Health Ministry mulls pooled procurement for medicines

SHAH ALAM, June 25 (Bernama) -- The Health Ministry is looking into the possibility of implementing a pooled procurement mechanism for essential medicines to address the issue of monopoly that could increase the cost of drugs supplied to government hospitals nationwide.

Its minister Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad said the pooled procurement concept for pharmaceuticals could increase bargaining power of the purchasers and would thus see a reduction in prices of medicines.

"If we were to purchase in bulk, we will have better bargaining and negotiation power and costs will come down," he told a press conference after delivering a talk at Kumpulan Media Karangkraf here today.

Dr Dzulkefly had earlier said that the move to review all existing medical supplies concession agreements to government hospitals was to optimise the supply chain and ensure 'a win-win' situation for all parties involved.

"All the contracts are being reviewed in an effort to achieve supply chain optimisation and to get better value. The government is committed to achieving this," he was reported to have said.

On whether the government was mulling to procure medicines and consumables directly from the manufacturers or suppliers to address the issue of monopoly, he said, the ministry was looking into the matter.

Prior to this, Klang MP Charles Santiago had lodged a police report with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) on alleged monopoly of tender awards for medical supplies to the Health Ministry from 2013 to 2016.         The politician also handed over 13 documents of 150 pages which included the names of political figures, senior Health Ministry officials and individuals connected to politicians who were believed to be agents or middlemen for three pharmaceutical companies. 

Dr Dzulkefly said the Health Ministry welcomed MACC investigation into the matter.

-- BERNAMA        



UKM Hospital To Conduct Study On Potential Therapy For Leukaemia

By Durratul Ain Ahmad Fuad

KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama) – A potentially effective treatment for patients with relapsed and refractory acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) is in the works.

ALL is a type of blood cancer in which the bone marrow makes too many lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell.

Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia’s teaching facility Hospital Canselor Tuanku Muhriz (HCTM) is collaborating with Plutonet Sdn Bhd on a study and clinical trial involving the Chimeric Antigen Receptor-T Cell (CAR-T) therapy, a revolutionary treatment found to be effective for ALL patients who cannot be treated with chemotherapy or are immune to it.



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