MMA: Govt should have more than one medical supplier for public health care

PETALING JAYA: Other sources for the supply and distribution of medicines for the public must be considered by the government as it is too risky to have a sole provider, says the Malaysian Medical Association (MMA).

Its president Dr Muruga Raj Rajathurai urged the government to be more open to the idea of having more than one provider.

“This of course will take time to implement but in the meantime, urgent steps are needed to secure an ample supply of medicines for public health care,” he said.

Dr Muruga Raj added that the supply of essential medicines to treat emergency and acute cases can be affected.

“Emergency cases as well as patients relying on public healthcare for a continuous supply of medicines will be among most affected,” Dr Muruga Raj added in a statement on Wednesday. (March 29)

As such, the government must be more serious about Pharmaniaga Bhd’s financial woes because it can have a major impact on the country's public health care medicine supply, he said.

Dr Muruga Raj said that this is because they did not want any supplier to reduce or stop their supplies of medicines to Pharmaniaga for public health care facilities.

However, if the issue is prolonged, these suppliers may be left with no other option as they too may be running into losses if outstanding payments aren't settled, he said.

Pharmaniaga, which is owned by the Defence Ministry's Armed Forces Fund Board (LTAT), was told in Parliament on March 8 to come up with a business recovery plan to ensure continuity.

Recently, Pharmaniag was classified as an affected listed issuer under Practice Note 17 (PN17) of the Main Market Listing Requirements of Bursa Malaysia.

In a filing with the stock exchange end of last month, the pharmaceutical company triggered the PN17 criteria pursuant to its audited consolidated financial statements for the period ended Dec 31, 2022.

A PN17 company is a listed company that does not have a core business or has failed to meet the minimum capital or equity and companies’ shareholders’ funds.

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