Health Ministry contemplating medicine price control

PETALING JAYA: The Health Ministry will look into a price control mechanism for medicines, said its deputy minister, Dr Lee Boon Chye.

"As medicines are not price-controlled, the price just keeps increasing every year. We will discuss this with the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs for urgent attention although there are many aspects and factors that need to be considered and scrutinised beforehand," he told reporters today after visiting the Pharmacy Services Programme under the Pharmaceutical Services Division of the Health Ministry.

The deputy minister acknowledged that the ever-increasing price of medicines can affect the affordability of healthcare.

He also said that his ministry is exploring measures to improve the system of medicine supply to public hospitals, as well as in the market, to prevent a shortage.

Relevant to the issue of drug supply are contract holders as well. "We will take stern action if any wrongdoing is detected," said Lee.

To ensure the supply of medicines is sufficient, he said the record-keeping system will be improved through the use of sophisticated information and communication technology. — Bernama