Despite the drastic increase in demand in Covid-19 drugs which disrupted the supply worldwide, Health Director-General Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah has reassured that public hospitals nationwide will still be getting their supplies of Covid-19 medicine.
According to Bernama, he said the Health Ministry (MOH) has taken various approaches to overcome the problem of supply.
Meanwhile, he also revealed that the demand for drugs used in treatment of Covid-19 has increased significantly since May this year after nations worldwide records a spike in Covid-19 cases.
Dr Noor Hisham said the demand for these medicines in Malaysia had increased by up to 10 to 15 times when compared to the pre-Covid-19 pandemic period. This had affected the stock levels held by public hospitals.
“MOH was told of disruptions in supplies from pharmaceutical companies overseas following the pandemic and local manufacturers also have limited capability to provide a big amount of stocks in a short period.”
“This is due to a shortage of raw materials faced by producers and an unstable flow of additional raw materials into the country.” he said in a statement today (29 August) when responding to the media on the shortage of these drugs.
Responding to these issues, Dr Noor Hisham said the MOH has taken several measures, including keeping in constant communication with suppliers to get priority in supply for Malaysia and seeking alternative sources of medications under federal contracts.
In addition, the MOH has made an emergency procurement at the national and state Health Department levels, apart from facilitating off-contract purchases for 21 types of medicines related to Covid-19 treatment.
“MOH also continues to hold discussions with medical specialists on alternative medicines that are suitable for use to ensure continuity in treatment.”
“This is not limited to the Ministry of Health Medicines Formulary but encompasses all registered and non-registered medicines which can be obtained to meet our needs.” he said.
Dr Noor Hisham stressed that these are done for the sake of the people’s well-being and the Ministry is committed to cooperating with various parties to ensure the availability of medical supplies and the quality, safety and efficacy of medicines procured.
Previously, it was reported that many government hospitals across the nation are facing a critical shortage of medications, including Clexane, which is an important anti-coagulant drug used for Covid-19 treatment.
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