Let’s face it, uncontrolled inflation is a real cause for concern. Malaysians will generally agree on the fact that cost of living is rising drastically over the years. Prices of goods and services have been on the increasing trend year in year out; save for some cheap kangkung (pun intended).
Medicine price is no exception. Some may argue that this is beyond our control since prices are determined by market forces (supply & demand, currency exchange rates, taxations etc). I have to agree with this, but only to a certain extent.
Well, we have recently uncovered a dominant force that may have driven up the prices of medicines unnecessarily i.e. an inefficient supply chain; that is if we put it in a nicer way. Crudely though, this is due to the multi-billion ringgit worth of medicine supply monopoly by certain quarters. Speaking of gaining wealth at the expense of our health!
It’s not all doom and gloom though. Our newly-minted Health Minister Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad has recently promised to address this issue while his deputy Dr Lee Boon Chye has stated that the Health Ministry is currently looking at a price control mechanism for medicines.
They are also roping in the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs to help out with this matter. Hopefully this involves weeding out middlemen, monopolies and other forms of price manipulation. Let’s hope it will materialize soon enough. After all, what good is a medicine if the masses can’t afford it?