Supply woes lead to drug shortage in Qatar

 13 May 2017 - 3:33

Supply woes lead to drug shortage in Qatar
A chemist at a pharmacy in Doha. Pic: Kammutty VP / The Peninsula

By Sidi Mohamed / The Peninsula

Several pharmacies across the country claim shortage of two common drugs used to treat vomiting and dizziness due to lack of supply.

Navidoxine and Vominore are two common drugs used to treat nausea, vomiting and dizziness caused by motion sickness, inadequate dietary intake or pregnancy and these are not available for a period of more than two months, according to industry sources.

Several pharmacies The Peninsula visited also confirmed the shortage of drugs.

“Both drugs are out for stock for a long time. Vominore is out of stock since two months, and Navidoxine is not available for a period more than that," said a pharmacist in Al Wakra area.

He said that the shortage was due to lack of supply by the distributor of the drugs.

“In Qatar there is only one supplier for Navidoxine and two suppliers for Vominore. Actually more suppliers must be there, otherwise we will continue facing the problem,” he added. Some pharmacists claim that a number of customers come seeking for the drugs as it is essential for pregnant women with morning sickness.

A pharmacist in Old Airport area said: “These two drugs are very helpful for travellers with motion sickness and one of the best solutions for pregnant women with morning sickness during the first trimester of pregnancy. There are alternative drugs but the quality is not similar to Navidoxine and Vominore.”

The pharmacist added, “Many customers ask for Navidoxine, at least six or seven times every week. Some customers come repeatedly as the drugs are not available for more than two months.” However, he was unaware of the reason behind the shortage of the drugs.

The lack of drugs used to treat vomiting and dizziness has also created difficulties to travellers as well as for pregnant women.

“For two weeks I am visiting many pharmacies looking for Navidoxine but to no avail.I am pregnant and vomit when I eat something, it’s very difficult. I have visited a few pharmacies and all of them told me that the drug was unavailable and gave an alternative pill which was not as helpful as Navidoxine. One of the pharmacists also advised to get the drug from any neighboring country,” said Mona, a Syrian resident in Doha.