The current shortage of pharmaceutical products will normalise by the end of July or August
by ANIS HAZIM / pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL
PHARMANIAGA Bhd expects the current shortage of pharmaceutical products to normalise by the end of July or August as it ramps up production.
Its deputy MD Mohamed Iqbal Abdul Rahman said the shortages are due to escalated demands, instead of low stocks.
“From 2021 to 2022, some of the demand for the products has increased by between four and eight times,” Mohamed Iqbal said in a press conference after signing a memorandum of collaboration (MoC) with China’s Suzhou Ronnsi Pharma Co Ltd today.
He noted that the higher demand rose during the first quarter of 2022 as Covid-19 cases breached 30,000 for the first time of the year.
“The replenishing requirement came in April while the spike happened in April, May and June, in which the biggest orders came in,” he said.
Meanwhile, he highlighted that the production had to take some time as the company needed to obtain the raw materials first.
Mohamed Iqbal also assured that the government currently has sufficient stock of pharmaceutical products, especially paracetamol which is enough to move to the private market.
Meanwhile, Pharmaniaga group MD Datuk Zulkarnain Md Eusope said Pharmaniaga has been approached by several companies on the development of cannabis-related healthcare products.
This was in response to Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar’s announcement on enabling certain cannabidiol products to be registered by 2023.
However, he said Pharmaniaga will take a critical stance in developing any cannabis-related products in the future to align with the Drug Control Act, while looking for partnerships with other entities.
Meanwhile, Pharmaniaga entered into a MoC with Ronnsi to commercialise halal ovine (sheep and goat) anti-coagulant in Malaysia.
“We see that the anti-coagulant has been in demand due to the rise of Covid-19 cases over the last two years.
“From 2019 to 2021, the market value for anti-coagulants has increased substantially with a compound annual growth rate of 50%,” he added.
Thus, he saw the potential to address the unmet demands for halal pharmaceuticals, halal ovine anti-coagulant with a vast opportunity to grow, especially among the Muslim populations and countries.
Currently, Pharmaniaga is working with Ronnsi to import and manufacture the halal anti-coagulant and submit collating documents to the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency for approval and to the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia for the halal certification.