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Tuesday, 23 February 2021

Revenge of the Luddites, Part III: Vezeeta edition

The Pharmacists Syndicate is still fighting tech advancements in the industry and is now filing a lawsuit against Vezeeta, accusing the digital healthcare platform of illegally selling meds directly to consumers through its newly launched e-pharmacy, the syndicate said in a statement. The syndicate maintains that any sale of meds outside of brick and mortar pharmacies (owned by an individual, licensed pharmacist) is illegal, and claims the app also violates a law governing the advertising of medicines by employing social media and television ads. Vezeeta founder Amir Barsoum will also be under investigation as an individual for his role in enabling the alleged breaches of the law. The syndicate had also previously reported Vezeeta to the Consumer Protection Authority and the Interior Ministry’s IT crimes department, the statement said.

The case is the latest in a series of complaints by the syndicate against digital healthcare and medicines platforms: The syndicate filed a lawsuit against digital pharmacy platform 3elagi under the same premise late last year, and called on pharmacists to boycott Ibnsina Pharma after the company announced it planned to acquire a stake in 3elagi’s mother company. Presumably in an effort to avoid irking its core customers, Ibnsina then walked away from the purchase.

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