Government Annual Medicine Purchase: Budget

The Malaysian Health Ministry spends more than RM2 bil to treat over two million patients a year.

Deputy Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Hilmi Yahaya said the Ministry is gradually relying more on generic drugs in a move to reduce the amount spent on medical costs.

"At present, the ratio of medicine dispensed is 60% generic drugs and 40% innovator brands. Last year, the ministry spent RM2.2 bil on medicine while RM1.9 bil was spent on medicine as of October this year," he said.

He added that 30% of generic drugs were sourced locally while 70% were imported.

"To ensure that the generic drugs are of quality, a bio-equivalent test is done to determine if their content are the same as those of the original drugs," he said.

He added that the Ministry had recently introduced new guidelines to control the dispensing of medicine to prevent wastage.

He cited an example where previously, a chronic disease patient would be given six month's worth of medicine after each check up but came back for more after three months.

Dr Hilmi also denied that the ministry was facing budget cuts, saying that RM2bil was allocated under Budget 2017.

/theSTAR 16-11-2016

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