KUALA LUMPUR: The government aims to roll out the first tender to start acquiring its first drug through a central pool procurement system in October, an effort that will help bring down the cost of medicine, says Dr Lee Boon Chye.
The Deputy Health Minister said there were more than 80 types of medicine to be purchased through the system which combined several buyers into a single entity.
The Health Ministry will partner with the Education Ministry (university hospitals) and the Defence Ministry in the bulk purchase of medicines, he said.
“We are still in discussion with the two ministries. We will also need to get approval from the Finance Ministry.
“If everything goes smoothly, we will kick off with the first drug by October,” he said after the forum on Improving Access to Affordable Cancer Treatments in Malaysia yesterday.
Pharmaceutical Service Programme senior director Dr Ramli Zainal said that there were still a lot of administrative matters that still needed to be settled.
“We have to look at which tender has expired before we can procure the drugs through pool procurement.
“We target to finalise the tender by Oct 1 this year,” he said.
Ramli said that with volume, the ministries would be able to negotiate better and get a better price – the purpose of pool procurement.