Use of Medications in Arab Countries

  • Sanah HasanEmail author
  • Muaed J Al-Omar
  • Hamzah AlZubaidy
  • Yaser Mohammed Al-Worafi
Living reference work entry


Use of medications in Arab countries is complex; although it follows strict laws and regulations, there seems to be many forces that push and pull implementation of these in several directions. Pharmacy practice in the Arab countries is predominantly similar, with a few country-specific factors that are affected by regulation, policy, and education in that country. Medications are mostly imported, but local manufacturing (mostly generic substitutes to imported brand name medications) still occurs and is encouraged by governments in the region. Medications are usually sold in pharmacies, that are hospital or community-based, by mostly a licensed pharmacist and often by other personnel such as pharmacy assistants and technicians. Medications classified as prescription medications are conveniently available to consumers without prescription as long as they are able to pay. This creates a situation where medication adverse drug reactions monitoring and follow-up to outcomes of medication therapy are suboptimal. Medication misuse, intentional or unintentional, is on the rise in Arab countries. This chapter covers briefly overall medication and pharmacy regulation in Arab countries, extent of medication performance monitoring, adherence to medications, and factors that affect patients’ adherence to their therapy including issues related to medication literacy. Key areas of medication use and misuse, including self-medicating practices, are covered in detail in this chapter. Major healthcare areas of concern affecting general public health in Arab countries that are managed with pharmaceuticals including contraception, immunization, smoking cessation, and weight management are also discussed.


Arab countries Regulation Self-medication Community pharmacy Complimentary therapy Drug misuse Health literacy Contraception Smoking cessation Immunization Weight management 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sanah Hasan
    • 1
    Email author
  • Muaed J Al-Omar
    • 2
  • Hamzah AlZubaidy
    • 3
  • Yaser Mohammed Al-Worafi
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Pharmacy and Health SciencesAjman UniversityAjmanUnited Arab Emirates
  2. 2.College of Pharmacy and Health SciencesAjman UniversityAjmanUnited Arab Emirates
  3. 3.College of PharmacyUniversity of SharjahSharjahUnited Arab Emirates
  4. 4.College of Pharmacy and Health SciencesAjman UniversityFujairahUnited Arab Emirates

Section editors and affiliations

  • Yusuf S. Khader
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Community Medicine, Public Health and Family MedicineJordan University of Science & TechnologyIrbidJordan

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