Halal Pharmaceutical Guidelines Delayed


Bandar Seri Begawan – Brunei’s halal pharmaceutical guidelines have
yet to be released and await the endorsement of the Brunei Islamic
Religious Council (BIRC), the senior scientific officer of the Ministry
of Health’s (MoH) Pharmaceutical Services Department said yesterday.

Initially slated to be unveiled during the Fourth International
Halal Market Conference (IHMC), the guidelines are supposed to address
the different aspects of risk areas pertaining to the production of
halal pharmaceutical products Zubaidah Hj Mahmud told The Brunei Times
after the conference.

However, she could not divulge further detail on the guidelines
itself since it had not been endorsed as it was still technically in
draft stage. Though, she did say that the eventual endorsement of the
guidelines will allow interested parties to invest in this specific
halal segment.

“Once the halal (pharmaceutical) guidelines are endorsed by the
Brunei Islamic Religious Council, it will be open for any investors
that has put interest into the manufacturing of halal medicines,
traditional medicines and health supplements:. She said.

As the owner of the guidelines, the BIRC has the capacity to appoint
the appropriate auditors to audit the manufacturers or producers of
halal products. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health’s role would be to be
the agency that ensures that the products produced are safe for
consumption and is of acceptable quality, she said.

Zubaidah explained that halal certification would give the products
added value to become competitive since they would meet Molts
requirements as a safe product. ”The baseline is already set by the
Ministry of Health. so whatever the additional requirements pertaining
to the production of halal quality products, is up to the various
agencies under the Ministry of Religious Affairs,” she said.

The senior scientific officer explained how the formulation of the
guidelines involved various relevant agencies who gave their views and
input on the matter. She said that discussions have been held on a
weekly basis since the beginning of the year.

It was decided during these meetings that the IHMC was the most
appropriate venue to unveil the guidelines. However, several aspects of
the guidelines still need to be attended to and thus, the guidelines
would have to be revealed at another date in the near future, to ensure
its integrity. -Certain elements you cannot push too much. so at the
moment it is still at draft stage, pending endorsement from the
council,” she said.

The idea is there but it cannot be implemented yet, she added. “InsyaAllah, it won’t be long now”.

The IHMC came to a close yesterday after running for two days. It
saw a “world-class” line-up of speakers. who spoke of the emerging
halal industry in the midst of the global crisis and Brunei’s
achievements in the industry, among a host of relevant topics. — Courtesy of The Brunei Times