Friday, 15 February 2013

Expensive medicines in pharmacies // 马来西亚昂贵的药品




亚庇国会议员邱庆洲说,马来西亚有许多人已买不起昂贵的药品来维续他们的健康和生命。 非专利的药品也可以拯救生命,预防,治疗和控制疾病,特别是对低收入的人会有更大的帮助。 但是马来西亚联邦卫生部并没有采取足够的措施以控制药品的价格上涨。

本来是由药剂公司控制药品价格,但是却由某些政治人物从中套利造成价格上涨。 该些公司被授权从印度进口廉价药品,接着提供给裙带供应商,然后才供应给医院和药剂商店,价格也因此上涨。 该授权的“中间人”只做文件和转运的工作,他们从中赚取了许多钱。 其他国家的商家都承认为了要售卖其药品,通常会花费数百万美金和赠送“礼物”,以确保能获得政府医疗供应的合约。


The KK MP Hiew King Cheu said the people cannot afford to buy expensive medicines just to maintain and prolong their life in Malaysia. Generic medicines can also save lives by preventing, curing and managing diseases for all Malaysians, especially the lower-income groups. The Malaysian Ministry of Health is not doing enough to control the prices of the medicines.

Instead the prices of the medicines are controlled by the pharmaceutical companies that are in return controlled by some politicians. These companies are having authorities to import cheap medicines from countries like India to supply to crony-suppliers to supply to hospitals and pharmaceuticals shops at a high mark up. These have created authorized “middlemen” who made money merely by paper-transactions and being connected. Firms in other countries have admitted to spending millions of dollars in promotion of medicines and “gifts” to secure contracts with government health services.


The foreign exchange rate factor as quoted by the Minister of Health Liow Tiong Lai is just a lame excuse. Why has the Malaysian Ringgit exchange rate fallen so low in comparison to the Singapore and Brunei dollars? The Ringgit was equivalent to the Singapore and Brunei dollars in the 70’s. Today, S$1 or B$1 is equal to RM2.53!

What are the other factors in producing the medicine in Malaysia that result to high medicine prices? The Health Ministry cited another excuse - the other reason contributing to the price increase is due to the innovative nature and the cost of the imported raw materials to supply the local pharmaceutical industries. In actual fact, the real cost of producing generic medicine is very low, but the monopolistic nature allowed by the government has resulted to the high increase of the prices of the medicines that many Malaysians have to depend on to survive.

The Kota Kinabalu Member of Parliament Hiew King Cheu said the Minister of Health Liow Tiong Lai definitely has not paid enough attention on the prices of the medicines to safe guard the interest of the consumers. What policies are in place to help to control the prices of the medicine to ensure an affordable and a correct price for the users, and why are there shortages of medicines in the hospitals and clinics in Sabah?

Where are the Recommended Retail Prices lists the Health Ministry has prepared for the medicines under the National Essential Drugs List on both the private and public sectors? These lists must be displayed and updated in all pharmacies throughout Malaysia in order for the people to compare between the original brand and the generic equivalent in printed form or computer. The people will then have the choice of selecting the medicines with the same quality which is much cheaper and affordable from the pharmacy shops, and the prices must be competitive.

Why should the people continue to buy expensive medicines in order to continue to live? Many people had complained that they cannot afford those expensive medicines especially those cardiovascular medicine and the government hospitals are not providing them. The patients will have to pay high prices to buy from pharmaceutical shops.

What will happen if the people cannot afford, is he going to live and survive without the medicine? The government should provide the full list of medicines and also make these available in all hospitals and clinics. There are budgets and allocations of millions of Ringgit for these medicines. What has the government done with the yearly budgets? It is the duty of the Health Ministry and the government to save lives.

Hiew said, we cannot accept and tolerate that the government can no longer supply the sick patients with the essential medicine, and asking the poor patients to go to buy their own medicines. Many hospitals in Sabah have run out of medicines on numerous occasions and sometime supply patients with expired drugs. These are unacceptable because the people might not even know that every drug or medicine has a side effect and/or contraindications. It is better “safe than sorry” because we are talking about personal health and putting one’s life at risk or in danger.

Hiew King Cheu, KK MP

马来西亚昂贵的药品

亚庇国会议员邱庆洲说,马来西亚有许多人已买不起昂贵的药品来维续他们的健康和生命。 非专利的药品也可以拯救生命,预防,治疗和控制疾病,特别是对低收入的人会有更大的帮助。 但是马来西亚联邦卫生部并没有采取足够的措施以控制药品的价格上涨。

本来是由药剂公司控制药品价格,但是却由某些政治人物从中套利造成价格上涨。 该些公司被授权从印度进口廉价药品,接着提供给裙带供应商,然后才供应给医院和药剂商店,价格也因此上涨。 该授权的“中间人”只做文件和转运的工作,他们从中赚取了许多钱。 其他国家的商家都承认为了要售卖其药品,通常会花费数百万美金和赠送“礼物”,以确保能获得政府医疗供应的合约。

联邦卫生部长廖中莱所提呈的报告说,药品昂贵是因为汇率的因素,其实只是一个蹩脚的借口。为何马来西亚的马币与新加坡和汶莱相比,会下跌的如此之低呢? 在70年代,令吉的汇率是相当于新加坡币和汶莱币。 今天新币或汶币一元等于马币二令吉五十三仙!

此外还有什么其他因素的影响,导致马来西亚的药品价格昂贵? 联邦卫生部引用了另一个借口 - 其他原因导致的价格上涨是由于本地制药行业的创新,以及原料进口成本高。 事实上生产药品的成本是很低,但因政府所允许垄断性的政策导致成本上涨,造成许多马来西亚人必须依赖于生存的药品价格变成非常昂贵。

亚庇国会议员邱庆洲说,联邦卫生部长廖中莱绝对没有关注到有关药品的昂贵价格,药物安全防范,也没有重视到消费者的利益。 卫生部有什么政策可以帮助控制药品的价格上涨,以确保人民能够负担得起,并且价格公道。 此外为何沙巴的医院和诊所经常会有药品短缺的问题?

联邦卫生局所提议有关私人公司和医院的药品目录,药品零售价的清单列表到底在那里? 这些清单必须要清楚列明有关全国的药剂店,药物品牌和价格的最新资料,以让民众可以有个对比,这些都应该印成册子或可以直接上网寻查。 人民可以选择价格实惠并且拥有相同医疗效果和质量的药品。

为何政府漠不关心,任凭人民继续购买昂贵的药品? 许多人都抱怨说,他们买不起那些昂贵的药物,尤其是针对心脑血管药物,政府医院是没有提供的,因此病人必须要支付昂贵的价格从药剂店购买。

如果人民买不起该些药品,他们将如何在没有服用药品下生存呢? 政府应提供完整的药品供应,并要在所有医院和诊所都有。 联邦有分配数百万​​令吉的拨款购买药品,到底药品去了哪里? 联邦卫生部和政府有责任照顾国民的健康。

邱氏说,人民不能接受联邦政府不能提供足够的基本药物给病人,并还要求贫穷的病人自己买药吃。 沙巴许多医院的药品经常缺乏,有时还提供了过期的药品给病人。 这些都是不可被接受的,因为人民可能不知道每一种药品的副作用和其禁忌。 “不怕一万,只怕万一”,因为是关系到每个人的健康,也无疑是人命关天的问题。