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Aster Pharmacy to Offer Medicines at Cost Price to Visitors Stranded in the UAE due to COVID-19 Pandemic

Apr 15, 2020

Aster Pharmacy to Offer Medicines at Cost Price to Visitors Stranded in the UAE due to COVID-19 Pandemic


- Many of those with visit visas do not have health insurance coverage in the UAE

- Tourists will be able to purchase medicines if they are in possession of a prescription from a licensed medical practitioner

- Initiative is part of ongoing efforts by Aster DM Healthcare to continue to provide the highest quality health and wellness services to the community during the COVID-19 outbreak


Dubai, UAE, 15 April 2020: Aster Pharmacy, part of Aster DM Healthcare – one of the largest private, integrated healthcare service providers across the GCC, has announced that it will offer medicines at cost price to visitors who are stranded in the UAE due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


There are currently a large number of people stuck in the UAE as a result of COVID-19 issues, many of whom do not possess health insurance: this is especially worrying for those that have chronic conditions requiring ongoing medical support – in addition to visitors with acute illness that require immediate medication. Aster has been receiving several requests from various consulates to assist their citizens to avail prescription medicines – many of which can be very expensive to purchase privately.  As a result, Aster Pharmacy will provide medicines at cost price to visitors who can provide proof of their identity & a visit visa in addition to a prescription from a licensed medical practitioner. If prescriptions have been prepared by doctors outside of the UAE, alternative medicines will be provided at cost price.


All prescription medicines (that are legally permitted in the UAE) can be accessed as part of this initiative. Controlled medicines will require a prescription from a UAE doctor.  Generic drugs will be offered in the first instance over branded medications & in certain circumstances visitors may even be allowed to buy a refill of their medication for a chronic condition without a prescription on presentation of proof of treatment e.g., old prescriptions, packaging etc. Children under the age of 16 will not be given medication without a prescription. Patients must attend the pharmacy in person to buy their medicines & can do so at any of Aster’s pharmacies in the UAE.


Speaking about the initiative Mr. Jobilal Vavachan, CEO of Aster Primary Healthcare, said: “As the UAE continues to experience challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is crucial that the community comes together to assist the citizens, residents & visitors who have been most affected by the crisis.  We understand that the situation is uncertain & fast-changing, & this can be especially worrying for those that are stranded in the country without access to their usual healthcare services & provisions. Aster Healthcare is deeply committed to offering its full support, wherever possible, to ensure that the health & wellbeing of every person in the UAE is protected during these unprecedented times.  We are constantly looking for ways to further help those that are facing healthcare challenges due to the pandemic; & are dedicated to delivering world-class, accessible & cost-effective care to those that need it most.”


The initiative is a part of Aster DM Healthcare’s ongoing efforts to ensure the collective health of the community during the COVID-19 crisis.  Aster is already offering free telemedicine advisory to all members of the public in relation to any COVID-19 concerns. The Group is also conducting more than 200 “virtual” consultations per day in areas including internal medicine, gastroenterology, pulmonology & endocrinology.  The service is proving extremely useful in managing chronic symptoms for patients who are unable to attend the clinic at present. Patients that require laboratory testing can even avail Aster’s ‘Lab at Home’ service while restrictions on movement continue to apply.