Let us buy our meds where we want to


  • Letters
  • Tuesday, 10 Dec 2019

THE Poisons (Amendment) Bill 2019 proposes that doctors and dentists must provide prescriptions upon a patient’s request. As much as we understand the reason for this amendment, and that is to give patients the right to buy their medications from the clinic or their choice of pharmacies themselves, the wording of the law must be amended so that patients cannot make unreasonable requests for certain medications.

The sentence has to imply that patients have a right to request for the prescription slip instead of having the right to request for prescriptions itself.

This Bill, however, should not be withdrawn.

As patients, we should be allowed to buy our prescriptions from wherever we want to, be it pharmacies or clinics. It is very common in Malaysia for doctors

to push certain medications to their patients at a much higher price than in pharmacies. And in many of these cases, the prices of medications aren’t written in the bill.

There are also cases where doctors prescribe unnecessary medicines to their patients to benefit their own pockets. A common example is when a patient comes in complaining of a fever and is automatically prescribed cough medicine even though he or she does not have a cough.

Hence, allowing the patients the freedom to buy their medications allows them to make informed decisions about their medications, and, hopefully, teach some doctors to prescribe responsibly and reduce the price of medicines sold in their clinic.

It is very sad that we strive so hard to make sure Malaysia is on par with developed countries be it in trade, academics, policies, etc, and yet when it comes to healthcare, we are still stuck in our bubble, not wanting to make progress like developed nations, where patients are given their due rights to get their medications from wherever they wish to, as long as they are legal premises.

A FRUSTRATED WELL-INFORMED PATIENT

Petaling Jaya


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