On speculation that hospitals are having issues procuring the important medicines required to treat Covid-19 patients, Director General of Health Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham has assured that all public hospitals throughout the country are still getting their supplies despite a drastic increase in demand and disruption in supplies from producers.
MOH previous orders are still being fulfilled with medicines being received in stages, on the other hand it has also taken various approaches to overcome the supply issues.
There has been a global demand for these medicines due to spike in cases in the region and pharmaceuticals facing stiff problems keeping up with the demands, Dr Noor Hisham added that demand for medicines in the country had increased by 10 to 15 times compared to the pre-Covid-19 pandemic period, which affected the level of stocks for Covid-19 medicines in public hospitals.
With increase in patients under treatment across the nation, local manufacturers are trying to cope but have limited capability to provide a big amount of stocks in a short period. MOH has claimed that the shortage of raw materials faced by producers and an unstable flow of additional raw materials into the country is causing disruption to the treatment medicines.
However, the Ministry has taken several measures to overcome the issue, including engaging closely with relevant suppliers in order to get priority in supply for Malaysia and also looking at alternative sources of medications under federal contracts.
MoH has also made emergency procurements at the national and state Health Department levels, apart from facilitating off-contract purchases for 21 types of medicines related to Covid-19 treatment. Discussions are on going with medical specialists on alternative medicines that are suitable for use to ensure continuity in treatment.
With the new Health Minister just announced, it will be a get go from the start with solving the procurement issue before any photo session at the punch card counter. He will need to assure patients will receive all the medicine required for their recovery including medicine like Clexane, which is an important anticoagulant drug used for Covid-19 treatment.