File Photo: A pharmacy employee reaches out to grab a box of medicine in a pharmacy, Cairo, Egypt. AFP
The ministry’s decision comes after an incident in October when two young sisters received antibiotic injections at a pharmacy and subsequently died because the pharmacist failed to test for allergies.
Both the pharmacist and her assistant were detained by authorities and now face charges of practicing medicine without a license, according to an official statement issued by the prosecution.
A statement by the Ministry of Health said the decree was issued after coordinating with the House of Representatives’ Health Committee, the Doctors Syndicate, the Pharmacists Syndicate and the Egyptian Medicines Authority.
The decree stipulates that patients must present a prescription to receive an injection and that an anti-allergy medication must be available at the pharmacy in case of an allergic reaction, Health Ministry Spokesperson Hossam Abdel-Ghaffar said.
The decree also requires pharmacists to pass a yet-to-be held advanced training course before being allowed to give injections, he said.
These training courses will be held soon and medical personnel who pass them will be granted necessary certificates and licenses to ensure patient safety.
Although local pharmacies have been prohibited from administering injections under Egyptian law, they used to do so to allow patients to cut costs and avoid going to hospitals.
However, this ended following the deaths of the two sisters when the Pharmacists Syndicate called on its members nationwide to halt the practice to avoid prosecution.