Consumers Association of Penang

Giving voice to the little people...since 1970

Impose Price Control On Pharmaceutical Drugs

The Consumer Association of Penang calls for the urgent implementation of price control on pharmaceutical drugs.  As stated by the Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainuddin in a local daily, “Malaysians have been paying excessive prices for pharmaceutical drugs due to an absence of government control.”

CAP has been calling for pharmaceutical drugs price control for years but it has fallen on deaf ears. Pharmaceutical drugs are an essential item and health is a basic need. Escalating drug prices put a tremendous strain on the financial resources of the Government and the public. It is about time pharmaceutical drug price control is implemented.

Call on government to address over-prescribing at source – and not just the fallout

CAP views with apprehension the Ministry’s strategy to tackle the fallout created by over-prescription, rather than the underlying cause, by calling on the public to return unused or expired medications at selected government medical centres and hospitals.  The rationale for the move initiated last year is to protect the environment against indiscriminate disposal of expired medications, and save government cost from the reuse of unopened, good condition medications.

Illegal sale of oral contraceptives and the health problems caused by their misuse

altA survey conducted by Consumers Association of Penang on oral contraceptive pills showed that they were easily and freely available at pharmacies. These drugs are controlled by the Poisons Act 1952, which requires the seller to record their sales in a register called Poisons Book kept by the pharmacy. The easy availability of these drugs over the counter without the registration of the buyer's details makes a mockery of the Poisons Act. The law is openly flouted by pharmacies in Penang and a grocery shop in Kulim, Kedah. An earlier survey also found such pills being sold in the Chow Kit area in KL and in grocery shops in other rural areas.

No more excuses: Ban Codeine now

altCAP has for more than 15 years now raised the issue of the dangers and harmful effects of codeine in medications and its easy availability over the counter. We trust the Ministry of Health understands this, and its pharmaceutical authorities are well aware of the situation locally.

So, why is it that they are not taking any action? This is despite the concerns raised by CAP as well as by consumers in letters to the newspapers over numerous media reports of seizures of codeine-based cough mixtures illegally brought into the country.

WHO list reveals flu advisors with financial ties to pharma, vaccine manufacturers

who_logoAfter months of stalling, the World Health Organization (WHO) has finally revealed the names of key pandemic advisors who influenced its decision to declare a phase six pandemic last year -- a decision that resulted in a financial windfall for vaccine manufacturers. As you'll see here, that list includes at least five expert advisors received money from vaccine companies.

Here's who received money from Big Pharma and then influenced the WHO decision to declare a pandemic: