Growing the Middle East Market: Meet Noha Shalaby, Chief Pharmacist, Fusion Apothecary – Dubai, UAE

MEDISCA sat down to chat with Ms. Noha Shalaby, the first licensed compounding pharmacist in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), about her experience as a compounder in the UAE and Middle East, and what she looks forward to sharing at the October 27-28, 2018 World Congress of Compounding.

During her time as a compounding pharmacist, Ms. Shalaby has seen enormous growth within the industry, both in the UAE and the Middle East as a whole. Although she’s only been licensed for just under a decade, her passion for compounding began at a much younger age. She was originally exposed to compounding through working in the lab at Pharmaceutics Professor’s Pharmacy in her hometown of Alexandria, Egypt. It was there that she first discovered how compounding could change a patient’s life.

When Ms. Shalaby began her practice, pharmaceutical compounding wasn’t as common as it is in Europe or the United States. She used this opportunity to become thoroughly educated on compounding and to share her knowledge with both regulators and physicians.

“I had the challenge of health care regulators questioning the efficacy and safety of the compounded drugs, so I took the responsibility to educate myself more about compounding trends. I worked to tailor the compounding standard operating procedures to meet the local regulatory requirements. I designed the labs for both sterile and non-sterile compounding and trained the staff by sharing with them the trainings I had attended in the United States and Canada.”

Ms. Shalaby worked hand in hand with local authorities to make them more confident about the concept and the high quality of her pharmacy preparations.  “I regularly had one-on-one meetings with key specialty doctors to educate them about compounding and about products such as bioidentical hormone replacement therapy.”

Today, Ms. Shalaby primarily focuses on ensuring health care providers in the UAE are well equipped and able to offer patients with proper guidance and information about compounded drugs. She is certified on all compounding areas such as Aseptic, Non- Sterile Compounding & handling of Hazardous Drugs. At the World Congress of Compounding, Ms. Shalaby will be sharing the main challenges and best practices when dealing with patients and health care providers in the Middle East.

Because compounding pharmacy is still relatively new in the Middle Eastern health care system, attendees will learn how to communicate effectively with health care providers in the Middle East and how the compounding pharmacists can play a unique role in mediating and promoting patient care. “Patient education is the corner stone for our success. Being part of the local community and speaking their language made it much easier for them to adhere to their compounded medications.”

Additionally, Ms. Shalaby’s session will include representatives from other countries, providing attendees a full perspective on compounding’s global landscape.

“This conference is a great opportunity to network with different compounding experts from around the globe. It will help to build bridges with the compounding community, sharing our experiences to help our patients in different continents. Overall, I would like attendees to walk away understanding that the compounding pharmacist is the key person and central point of contact between the different parties involved in serving patients.”

Register to attend the World Congress of Compounding and learn from Ms. Shalaby and other experts about emerging international markets and the unique compounding trends that exist within each. The World Congress of Compounding is sponsored by MEDISCA, MEDISCA Network and LP3 Network.

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