aspects regarding competitiveness, planning, developing, availability to who need it, marketing…etc. that makes it – medication – vulnerable to any weakness in policies, strategies and management.

Muhammed Ra’ouf Hamed
November 26, 2016

Finally, I invite all interested in this strategic and pivotal issue to work together to come up with specific suggestions by all parties… so that pharmaceutical industry in Egypt flourish.

Translated into English by: Dalia Elnaggar

This article was published in Almasry Alyoum newspaper on November 30, 2016.

To see the original article, go to:

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