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SFDA stops production of medicines at 3 factories

Saudi Arabia, January 8, 2018

The Saudi Food and Drugs Authority (SFDA) has closed down three medicine factories that failed to comply with the international standards of good manufacturing practice (GMP), Al-Madina newspaper reported on Sunday quoting a senior official of the authority.

Mohammed Ali Dahhas, director of inspections and execution at SFDA, said two of the factories would be allowed to resume operations as they have responded to the technical observations and promised to correct their situations.

He said the two factories signed pledges never to repeat the mistakes that led to their closure.

Dahhas did not identify the three factories but said the third one would remain suspended until it corrected anomalies in the manufacturing process.

“Continuing to make errors in the manufacturing process will lead to the revocation of license to any factory,” he warned.

Dahhas said the locally produced medicines are subjected to the same specifications being applied on imported medicines and said no medicine would be sold or distributed in the Kingdom if it had not passed all the lab tests and the parameters of good manufacturing practice.

“There are 33 medicine factories in the Kingdom while 31 other international manufacturers have applied for licenses to enter the Saudi market,” he added.

He estimated the size of the medicines market to be about SR14.2 billion of which about 25 percent, or SR3.5 billion, is met by the local factories while the rest is imported.

Dhahas said about 15 Saudi factories are exporting medicines, including veterinary medicines, to a number of countries.

He revealed that Saudi Arabia imported as many as 40,366 various types of medicines.