Mechanism on price control for medicines to be announced next month

IPOH: The mechanism for price control on medicines will be announced next month before the tabling of the 2019 Budget. Deputy Health Minister, Dr Lee Boon Chye said the ministry had discussed the matter with the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry last month. “Every year, the price of medicines goes up by 10 to 20 percent and this is normal.

That is why for normal medicines, we try to use generic medicines,” he told reporters after opening the 2nd International Conference of Pharmacy and Health Sciences yesterday. The three-day conference, with the theme ‘Integrating Research Innovation, Technology, Practices Towards Sustainable Health’, involved 150 local and foreign participants.

Dr Lee, who is Gopeng Member of Parliament, said the increase in the price of medicines was also influenced by the method used to bring them into the country. “Most of the medicines are imported from the United States of America (US) and Europe”, he said.

He said a study conducted in the US on 13 pharmaceutical companies found that the increase in the price of medicines was due to advertisement and marketing cost, instead of research and development (R&D). – Bernama