Manufacturers cause of drug shortage, says ministry


The Health Ministry on Saturday admitted that the shortage of drug supply for certain medications was due to problems being faced by drug manufacturers.

Its DG Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the issue was also coupled by an increase in the number of patients going to the ministry’s facilities this year.

“This year’s allocation for the procurement of the medicines is sufficient. The drugs were distributed to all hospitals based on the expenditure last year,” he said in a statement on Saturday.

As such, Dr Noor Hisham said the ministry has been monitoring the situation closely and identifying alternative sources for the medicines in ensuring adequate supply.

“Additional allocations on drug purchase were also distributed to hospitals to ensure enough medical supplies to the patients and (such a shortage) will not burden them,” he said.

Dr Noor Hisham was commenting on a news report by an online portal on the shortage of medicines at government hospitals, in which patients were rationed to less than a month’s supplies.

He said the one-month medical supplies policy at the ministry’s facilities had been implemented since last year to ensure patients’ understanding and compliance to the prescribed medicines, as well as to prevent wastage.

“In ensuring a continuous drug supply, the current budgets are constantly being reviewed and any changes to the allocations will be distributed from time to time,” Dr Noor Hisham added. — Bernama