In Abu Dhabi, medicines must be serialized from mid-2021. The Arab Emirates (UAE) are gradually implementing pharma serialization regulations.
Competent authority: Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHaP), UAE
Products: all pharmaceutical products listed with the Department for Health as approved drugs
Code type: GS1 Data Matrix
Aggregation: Required starting September 2021
Timeframe: July 2020 to July 2021
Despite cooperation on this point, pharma serialization has not been implemented across the board in the UAE; each emirate has its timeline. In Dubai, for example, serialization has been required since mid-2020. One year later, in July 2021, the deadline for pharma serialization in Abu Dhabi will take effect. From then on, all pharmaceutical products registered with the Ministry for Health and Prevention and approved by the Department for Health must be equipped with the GS1 barcode system.
The serialization code in Abu Dhabi contains the following information:
- GTIN (Global Trade Item Number of the product)
- Expiration date
- Lot/Batch number
- Serial number of the respective packaging
Abu Dhabi follows a two-step process. By March 31, 2021, pharmaceutical companies must register with the GS1 UAE Portal and upload all the above product data. From July 1, 2021, pharmaceutical products without a corresponding QR code will no longer be allowed to be sold in Abu Dhabi. The Dubai Health Authority (DHA) may decide to extend the deadlines for certain products in individual cases to ensure the continued availability of medicines in Abu Dhabi.
To develop a centralized platform, the UAE Ministry of Health has partnered with a serialization provider, EVOTEQ, based in the United Arab Emirates. Together they are developing the track-and-trace platform “Tatmeen“. It will not only be used to track the individual events in the drug supply chain but will also enable consumers themselves to check their medicines for authenticity and safety.
In the future, there are also plans to expand the system to include veterinary products.
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