Go into health products, traders urged


  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 18 Feb 2003

BY ELAN PERUMAL

KLANG: The lack of local healthcare and medical equipment manufacturers have resulted in the country importing more than 70% of drugs and instruments worth RM3.6bil. 

Health Minister Datuk Chua Jui Meng said a total of RM2.2bil worth of drugs and healthcare products, including RM1.4bil worth of medical equipment were being used annually. 

He said 70% of healthcare products were imported while between 80% and 90% of the medical equipment were from abroad, adding that multinational companies were marketing the products here.He added thatthis did not reflect well on local manufacturers. 

“The Government is concerned about the large amount of money flowing out of the country through healthcare and medical equipment bills. 

“We hope more local entrepreneurs will fill the vacuum so that we can obtain them locally from our own manufacturers,” he said when opening Pharmaniaga Bhd’s complex in Bukit Rajah here yesterday. 

Chua said the situation also provided an opportunity for local entrepreneurs to explore into the 70% of the untapped market share. 

Besides producing generic drugs, which were patented, locals should develop their own technology, he said. 

“The future is bright for local entrepreneurs who venture into these businesses,” he said. 

He added that the ministry also supported locals by emphasising the ‘buy local drug first’ policy. 

Chua also urged local drug and medical equipment manufacturers to be competitive so that they were on par with their counterparts abroad.  

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