Poisons Bill Retracted For Improvements Protecting Stakeholders: Adham

MOH needs to take into account the interests of various stakeholders and the implication of the amendments before tabling amendments to the Poisons Act that regulates medicines, says Dr Adham Baba.

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 5 — The government withdrew the Poisons (Amendment) 2019 Bill to re-evaluate the law regulating medicines before seeking to table it at the next Parliament meeting, Dr Adham Baba said today.

The health minister said based on the latest feedback, the Ministry of Health (MOH) needs to improve the Poisons Bill to ensure that enforcement and allocations under the amendments to the Poisons Act 1952 can be done more efficiently and are able to safeguard the interests of all parties, including the general public, pharmacists, medical practitioners, and the pharmaceutical industry.

“MOH needs to take into account the interests of various stakeholders and implications of the amendments, before the Bill is tabled again at the next Parliament meeting,” Dr Adham said in a statement.

The government pulled the Poisons (Amendment) 2019 Bill yesterday from being tabled for second reading in the Dewan Rakyat, marking the third postponement of the controversial legislation.

The Poisons (Amendment) 2019 Bill — which proposed to impose up to five years’ imprisonment or a maximum RM50,000 fine on doctors, dentists, and vets who do not provide drug prescriptions requested by their patients — was first tabled in Parliament one year ago in November 2019 by the-then Pakatan Harapan (PH) administration.

Groups representing medical practitioners widely opposed the proposed criminalisation of violating mandatory prescriptions upon request, after CodeBlue broke the news about the tabling of the Poisons Bill in Parliament, with doctors claiming that they were not consulted about the legislation.

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