Health Ministry blames pharmaceutical firms for drugs shortage

THE Health Ministry today admitted that the shortage of certain medications at government hospitals was due to problems faced by drug manufacturers .

Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the issue was also compounded by an increase in the number of patients at government healthcare facilities this year.

“This year’s allocation for the procurement of the medicines is sufficient. The drugs were distributed to all hospitals based on the expenditure for last year,” he said in a statement today.

As such, Dr Noor Hisham said the ministry had been monitoring the situation closely and identifying alternative sources to ensure adequate supply of medicines.

“Additional allocations for drug purchase were also distributed to hospitals to ensure enough supplies for patients and (such a shortage) will not burden them,” he said.

Dr Noor Hisham was commenting on news reports that the shortage of medicines at government hospitals resulted in patients being rationed to less than a month’s supply.

 He said the one-month supply policy at the ministry’s facilities had been implemented since last year to ensure patients’ understanding and compliance to the prescribed medicines, as well as to prevent wastage.

“In ensuring a continuous drug supply, the current budgets are constantly being reviewed and any changes to the allocations will be distributed from time to time,” Dr Noor Hisham added. – Bernama, August 19, 2017.

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