Minister: MOH Can Deal Directly With Pharmaceutical Suppliers Outside Pharmaniaga

Health Minister Dr Zaliha Mustafa says MOH can obtain medicine supplies directly from suppliers instead of going through Pharmaniaga, adding that MOH isn’t currently facing disruptions in drug supply and that Pharmaniaga merely handles logistics.

KUALA LUMPUR, August 17 – Dr Zaliha Mustafa announced today that the Ministry of Health (MOH) can work directly with pharmaceutical suppliers, instead of relying on Pharmaniaga Bhd as a middleman.

The health minister reportedly said the MOH was not currently facing any disruption in medicine supplies, claiming that Pharmaniaga was only involved in logistics.

“In terms of pharmaceutical services, we have several ways of dealing directly with the relevant companies. As such, there is no impact on the supply of medications to the ministry’s health facilities,” The Star quoted Dr Zaliha as saying to reporters at an event in Putrajaya today.

The health minister’s reported remark that Pharmaniaga only manages logistics is inaccurate. The company is a pharmaceutical manufacturer that produces generics, including medications and fill-finish vaccines, besides acting as a tender agent for other pharmaceutical manufacturers.

For more than 25 years, Pharmaniaga has held an exclusive concession to purchase, store, supply, and distribute over 700 pharmaceutical products on the Approved Products Purchase List (APPL).

This represents more than a third of the government’s branded and generic drug supply, according to the Galen Centre for Health and Social Policy.

Additionally, the government-linked company (GLC) is responsible for the logistics and distribution of these medicines.

Pharmaniaga Logistics Sdn Bhd (PLSB), a wholly-owned Pharmaniaga subsidiary, announced last month that the MOH has awarded it a new seven-year concession for medicines and medical supply logistics services from July 1, 2023 to June 30, 2030.

The Galen Centre previously criticised the government’s decision to extend Pharmaniaga’s exclusive concession, saying this confirmed that Malaysia’s health care system is vulnerable, at risk, and highly dependent on a single company for over a third of its branded and generic drug supply, and almost all of its logistics and pharmaceutical supply chain.

Pharmaniaga is currently under Bursa Malaysia’s Practice Note 17 (PN17) classification of financially distressed companies, after the pharmaceutical company recorded its largest quarterly net loss of RM664.39 million in the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2022.

This was primarily due to the RM552.3 million impairment of Covid-19 vaccines.

You may also like