THE HEALTH | JULY-AUGUST , 2022
| Cover Story |
Minimising impact on patient care
Southern Malaysia , Sabah and Sarawak .
“ The alternative product list and the distributor list is shared with associations such as APHM , MPS , Malaysian Medical Association ( MMA ), and the Medical Practitioners Coalition Association of Malaysia ( MPCAM ).”
Sharing medicine supplies is a good move
While Dr Kuljit opined that sharing resources between private and government facilities is a good suggestion , he highlighted some downside to the strategy .
“ The private facility can buy borrow medications from government hospitals and vice versa . We don ’ t mind sharing . The idea is very good , but the mechanism of doing it has to be made clearer .”
He explained : “ Government medicines are government property . So when you want to acquire government medicines , you will have to undergo many tedious steps and processes . We need to make sure that those processes are made easy .
“ Another factor is that not every medication procured in bulk by the government is used in private hospitals . In private hospitals , our medications may differ as we have various medicines , some specifically used in private facilities only . “ Patients also tend to request specific brands or latest medications in the market as they can afford the cost of these medications .
“ Government , however , tends to buy medications of a particular brand in bulk as it is cost-effective . They may procure the latest medicines , but it may not be a large amount .
“ Essentially , we may not be able to procure the needful type or quantity from the government .”
Amrahi believes borrowing stocks from public facilities may or may not solve the problem in this complex health system . He said : “ The dichotomous state of the health system is contributing to this . And facilities exist in a silo .
“ A national-level intervention needs to be done under the purview of the PSP of the MoH . A national track and trace system involving medicines is needed and requires the cooperation of everyone .
He added : “ Support Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin ’ s effort to present a health white paper in Parliament in November 2022 .” — The Health
DRUG shortages can adversely affect drug therapy , compromise or delay medical procedures . Lack of drug supplies could also lead to worsening of disease , hospitalisation , and even death if no alternative drugs are prescribed to treat patients .
Senior Director of the Pharmaceutical Services Programme ( PSP ) of the Ministry of Health ( MoH ), Norhaliza A Halim , said the MoH facilities medicines used for the treatment of patients are based on MoH Medicines Formulary ( MoHMF ). The MoHMF is the reference list of medicines allowed to be prescribed in the MoH facilities .
It is a policy and administrative approach to control and promote the rationale and quality of medicines in all hospitals , clinics and MoH institutions . It ensures access to safe , effective and costeffective treatment .
In a situation with a shortage of a particular medicine , other medicines with the same indication as listed in the MoHMF may be used as an alternative . However , if no suitable options are listed in the MoHMF , special approval for using other suitable and available registered medicines not listed in the MoHMF will be considered .
To minimise the impact of medicine shortage on patients in the private hospitals / clinics / community pharmacy , the MoH has taken the initiative to gather information from industries on the availability of alternative products with the same active ingredients and share the list with them .
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