Declining Prescriptions Actually Punishable By Five Years’ Jail

By CodeBlue | Posted on

Doctors, dentists, and vets actually face up to five years’ imprisonment, a maximum RM50,000 fine, or both for refusing patients’ drug prescription requests.

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CodeBlue made a mistake in reporting the punishments under the Poisons (Amendment) 2019 Bill for offences against the Poisons Act, which includes doctors, dentists, and vets refusing to issue medicine prescriptions requested by their patients.

An amendment to Section 32(2) under the Poisons (Amendment) 2019 Bill enhanced the general penalties for offences against the Poisons Act from maximum one year’s jail, a fine not exceeding RM3,000, or both, to maximum five years’ jail, a fine not exceeding RM50,000, or both.

Under the Bill’s amended Section 19(4), declining to issue prescriptions upon patients’ request is defined as an offence against the Poisons Act, which means that doctors, dentists, and vets face up to five years’ imprisonment, a maximum RM50,000 fine, or both for refusing patients’ prescription requests.

The proposed Section 19(2A) in the Bill makes it mandatory for registered medical practitioners, dentists, and veterinary surgeons to issue prescriptions upon request from their patients.

A new Section 32A proposed under the Bill allowed the minister, with the approval of the public prosecutor, to compound offences against the Poisons Act to avoid court prosecution.

CodeBlue apologises for the errors made in our reports that originally listed the punishments for non-compliance with mandatory prescriptions upon request as maximum one year’s imprisonment, a fine of up to RM3,000, or both. The mistakes have since been corrected.

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