Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Expensive Medicines in Malaysia

That's right, check out the percentage of mark-up of the drugs we Malaysians are paying for, courtesy of News Straits Times. Although I don't really know how much an average Malaysian pay for a cinic visit(I would say around RM40?), for those who visited hospitals would surely know the pain when you rake out those cash(or credit cards) from your wallet when you have to pay.

Dr Zaheer said most countries had pricing regulations and some, like France and Italy, even regulated drug prices directly through a price control mechanism.

In the United Kingdom, the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority monitors prices through the Pharmaceutical Price Regulation Scheme, which controls the prices of branded prescription drugs. [Source: New Straits Times]
This would most certainly be a good move for the country. I know that before I visit the clinic, I want an estimated figure how much the whole diagnostic and medicine will cost. I know of people who end up stranded in hospitals calling for friends' help just because they didn't bring enough money when they have at least RM200 in their pockets.

Do you have any experience of this sort, please share your experience.

Is this another reason why we need an increase in our national health budget? But I think in this case, we have to tackle the problem of unethical doctors and pharmacists right?

I'm not discouraging all of you aspiring doctors to stop pursuing a career in medicine, or even in pharmacy(my sister studies pharmacy). It's just not right for somebody to rake too much profit from other people's sufferings.

  1. Why Malaysians pay more for medicines, Audrey Dermawan, New Straits Times, 28 March 2007.
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