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JPhA cancels escalation after Cabinet returns draft system to legislative council

By Ana V. Ibáñez Prieto - May 08,2018 - Last updated at May 08,2018

AMMAN — The Jordanian Pharmacists Association (JPhA) on Tuesday decided to cancel the escalation of measures against the recent amendments made by the legislative council to the draft system for the licensing of pharmaceutical institutions.

The decision comes in light of the recent move by the Cabinet to return the draft system to the Legislative Council for further consultation with the JPhA, the union’s president, Zeid Kilani, told The Jordan Times on Tuesday.

The escalation measures were initiated in April after the syndicate’s annual meeting determined that the amendments to the licensing system were made “without prior consultation with the union”, Kilani said. 

“The union showed its keenness to discuss the new licensing system, but no invitation to participate in the dialogues was extended,” Kilani said, expressing “surprise” over the approval of new regulations prior to any negotiations with the union.

Strikes, temporary closure of pharmacies and the spread of messages across the media were some of the activities scheduled by the syndicate to protest the lack of inclusion of JPhA representatives in the discussions and the amendments to the licensing system. 

“The Cabinet decision shows us that the government is willing to listen to our point-of-view,” Kilani noted, extending his thanks “to the Prime Minister and his deputies for working on the issue”. 

“This is a good gesture but nothing has been confirmed yet,” he pointed out, adding that the syndicate is currently waiting for an official invitation to discuss the technical details on the measurement of the distance between pharmacies.

“This is our only objection and we have no complaints about any other clauses in the system,” Kilani stressed, criticising the “inaccuracy” of the current methods used for the measurement of the distance between pharmacies and the need to install a GPS measurement system. 

“Jordan is currently suffering from clusters of pharmacies concentrated in the same location, while citizens based in other areas have to take transportation from their homes to access a pharmacy,” he told The Jordan Times in a recent interview, stressing that “the minimum distance between pharmacies should be raised to 500 metres if we want all citizens to be able to access the service while preventing competition and malpractice”.

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