Wednesday, 14 May 2008
Saudis to boycott Danish drugs
Saudi Arabian importers have ordered customers of Danish medicines to boycott the products due to the reprinting of the Mohammed cartoons in February.
The fallout from the media’s reprinting of the Mohammed cartoons in February has not yet subsided in the Middle East, made apparent by yet another probable boycott of Danish products – this time medicines from Danish pharmaceutical companies, according to Saudi Gazette newspaper.
Saudi Arabian importers and retailers have ordered the nation’s hospitals and pharmacies to boycott all Danish drugs, e-mailing a list containing 41 medicines produced by companies such as Novo Nordisk, Lundbeck and Leo Pharma to those facilities and to the Saudi health ministry.
Dr. Abdul Moiz Shams, one of the physicians supporting the boycott, wrote to the Saudi Gazette that boycotting insulin was the most effective means of economically hurting the Danish economy.
’I would advise the world’s Muslims to consider just one product to boycott – insulin. It earns billions of dollars in profit for Denmark and is distributed all across the Gulf region,’ he said.
Who else produces insulin? Other pharmaceutical companies should stand firm and refuse to supply Saudi Arabia on the grounds that they are not proving to be a reliable customer and one with a dubious human rights record. I expect China will supply them, but with the quality of some Chinese drugs being questionable the Saudis might come to realise their mistake. One can hope.
Posted on 05/14/2008 6:55 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
14 May 2008
Hugh Fitzgerald

While they are at it, they should be sure that they are not backsliding on that boycott of Israeli goods, including the generics made by Teva Pharmaceuticals, and the medical equipment made in Israel to be found in hospitals everywhere.

Actually, since so many pills made by drug companies contain pig products, wouldn't it be safer to avoid Western drugs, Western hospitals, Western doctors? Surely by this time, more than a half-century after the oil billions really started to flow, and thirty-five years since the fantastic bonanza began to be measured not in billions but in trillions, the Arabs have had the chance to build up their own medical industries, outfit their own hospitals, train their own doctors, especially in fabulously-rich Saudi Arabia? Haven't they?

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