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Generics have their feet under the table in Malaysia Posted 06/07/2012

Generics manufacturing, prescribing and sales are becoming firmly part of the scene in Malaysia.

The Health Ministry in Malaysia plans to hold nationwide road shows from August 2012 to educate the industry and the public on generic medicines and to increase awareness of cheaper alternatives. The initiative was announced on 28 May 2012.

Malaysian generics manufacturing is well organised
Malaysia is one of two ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) countries (the other is Singapore) who are members of the European Pharmaceutical Inspection Co-operation Scheme. Malaysian Organisation of Pharmaceutical Industries (MOPE) President, Mr Leonard Ariff Shatar, told a local newspaper that local manufacturers have to adhere to strict international standards when producing generics. Health Ministry statistics state that about 40% of generic drugs in the market are locally manufactured. Market penetration of generics is also about 40% by volume, so there is a long way to go before their full potential is achieved.

The Health Ministry thinks the public needs education. The generics industry is well funded and regulated; it is just a question of informing the patient of their new situation. Local government hospitals do a good job of prescribing generically, but then doctors are reluctant to change, because in some areas brands are so well established. The MOPE feels pharmacists and doctors should share the responsibility to inform patients about generics options. People are also sometimes unaware of the difference between generic drugs and counterfeit drugs. Registered generics should bear a 4 mm by 6 mm holographic sticker with a serialised code on the packaging.

Ranbaxy receives local award
The 2012 Frost & Sullivan Malaysia Excellence Award for the Generics Drug Category was conferred on Ranbaxy Malaysia recently in an effort to reward good practice. Mr Jeyabalan Thangarajah, Managing Director of Ranbaxy Malaysia Sdn Bhd and Area Director – ASEAN, received the award on behalf of Ranbaxy.

Commenting on the occasion Mr Jeyabalan said, ‘the award is recognition of Ranbaxy’s commitment and ability to deliver quality medicines at affordable prices. Ranbaxy has been a leader in branded generic products, in Malaysia, since 1996. We have to our credit, first to launch products such as Histac tablets (ranitidine), Lestric tablets (lovastatin), Invoril tablets (enalapril) and more recently Storvas tablets (atorvastatin), with major supplies to government hospitals and doctor’s clinics. The availability of these branded generic medicines has resulted in significant savings in healthcare costs incurred by the government. We remain committed to offering quality affordable medicines in Malaysia.’

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Source: Ranbaxy,The Sun Daily

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