Health Ministry admits to shortage of medicine supply

PUTRAJAYA, 20 Aug 2017: 

The Health Ministry yesterday admitted the shortage of drug supply for certain medications was due to problems being faced by drug manufacturers.

Director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the issue was also coupled by an increase in the number of patients going to the ministry’s facilities this year.

“This year’s allocation for the procurement of the medicines is sufficient. The drugs were distributed to all hospitals based on the expenditure last year,” he said in a statement.

As such, Dr Noor Hisham said the ministry had been monitoring the situation closely and identifying alternative sources for the medicines in ensuring adequate supply.

“Additional allocations on drug purchase were also distributed to hospitals to ensure enough medical supplies to the patients and (such a shortage) will not burden them.”

Dr Noor Hisham was commenting on a report on the shortage of medicines at government hospitals in which patients were rationed to less than a month’s supplies.

He said the one-month medical supplies policy at the ministry’s facilities had been implemented since last year to ensure patients’ understanding and compliance to the prescribed medicines, as well as to prevent wastage.

“In ensuring a continuous drug supply, the current budgets are constantly being reviewed and any changes to the allocations will be distributed from time to time.”

– Bernama

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