Kuwait co-op pharmacies to close and expats forced to authenticate qualifications

Published:  30 Oct at 6 PM
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Kuwait’s new pharmacies law hasn’t been well-received by the sector, with all co-op outlets now closed in protest.

According to chair of Kuwait’s Union for Consumer Cooperative Societies Meshaal al Sayyar, all the union’s pharmacies have now closed down in protest against the effects on their businesses of the new legislation. The law, he said, is marginalising the important role played in the sector by the co-ops.

The new law forbids expatriate–owned pharmacies from operating near co-op societies unless they are owned by Kuwaiti nationals and licensed as such with the local authority, a move which, according to Al Sayyar, will force the majority to close down. The law was apparently passed simply to benefit some 68 pharmacies at the expense of hundreds of citizens with shares in the co-operative enterprises. In addition, pharmaceutical companies as well as co-operatives have major investments in pharmacies due to their positive revenues paid to shareholders.

In addition, a new law covering expat degree accreditation is expected to hit the statute books in the near future, with expat teachers in the emirate to be given until the end of the present academic year to produce accredited certificates or lose their jobs. Expatriate doctors and other medical staff are expected to be included in the new requirements and will be given just three months to produce proof of accreditation. Expats working in other government sectors will be forced to take professional tests or lose their jobs.
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