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Sunday, 7 March 2021

Revenge of the Luddites, Part III: Chapter II: Vezeeta strikes back

Vezeeta has denied that it has broken the law with its newly-launched e-pharmacy business after the Pharmacists Syndicate last month accused the company of illegally selling products online. In a statement (pdf) issued Thursday, the digital healthcare platform rejected the syndicate’s claims that it sells meds without a pharmacy license, saying that its service is an online store for its own physical pharmacies that are run and supervised by licensed pharmacists. The store is a registered commercial licensed by the General Authority for Investment (GAFI), it added.

What’s the issue here? The syndicate last month filed a complaint with the prosecutor-general’s office claiming that Vezeeta is acting illegally by selling to customers directly online without using licensed, brick and mortar pharmacies. It also claimed the app violates a law that bans advertising meds on social media and television. The syndicate last year reported Vezeeta to the Consumer Protection Authority and the Interior Ministry’s tech crimes department.

Background: This isn’t the first time the Pharmacists’ Syndicate has been on the warpath against modern technology: Ibnsina Pharma backed down from its purchase of digital pharmacy platform 3elagi last year after the syndicate filed a similar complaint against 3elagi and called on syndicate members to boycott Ibnsina Pharma.

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