The Malaysian Pharmaceutical Society (MPS) applauds and supports the recent proposal by Malaysian Competition Commission (MyCC) commissioner Dr Sothi Rachagan for implementation of price controls on medicine by the government.
MPS president Amrahi Buang said, “MPS congratulates the Pharmacy Services Division (PSD) and related pharmacy stakeholders for their tremendous efforts in collaborating with MyCC on this subject as it has a high impact on the affordability of healthcare for the rakyat since medicines are not mere commodities”.
“MPS and other pharmacy stakeholders have worked alongside PSD in promoting affordability of medicines to the rakyat under the Malaysia National Medicine Policy. Finally, after years of hard work and lobbying, we are seeing some light at the end of the tunnel” he explained.
“Guidelines for the Good Pharmaceutical Trade Practice (GPTP) were put into place in February 2015 under the National Medicines Policy after recommendations from all stakeholder; with the objective of eradicating unhealthy practices such as price cutting, market monopoly, creation of artificial demand, unfair bonusing, discounts and rebates; bundling of unwanted medicine and inducement.”
When asked how the GPTP factors into the price control agenda, Amrahi said, “The GPTP provides an even playing field for respective stakeholders. It benefits all parties especially the consumers. It has been reported that the price of medicine in Malaysia is the highest in the region despite the fact that medicines imported into the country are non-taxable.”
He further stated, “Although MPS has successfully lobbied the government to zero-rate the Goods and Services Tax (GST) for control medicine and are currently working towards zero-rate of all medicine under the ‘x’ category, in line with the urging by the prime minister to provide better healthcare and wellness for the rakyat, the prices of medicine remain high.
“Therefore, price control is the next logical step forward in halting the escalating cost of health care and reducing out-of-pocket medicines expenses for the rakyat.”
Speaking to reporters, he said, “MPS has always been fighting for some form of price control of medicines in Malaysia. Our objective for doing so is inline with the MPS motto of ‘Berkhidmat Untuk Kesihatan Rakyat’. Price control will reduce the burden of cost of medicines for needy patients, eliminate the element of price war in the market and reduce the potential of medical inducement by healthcare professionals and drug companies.”
“Malaysians deserve to have the sanctity of the public healthcare system protected. If we do not address and correct the price discrepancies of medicines in Malaysia against the International Reference Price (IRP), we will lose this privilege that we have enjoyed for so many years. The government needs to act fast and push for a medicine price control as soon as possible.”