KUALA LUMPUR, July 15 — Pakatan Harapan (PH) claimed that generic antiretroviral therapy (ART) for HIV is now up to 88 per cent cheaper because it eliminated the drug supply monopoly under Barisan Nasional (BN).
Health Minister Dzulkefly Ahmad told Malay Mail that most drug supplies under the previous BN administration were sourced from crony vendors.
“Previously, some of the products were single sourced, i.e. no other competitor in the market,” the Amanah lawmaker was quoted saying.
“For the public or government sector — during tender process — we get better pricing for products when there is no monopoly. The drop in price is between 76 and 88 per cent.”
Malay Mail reported that a single generic ART prescription once cost almost RM2,000 in federal subsidies, which necessitated patients at government hospitals to pay up to RM200 for it, but some of it can now be purchased for RM30.
ART suppresses the HIV virus, which causes AIDS, by reducing one’s viral load, which is the amount of virus in their bloodstream.