medicine shortage supply panic buying
Pekerja Farmasi, Ismawati Ismail, 39, membuat pemeriksaan pada ubat-ubatan untuk dijual kepada pelanggan setelah diberikan pengecualian dari Perintah Kawalan Pergerakan pada hari kelapan ketika tinjauan lensa Malaysia Gazette di Farmasi Pudu, Kuala Lumpur. foto SYAFIQ AMBAK, 25 MAC 2020.

ALOR SETAR: The shortage in the supply of medicines, especially at certain pharmacies and private health facilities, is not due to panic buying by the public, says health minister Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar.

Instead, he said this was because of the high demand for certain medications following the spread of the Omicron variant of Covid-19 earlier and the rising cases of the hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) now.

However, Khairy said it was not a nationwide shortage as it only involved several locations and certain medicines. He assured that there was sufficient supply of medicines in the country.

“Many of the medications are said to be in short supply but have not run out of stock. The medicines are for common illnesses such as flu, fever, headache and so on.

“So, maybe this is related to the time when many were infected with Covid-19 and after that, HFMD spiked the demand for such medicines,” he said in a media conference here today.

Commenting further, Khairy said his ministry was conducting a review with medicine manufacturers and importers to obtain detailed information on the supply situation apart from obtaining feedback from the Malaysian Medical Association as well as private clinics.

“We will work with pharmaceutical manufacturing companies on whether to provide alternative medicines or to import from other countries.

“We are receiving several complaints daily and we will try to assist them to obtain the stock. Government facilities do not have such problems,” he said.

Earlier, he attended the presentation of medical equipment from the government of Japan to the ministry, which was attended by the ambassador of Japan to Malaysia, Takahashi Katsuhiko.

Commenting on the contribution, Khairy said the medical equipment worth RM19.3 million was donated by Japan to be distributed to all government hospitals to improve services at the facilities. -BERNAMA

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