Health Ministry refining efforts to establish cooperation with API-producing countries

KUALA LUMPUR: The Health Ministry (MOH) is refining a framework to establish strategic cooperation with the leading producers of active pharmaceutical ingredients (API), namely India and China.

Deputy Health Minister Datuk Dr Noor Azmi Ghazali, when winding up the debate on the Poisons (Amendment) Bill 2022 in the Dewan Negara on Wednesday (Aug 10), said the cooperation was to ensure API supply for national use including during a crisis.

"MOH is planning various initiatives to ensure that the issue is addressed, including encouraging local pharmaceutical companies to produce their own medicines, including APIs, through public-private partnerships.

"I believe the problem of medicine shortage will not last long...the situation is expected to return to normal by the fourth quarter of this year,” he said.

The bill was then passed with a majority voice vote.

Earlier, the Dewan Negara also passed the Control of Padi and Rice (Amendment) Bill 2022, which, among others, aims to improve existing provisions, especially in relation to the appointment of the Deputy Director-General for the control of padi and rice.

When winding up the debate, Deputy Agriculture and Food Industries Minister II Datuk Dr Nik Muhammad Zawawi Salleh said that 1,192 retail agents had been given special approval to sell padi seeds in the country as of July.

"The ministry has also carried out several special enforcement operations to ensure that the goods sold do not exceed the maximum price allowed,” he said.

The Dewan Negara also passed the Federal Agricultural Marketing Authority (Amendment) Bill 2022, which aims to amend the Federal Agricultural Marketing Authority (FAMA) Act 1965.

The bill, which aims to empower FAMA to stabilise the supply chain of livestock commodities that directly affects small and medium producers' capital and market capabilities, was passed with a majority voice vote.

The Dewan Negara sitting continues tomorrow. - Bernama

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