In general, medicines, whether naturally or synthetically sourced, are sensitive and very important substances as they are connected to people’s life and health; and if used incorrectly and contrary to instructions, particularly narcotic drugs, they could pose a great danger and may lead to negative consequences for individuals and society as a whole.
To understand the control mechanisms related to narcotic and psychotropic drugs and chemical precursors, and the resulting abuse thereof, members of the National Alliance for Combatting Narcotics, which is affiliated with the Justice Sector Support Forum, visited the Jordan Food and Drug Administration (JFDA) on Monday, January 29, 2024, to review the organization’s supervisory role and discuss ways of joint cooperation.
The Director-General of the administration, Dr. Nizar Muheidat, explained that in cooperation with the Drug Enforcement Department at the Public Security Directorate, “we carry out continuous monitoring operations to ensure compliance with the secure prescription for narcotic drugs and their preparations, dispensing them correctly, as well as dealing with any information received regarding the sale or misuse of these prescriptions.”
Muheidat pointed out that JFDA has initiated the preparation and implementation of the draft prescription with security markings since 2021, to reduce forgery of prescriptions and doctors’ seals, ensure the dispensing of narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances, and their preparations to patients only, and reduce drug abuse and addiction through several stages, the first of which is the lengthy study by the JFDA’s cadres to reach high-quality specifications in line with the security markings followed globally.
Muheidat pointed out that the JFDA is studying an electronic project to track these drugs from import until they reach the patient to improve the quality of control over them. This comes as a continuation of its efforts and implementation of its mission to ensure drug safety and reduce drug abuse, as well as developing its control tools, to ensure the safety and quality of food, and the effectiveness and safety of medicine.
Muheidat also stressed the need to control medicines that contain narcotic substances and psychotropic substances and prevent their misuse, in addition to controlling chemical precursors as substances that require permits to be imported and exported, as well as the implementation of periodic inspection tours of pharmacies, pointing to the role of the administration as a point of contact with the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) operating under the umbrella of the United Nations on drugs, in addition to the legislative role of the administration, where there is a section dedicated to narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances, and chemical precursors, which is mainly concerned with the preparation of draft laws, regulations, and instructions for the control of these substances.
In turn, the head of the Alliance, retired Major General Tayel Al-Majali, praised the role of the JFDA and its control, services, and efforts that aim to protect people’s health and societal peace, stressing the importance of cooperation between various government and private agencies and civil society institutions to address the phenomenon of the spread of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances among the different segments of society, especially in light of the war waged by Jordan against drug dealers and promoters.
For their part, members of the Alliance stressed during their discussions the need to tighten control over pharmacies to ensure that medicines are dispensed only to those who need them, as well as ensuring cooperation between all parties, including individuals, health workers, and civil society institutions to eliminate the scourge of narcotic substances, in addition to training pharmacists inspectors on the specifications of medical prescriptions with security markings and how to detect forgeries, in addition to holding lectures for pharmacists in pharmacies and hospitals and for doctors in clinics about this issue, and preparing brochures and guides for citizens to increase their awareness of the dangers of narcotic drugs and their abuse.
Lastly, the members recommended adopting unified standards for dispensing medicines, developing regulatory legislation in this context, as well as creating a platform to rectify false information and false advertisements spread through social media, specifically with regard to cosmetic drugs, as well as sending awareness messages to parents, their children, schools, and universities on how to use medicines and avoid falling under their influence.