Health minister Khairy Jamaluddin speaks during a press conference in Petaling Jaya June 21, 2022. ― Picture by Firdaus Latif
By Shahrin Aizat Noorshahrizam
Tuesday, 21 Jun 2022 1:46 PM MYT
KUALA LUMPUR, June 21 — The Ministry of Health is currently monitoring the medicine shortage issue in the country and has conducted random surveys in local health facilities to ascertain the situation.
Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said through the survey that was conducted in seven hospitals and 10 private clinics, it was found that at least one medicine that is usually used to treat common ailments like cough and cold fever is facing a shortage.
“Since June 16, 1,231 products have been sent to product registration holders to get active ingredient feedback … we have received 50 percent of the feedback. There is a shortage of alternative products that have been reported by the medical association of hospitals and so on so that they can get alternative medicine.
“Last week, the MoH agreed to lend medicines to private medical facilities that have enough of their medicines. We expect this situation to be stabilized within the next month or so,” he said during a press conference today.
On June 9, Khairy said that the medicine shortage issue was not due to panic buying by members of the public.
He clarified that the shortage was due to the high demand for certain medications following the spread of the Omicron variant of Covid-19 and the rising cases of the hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) at the moment.
However, Khairy said the situation is not reported nationwide and only involved several locations. Earlier this month, Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii raised the issue and urged the government to come up with a clear policy to address the current shortage of medicines in the country.
He said this is on top of devising a “longer-term national medicine security strategy” to prevent future drug shortages in Malaysia, given the country’s current vulnerable position as a net importer of pharmaceutical products.