SHAH ALAM: The Government will be reviewing the procurement process of medicines, said Health Minister Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad.
“We are committed to do a critical review to achieve supply chain optimisation. We want to make sure the procurement cost of drugs and other consumables will not be so high,” he told reporters on Monday (June 25) after a talk organised by Sinar Harian.
Dr Dzulkefly said he will make sure issues related to third party concessions or any “monopoly issues” is handled properly and effectively.
He said the Government may also buy medicines directly from manufacturers.
Dr Dzulkefly added that the Health Ministry is looking into pooled procurement with other ministries, such as the Defense Ministry, which also needs medicines.
“With economies of scale, we will have better bargaining power. This will help to bring down the cost,” the minister added.
“We want a real open tender system, where there is no collusion and no bid rigging. But this is easier said than done. We will look into how to practice this,” said Dr. Dzulkefly.
Dr Dzulkefly also said the ministry will leave it to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to investigate the allegations regarding rigging of the open tender process for drug procurement.
“Let the law take its course. The ministry will not interfere,” he said.
Dr Dzulkefly declined to name the politicians allegedly involved in the case.
“I do not want a trial-by-media,” he added.
On June 13, a 12-page document was emailed to Dr Dzulkefly alleging that a monopoly controlling billions of ringgit worth of medicines supplied to the Government was linked to high-ranking officials and companies linked to certain politicians.
It also claimed that the tenders went to six main agents, who were collectively awarded RM3.4bil or 90.93% of the total sum.