KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 19 – The Ministry of Health (MOH) has officially extended Pharmaniaga Bhd’s exclusive drug procurement concession for two years from next December 1 until December 31, 2021.
Furthermore, the government-linked company has been given the green light to continue providing logistics and distribution services for medicines and medical supplies to MOH for five years ending 2024.
“Pharmaniaga is thankful to the government for continuing to place their trust in us and for their recognition of our performance in delivering services for the benefit of the rakyat in line with our motto, ‘Passion for Patients’,” said Pharmaniaga managing director Farshila Emran in a statement uploaded to the company’s Twitter account.
“Moving forward, we remain focused on providing high standards of service and strong operational efficiency to ensure that all Key Performance Indicators are met. In tandem, we are committed to upholding good corporate governance standards and transparent practices guided by our MS ISO 37001 Anti Bribery Management System.”
The interim extension of Pharmaniaga’s 10-year concession ending this November 30 is to allow MOH to take over the Bumiputera tender agent’s functions so that the government can purchase medicines directly from pharmaceutical manufacturers without going through a middleman.
“Even before the 25 months is up, we may start the open tender system, whichever comes first,” Health Minister Dzulkefly Ahmad said previously.
Pharmaniaga, which has warehousing and logistics facilities, is the biggest Bumiputera tender agent in the country with exclusive concession to supply 700 items in the Approved Product Purchase List (APPL) comprising medicines and other medical items, determined by MOH, to government hospitals, institutions, and clinics.
This makes up over a third of the government’s drug supply. Pharmaniaga also separately provides logistics and distribution of all products in the APPL for MOH, beyond the 700 items it procures.
Last month, the government decided to replace Pharmaniaga’s concession for public drug procurement with an open tender system after Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng deemed it a “monopoly” that cost the government over RM1 billion annually.