Thursday, August 15, 2013

Subramaniam puts for down on drug prices


Health Minister Dr S Subramaniam has assured Malaysians that the government will "put its foot down" to protest against possible increase in medicine prices should the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) be inked.

Speaking to reporters after launching a book about herbal medication yesterday, Subramaniam said that his ministry is "protesting" against moves to any increase in medicine prices.

The likely increase in generic medicine prices has emerged at the forefront among many other concerns voiced by the civil society groups regarding the TPPA negotiations, which Malaysia is a part of.

"We have stated our view on this matter (to the Ministry of International Trade and Industry)," Subramaniam said.

However, he said that his ministry is not party to the TPPA negotiations.

"But we are engaging with the ministry (Miti). They are keeping us informed of the issues," he said.

Civil society groups, including the opposition, have been skeptical about the benefits of Malaysia signing the TPPA.

However, International Trade and Industries Minister Mustapa Mohamed had repeatedly said that the government would not rush into signing the international trade pact until issues such as medicine prices are resolved.

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