KUCHING: The State Health Department is on the lookout for fake drugs, says Assistant Public Health Minister Datuk Dr Jerip Susil.
He said checks had been “intensified” following claims of fake products like Panadol and Axe Medicated Oil on the market.
“We are checking drug stores to see whether there is fake stuff or not. We are serious about this because most people won’t know if they end up with fake drugs,” Dr Jerip told reporters yesterday at his Gawai Dayak open house here.
Asked how serious was the problem, he said there was always some fake products on the market, with the most common being products related to headaches and painkillers.
According to Health Ministry director general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah recently, an estimated of 3% to 6% of drugs being sold in Malaysia could be fake, slightly lower than the global estimate of 6% to 10%.
He also said checks were being done at food stores on fake rice. Last week, it was widely reported rice made from plastic were discovered in several Asian country markets. However, it is unclear if the reports were true.
Dr Jerip said no fake rice had been detected so far in Sarawak.
On a related matter, Dr Jerip said a hospital had finally been approved for Siburan, about 35km from here, in the 11th Malaysia Plan.
“We are hoping the hospital can be built soonest. The state government has already prepared the site. It is estimated to cost RM33mil.”
The Siburan Hospital was first announced before the 2011 Sarawak election.