The head of Egypt's Pharmacists Syndicate issued a statement on Wednesday saying that 27 pharmacists who sold their commercial names to the pharmacy chain 19011 have been referred to the Primary Disciplinary Authority, adding that the owners of the chain will be investigated.
This statement came after the three owners of the 19011 pharmacy chain appeared on talk show host Amr Adib's show last Saturday.
The owners said that the chain opened in 2017 and has about 100 branches across the country.
Following the episode, the syndicate said that 19011 is in violation of the law, which states that pharmacists are allowed to own no more than two pharmacies.
"The law applies to everyone, we have no reason to discriminate among syndicate members,” the syndicate added, noting that the owners of 19011 face investigation by a committee consisting of a chancellery from the administrative prosecution as well as the deputy head and the secretary-general of the syndicate.
The syndicate said that if the owners fail to appear before the committee, they face removal from the syndicate’s list of pharmacists, which is what happened earlier this month with the owners of the Roshdy and El-Ezaby pharmacy chains.
The Pharmacists Syndicate emphasised in its statement that Egyptian law criminalises pharmacy chains, and prohibits pharmacists from owning or co-owning more than two pharmacies.
Amr Adib controversy
Earlier this week, Adib announced that he would be interviewing a guest by the name of Mahmoud Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, which is the name of President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi's son.
However, many viewers were outraged when it turned out that the aforementioned guest was the managing director of 19011, who shares the same name as the president's son but is not a members of President El-Sisi's family. Many accused Adib of misleading his viewers by not making it clear that he would not be interviewing the president's son.
The managing director said that the owners of 19011 are a group of Egyptian investors who decided to invest in their country amid the current industrial and investment renaissance in Egypt.
Mahmoud El-Sisi asserted that he is not related to the president, and that the Muslim Brotherhood group was spreading rumours to the contrary on social media platforms.
Some have accused authorities of not taking action against 19011 due to this perceived connection to the president's family.
Meanwhile, chairman of the board of 19011 Naem El-Sabagh, one of the guests who appeared on Adib's show, has denied rumours that the company derived its name from President El-Sisi's birth date, which is on 19 November. El-Sabagh said that the name was chosen to match the hotline number of the pharmacies.