Pharmaniaga Bhd is currently setting up a RM300 million plant in Puchong, Selangor to produce halal insulin and vaccine and it is expected to be fully completed by end of 2023.
According to Harian Metro, Group managing director Datuk Zulkarnain Md Eusope said the construction of the plant began 2 years ago and they will start marketing activities in early 2024.
He also estimated that the plant will be able to make Covid-19 and other vaccines, as well as insulin with a production capacity of 100 million to 300 million doses annually.
“The pandemic has taught us that Malaysia should have drug security, so we are planning to achieve that as well as having discussions with the Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry and Health Ministry.”
“To date, our vaccine supply has been fully imported. Hence, with the plant, we will be able to develop vaccines ourselves in Malaysia through collaborations with Thailand, South Korea and India, and thus ensure we are not dependent on other countries for vaccines,” he said.
He added that Pharmaniaga had delivered 20.4 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine to the Government and now had 14 million doses remaining.
Meanwhile, they will focus on marketing the existing supply to the private sector, including private clinics.
“We also advise parents to bring in their children to get Covid-19 vaccine and booster doses to protect them against the virus, as only 30% of this group have received their shots,” he said.
Is Insulin halal?
If you are still wondering whether the drug is halal, there are currently 2 types of insulin that may be used in the management of diabetes, which are animal-sourced insulin and biosynthetic human insulin.
Insulin was originally derived from the pancreas of cows and pigs. Animal-sourced insulin is made from preparations of beef or pork pancreases and has been used safely to manage diabetes for many years. Except for beef/pork insulin, which is no longer available, they are still being used safely today.
However, over the years, insulin products have evolved. Since the 80s, researchers have developed biosynthetic human insulin and insulin analogues. This biosynthetic human insulin, its analogues and derivatives, are produced via gene technologies.
These biosynthetic forms of insulin have been proven to be safe, effective and of high quality for treating both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.