President's Message - Dec 2021While we had a period of respite with the daily Covid-19 cases even falling below 4000 cases per day, Omicron variant brings along renewed uncertainties. The data is still coming in, with countries adopting measures on the side of caution. Meanwhile the rollout of booster shots is being intensified. MAPS urges Members to encourage their respective staff to take the booster dose.
The Ministry of International Trade and Industry has been actively engaged with the industry on various matters, including the ratification of the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) pact. There are several laws that need to be amended to align with the CPTPP before Malaysian can present our instrument of ratification. MAPS is of the view that ratifying the CPTPP will bring about economic advantages to the nation and the fear of IP protection causing delay of generics entry has been adressed in the CPTPP having exemption clauses where Malaysia can draw upon to protect her specific national interests.
MITI has also engaged the industry on the overdue New Industrial Master Plan (NIMP). MAPS has managed to submit our proposals to Malaysian Industry-Government Group for High Technology (MIGHT) for them to consider in preparing the NIMP particularly on the importance the roles played by MAPS in strengthening the availability of generics through imports in terms of product technology, competitive pricing and choice for patients and Healthcare providers.
The long standing matter of medicine price regulation has entered a new phase. The first Cost Benefit Analysis (CBA) done by the Health Ministry was presented in January this year. However following feedback from various stakeholders, the first CBA has been followed up by a second CBA and the process of gathering feedback is progressing. We thank you all for providing the feedback via the Malaysian Productivity Center website. In case you have yet to respond with your feedback do go to the UPC link here. The CBA is a component that is crucial in aiding the government perform regulatory impact assessment before new laws are passed.
MAPS has consistently been not in favour of Price Control as it does not bring about innovation and creativity in technology advancement. Further, the prices are artificially managed and tend to lead to stagnation in competition and innovation. Controlled Prices tend to breed indifference to product innovation and quality and this will also lead to unhealthy drug delivery services. MAPS believes that competition will always brings about the most competitive prices and products to the benefits of the consumers, patients and healthcare providers.
As we approach the end of the year, I hope you remain cautious as you enjoy your Christmas time and be refreshed for the new year. So Blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year.
President's Message October 2021Today marks the first day that Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya have moved into the 4th phase of the National Recovery Plan. However we are still in a phase where the infections are still recorded in the thousands, necessary precautions remain (masking, distancing, regular sanitization, ventilation, etc), albeit with relaxation of certain movement restrictions and opening of more business and social sectors.
Cross border travel restrictions have been lifted with vaccination rate surpassing 90% of adults, and adolescent vaccination program rolling out. Numbers of recoveries continue to outpace new infections, while ICU occupancy is falling. All of this is a first step to our nation healing, and we need to heal albeit at a cautious pace.
I hope members will start to normalize operations, nevertheless cautiously but surely. The nation needs our industry to bounce back fully as we are at the forefront of ensuring the health of our nation. Most importantly all our members must remain strong, safe and viable before we can play our full role.
The Pharmaceutical Services Division is gearing up on engaging the industry on the National Medicines Policy (DuNas) as communications have been sent out to update our delegates list to the various committees on the components of DuNas. MAPS has been invited to nominate a delegate to one additional component of the DuNas, effectively enabling us to have a voice in 4 out of the 5 components of DuNas. We look forward to representing our interests in the policy making body.
I wish all of you the best in the next few weeks as you get back to both life and business under the new normal.
President's Message - September 2021The Klang Valley welcomes the move into Phase 2 of the National Recovery Plan (NRP). Many relaxations have been made for fully vaccinated individuals. Activities are beginning to pick up, albeit at a cautious pace with the number of infection cases holding at around 20,000 per day, while vaccination rates have surpassed 50% of population (fully vaccinated) and two thirds with at least one dose. The state of Sarawak is slated for rollout of vaccines for adolescents as it grapples with a new wave. In all this, the ray of hope is that severe cases for vaccinated individuals remain low. We are grateful for the vaccine rollout, and urge members to help drive support for this.
In the next few days and weeks several other relaxations will be taking place, and we hope that life and livelihoods will return to normal sooner rather than later. The Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) has engaged several industries including MAPS on the impending ratification of the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership(CPTPP) agreement. The main concern of our industry lies in the possibility of delayed entry of generics and biosimilars due to the clauses on Intellectual Property. However, there have been several carve-outs in the agreement to circumvent this problem. When we engaged the MITI, we realised that some members may not have invoked the benefits of existing Free Trade Agreements that we have, either on a bilateral basis or multilateral basis. Please do visit the MITI website on FTA to know more about this as it would help you become more competitive.
Our membership base has grown to 33. We can still grow the membership base further, so that our industry can band together to have a stronger voice in engagements with the government of the day, as we play our part in pulling our nation out of this prolonged slump from the various NRP phases and pandemic situations.
On a final note, I wish you "Happy Malaysia Day", and do enjoy your short break and come back stronger.
President's Message - June 2021We are approaching the middle of the year, with virtually everyday in lockdown. The pandemic situation remains high despite the measures taken. Full restrictions have been in place for a month, and no respite is seen. The sentiments are palpably negative, but our industry remains a critical one in helping the nation come out of this dark history. We should remain strong and commited to this end.
As the nation moves towards exiting the MCO's, the term "phases" has been introduced, in preference to MCO. The phases and criteria for implementation have been shared extensively. We have started a WhatsApp Blast Messaging group to inform members of any urgent messages in view of the fluidity of the situation. Please contact Mathew John (019-3540904) to be included in this group if you have not done so.
Towards this end of exiting, the immunisation program is one of the cornerstones. While immunisation started slowly, we have seen a recent acceleration with daily vaccination rates exceeding 200,000 per day in the past week. In effect, the National Immunisation Program has entered into Phase 3, as well as the private partnership vaccination (PIKAS) program.
However, even with immunisation, we are now aware of new variants which threaten to derail some of the plans. It is likely that Covid-19 will remain an endemic even after the vaccination program, and new ways of coping as well as living with it should be looked at. As an industry, opportunities still remain for us to be resilient, as long as we contine to be vigilant in getting the right products to help our nation out of it.
Finally, the nation is best served only if we take care of ourselves in observing the safety protocols. Please ensure that the SOP's are fully complied with towards this end.
President's Message - February 2021The last month has not been easy for our nation as we grapple with the highest daily records for Covid-19 cases, and the implementation of MCO 2.0 as well as an Emergency declaration. However the first few days of this month has seen a gradual decline in cases, albeit still registering high numbers. It has been stated by the Ministiry of Science Technology and Innovation that the vaccine will be delivered one week earlier than expected for the end of this month to enable phase one of the Vaccination roll-out.
For the past month we have been engaged in various discussions on the proposed Medicine Price Control. We thank all our members for providing feedback on the Cost Benefit Analysis via the United Public Consultation web portal. We continue to be engaged in discussing this matter, as of writing of this message.
MAPS was invited in January to provide feedback to the Ministry of International Trade and Industry on the proposal by India and South Africa to the World Trade Organization on "Waiver From Certain Provisions Of The Trips Agreement For The Prevention, Containment And Treatment Of Covid-19". We have provided our feedback in the direct meeting with MITI.
Our Annual General Meeting is scheduled for next month 18th March, and barring any further extensions, we hope to see everyone for this AGM where we will be electing the new board to lead us through the challenges,with your strong support.
As the new year of the Ox approaches, although celebrations this year will be rather muted, I trust that we will all do our best to stay safe, and healthy. I wish all a Happy Chinese New Year, and may the challenges turn into opportunities.
President's Message - December 2020We are now in December 2020, the last month of 2020! The journey of the past months has not been easy. Malaysia and the World were in different stages of “lock-down” of the economy as Covid-19 continues to wreak havoc on the world stage. It was a Pandemic that was unprecedented. We were all, and still are, learning how best to manage the economy and the health and life of the populations.
As we enter the year 2021, there is a renewed hope as Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccines had just been approved for use by Countries like the MHRA of the UK and US FDA. Many more Covid-19 vaccines are also in the final stages of Phase 3 Clinical trials and are also near completion and ready for regulatory approvals as well. Malaysia is also entering a Phase 3 Clinical trial for Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine as well as Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine is pending regulatory approval for registration by the NPRA.
Thus 2021 promises a better year for the economy. In a World Bank Report on 17th December 2020, the headline read as “Despite rising fiscal deficit and government debt in 2020, Malaysia’s economy is forecast to grow by 6.7% in 2021” This is also aligned with the Country’s Budget 2021 forecast at 6.0% compared with an estimated contraction of 5.8% this year.
From the recent “MCO & Covid-19 - Business Impact and Brief Salary Survey, 2020” conducted by MAPS, members were negatively affected in Revenues and Profits. However, none resorted to drastic measures like staff reduction though actions were taken to manage costs and expenses. Responders expressed that while businesses will face more difficulties in operation, there is cautious confidence for a better 2021 albeit a need to adopt new approaches and strategies in a post Covid-19 market landscape. The Survey Committee has also proposed a series of approaches and tools to be considered by the Company in the Survey Report.
MAPS’ Secretariat has also been engaging members during the various stages of MCO period. We are glad that the Secretariat was able to take the lead during the earlier part of the MCO. Members were kept abreast with information and advice as the Government introduced strict Movement Control. In the past 2 weeks alone, the Pharmacy services has engaged MAPS three times in the National Medicine Policy (DUNas) on the componenents, Good Governance in Medicine, Access to Medicine and Public-Private Partnership.
The BOD was also kept busy with engagements with various stakeholders like the MITI, NPRA, PhAMA and MOPI on Industry issues. Some of these meetings were captured on MAPS’ website, which please access.
The membership renewal has been sent out, and we thank you in advance for your renewal. A stong assoication is needed to better represent our interests to the various stakeholders, eg the government, the market, etc.
In closing, on behalf of the Board of Directors, I would like to wish our Christian friends “Blessed Christmas” and also “A Better, Happy and Successful New Year, 2021” to ALL!
President's Message - September 2020I would like to once again thank all of you, our members for turning up to the AGM last month, as the RMCO has kicked in and associations have been allowed to have meetings, with the SOP applied.
MAPS has been engaged with the MITI on reinvigorating the economy under this RMCO. We have also held a virtual meeting with the Pharmacy Agency of Uzebkistan. A later follow up was that the Uzbek government has, via their embassy opened up a request to MAPS members for supply of some products in their own fight against Covid-19. Hopefully some of you have had the opportunity to supply to Uzbekistan.
We just had a virtual meeting with the NPRA and many issues were discussed.
Finally, I wish you a happy Malaysia day.
President's Message - May 2020Much has happened in the month and half since my last message, although nothing much seems to have happened. We are now on the verge of the 7th week of the MCO. Many of us are frustrated, confused and worried. It is at this time we need to rely on each other to learn how to weather the storm. On the other hand some of our members have seen an upsurge as this time of challenge gave rise to new opportunities.
The MCO SOP's will have to be applied long after the eventual lifting of the MCO. As an industry that understands the workings of medical advances we should know this very well. Right now, we have heard of some treatments giving hope, only to be dashed eventually with later reports. On the vaccine front, the news is not any better, as we now see new strains developing. The vaccine studies also need some time to be shown effective, and gain marketing approval, in countries developing them and also in our own. Even when vaccines eventually get developed, we do know that the access may be limited due to national interests, costs, logistics, etc. So we must be prepared to restructure our operations, and this MCO period is a time for us to have learnt the new normal for doing our business.
I want to elaborate a little about the meeting at the Ministry of International Trade and Industry. Some of our members have got their approvals, while some are still waiting and not a few also got rejections. The first MCO announcements exempted 12 sectors. MITI understands that the sectors need support from the upstream supply chains, eg manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers and logistics operators in order to ensure that the 12 sectors can be fully operational, and meet local demands in this time of panic. For that reason MITI has lobbied to extend the sectors, including ours to continue operating on the premise and promise that we can comply with the SOP's. However, if any company within an industry championed by MITI fails to abide by the SOP's, it may eventually affect the industry as a whole, if many from the same industry are found to violate the SOP's. That would be seen as a pattern, of the industry, and may lead to revocation of the entire industry.
The good news just announced is that companies allowed to operate are now freed from the limitations on number of workers and operating hours. But it cannot be over-emphasised that strict adherence to the SOP's have to be complied.
A strategic cooperation between the National Security Council (NSC), the Ministry of Health (MOH), the Malaysian Administrative Modernisation and Management Planning Unit (MAMPU) and Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) has produced the MySejahtera app to enable the Ministry of Health (MOH) to monitor users’ health condition and take immediate actions in providing the treatments required. There are many benefits in using this app. I would encourage all members to have all staff use this app. I would even go a step further to have members insist that visitors to their premise show their "health passport" from the app before allowing them in.
While now the number of infections have come down, it is time to refocus on rebuilding the economy, in anticipation of the MCO being relaxed and lifted. For this purpose both the Economic Planning Unit (EPU) and Ministry of Finance (MOF) are working on long term, mid term and short term plans. The MOF is organising 6 working groups towards reviving the economy, namely:
President's Message - March 2020My message to you is mostly an appeal at a time of difficulty, not only for our nation, but also for the world. At the moment of writing this message, our nation is into her thrid day of the Movement Control Order. Some clarity has emerged, so I can now write to you with a certain level of confidence.
The Order allows for some sectors like healthcare and pharmacies to continue operating, but was silent on our role as healthcare suppliers. The Order also gave the assurance that supplies will be sufficient. When the Order was made, many questions were left unanswered and most of us were in a state of conflict because we knew that the continuity of health and pharmacy supplies is contingent on the supply chain for which we are a crucial link but at the same time we do not want to violate the Order.
MAPS, via our Executive Director has reached out to the Pharmacy Services Program to ensure that our services and contribution at this critical time would continue without being seen as violating the Order. Some further clarity was achieved when the Press Release was made by the National Security Council on the list of essential goods as verified by the Ministry of Health. Most of us are supplying items 5 and 7 in the list, ie pharmaceuticals and medical devices.
Please note that this exemption has conditions attached, and we should comply with the conditions. Please read the conditions, but I would like to highlight some, ie to reduce non-critical staff, practise safety like work space distance, temperature monitoring, hand sanitizing and the use of face masks.
On a side note, we were scheduled to have our AGM on March 19th, but we decided to postpone it until further notice. Shortly after, we received news that the Registrar of Societies had issued a blanket ban on all association activities until June. We were also scheduled for a few engagements including with the NPRA, and all these have to be suspended until further notice due to the Order.
Despite this difficult time, we want to acknowledge changes that took place. Firstly we congratulate Dr Ramli bin Zainal for ending his term successfully as the Senior Director of Pharmacy Services Program. At the same time, we congratulate and welcome Datin Dr. Faridah Aryani Binti Md Yusof who now takes over as the Senior Director of Pharmacy Services Program. With Datin's promotion, we also congratulate and welcome back Dr Hasenah Ali on her return from the Pharmacy Services Program to NPRA as the Director.
As a concluding message, the country needs us more at this critical time. We hope that we can work to enable us to come out of this difficult situation stronger and better.
President's Message - Jan 2020We are now in 2020! A new year and a new decade, and a leap year.
I believe we all enter the New Year with fresh and renewed energy, determination and hope to create and achieve a better Year than before.
Economically, according to the Finance Ministry, in it’s New Year message, Malaysia is expected to achieve 4.8% GDP growth in 2020. This is because of its development spending Budget 2020, rebound in commodity prices, investment growth and the expected positive outcome to the US-China trade war.
In the Healthcare sector, basing on the announcement by the Minister of Health on 2nd Janaury 2020, Malaysia is expected to revamp the Health financing system if the Cabinet approves the healthcare reform proposal by the Ministry. This will transform the public sector to become more empowered, agile and responsive and established a well-governed health financing institution. The details will be forthcoming once the proposal is approved.
Meanwhile, it was also announced that price control mechanism and pool procurement of medicine would be rolled out by mid-2020. When the price control mechanism was first announced it was expected to be effective end-2019. We will continue to engage the Health Ministry on this matter.
The Industry is expected to face opportunities and challenges. Members are encouraged to be proactive and be prepared for the transformation with relevant resources and the embracing of technology in the IR 4 environment. It is said that the success of future Company will have substancial depency on the utilisation of data.
The Rakyat must continue to have ease of access to quality, safe and efficacious medicines at affordable prices, whether locally manufactured or imported. MAPS is totally aligned with this noble objective underlining the Malaysian National Medicines Policy (DUNAS).
MAPS will continue to engage all stakeholders, especially the Ministry of Health in fair policy development and implementation, in ensuring that members’ interest will be protected and given opportunities to develop and grow for the sake of the Rakyat.
In closing, we look to your continuous support and contributions in resources, like manpower and financials, when there are need to have members participating in Committees and Projects.
Lastly, I would like to wish all of you a “Prosperous Chinese New Year, 2020”.
President's Message - Dec 2019The end of this year is special, in that it also marks the end of this decade. Perhaps its is worthwhile to reflect briefly, but more so to move ahead with a new decade.
I once again want to record my most sincere thanks to all members for the support given since the inception of MAPS a little more than 8 years ago. Your support is what keeps us going. We celebrated this with a very well attended 8th Anniversary dinner with the theme, Moving Ahead, which is aligned to entering the new decade. I want to thank you for participating and making this a success.
MAPS, is still a young association, but we have done quite well in making our representations to various stakeholders. We note that we have been engaged for the first time ever in the the formulation of the 12th Malaysia Plan (RMK-12). There have been many engagements on the price control mechanism, and we remain hopeful that our views are being considered.
Our Vice President, Mr Heng shared the stage with the Senior Director Pharmacy Services Programme, Dr Ramli Zainal, along other luminaries of the industry in a panel discussion on the topic “GOVERNANCE & INTEGRITY: THE WAY FORWARD” on October 30th. That is another one of our first time engagement. Just this coming weekend MAPS will again be a panel member on the Pharmaceutical Industry Pharmacists Insight 3.0 at Taylor's Uni Lakeside Campus on the paradigm shift in profession landscape.
The board is moving ahead with the sepcial arrangement to enter into a joint company with out counterparts, MOPI ad PhAMA in the track and trace initiative, and anticipate the formalization of the memorandum towards this effect.
As a reminder, the secretariat has sent out membership renewal for the new year. Please inform the secretariat once you hae finalised the renewals, so that your records can be duly updated. I believe that are more that we can do for our industry as we work towards being more relevant.
Some of you are perhaps already in the holiday mood, and I wish you a happy holiday as you greet the final Christmas of this decade and the first New Year of the next decade. Do of course have a good journey if you are traveling. Regardless of whether you are traveling or not, I hope you enjoy the fruits of your labour in this period of holiday cheers.
President's Message October 2019We are fast approaching the final quarter of 2019. It has been an eventful year so far, and for the remaining of the year many of us will be looking at formulating the new business year's strategies and directions. Perhaps, recent developments will be helpful in providing insight as to how we should move ahead for the rest of this year and the coming new year. Incidentally, "Move Ahead" is the theme of our Triennial dinner this year. More on that later in this message.
Since my last message much conversation and many meetings have been held on the subject of medicine price control. MAPS has engaged and been engaged by various organizations and forum, eg with the Galen Centre, PhAMA, MOPI and Pharmacy Services Division. This is in addition to the engagements that I have mentioned in my Raya message, ie MCPG and MPS, both of which have been reported in Codeblue and The Star. The Pharmacy Services Division also ran a public consultation on this subject. MAPS stand has always been that price controls are unnecessary, in a market that is freely competitive, especially with generic options available.
We thank MAPS members for their response to the survey carried out by Pharmacy Services Division on Code of Ethics. We know that this is yet another way in which medicine prices can be made more competitive, as the industry focuses its marketing at ethical practises, thus reducing wasted costs. Please be aware that the Pharmacy Services Division is orgaizing a seminar on this subject scheduled for a full day on October 30 2019 at the Grand Dorsett Hotel, Subang Jaya.
In seeking to expand generic entry to Malaysia, the Korea Trade Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) paid a visit to MAPS in July.
MAPS was also called to meet with the Enforcement Division, Pharmacy Services Division, introducing the new vendor for hologram, and the new systems and its features. I trust that most members have sent their staff to attend the training and even started to get supply of hologram from the new supplier.
One major development is the formulation of the 12th Malaysia Plan (RMK-12), in which various stakeholders have been engaged in contributing to the writing of the strategic papers. These papers will be refined and eventually be tabled at the parliamentary seating sometime past mid 2020. MAPS is one of the participants and have been engaged in 4 sessions of focus groups for preparation of the healthcare sector plan. Members are encouraged to log in to our members page for the minister's presentation on the way forward.
A small and dedicated team, under the able leadership of Mathew John has been very busy preparing for our 3rd dinner event on the 18th OCtober 2019. I want to thank all members for the support in making this event a reality via various means. Most of you have committed to taking up tables. Some even have committed to contributions for the door gifts and lucky draws. While we look forward to this time of coming together, and the chance of taking home some goodies, the highlight is that we will be hearing from the ministry. It is therefore fitting that with so much going on, our theme "Moving Ahead" should provide insight to each and every one of us as we align with the greater strategic plan to make universal health coverage a reality, but at the same time ensure that we remain relevant for many more years.
President's Message June 2019In a week, the month of Ramadan will end, ushering in the Shawal month. I wish you Salam Aidil Fitri, Selamat Hari Raya Puasa. Please be safe on the roads, and may you have a wonderful time either resting or meeting up with family and friends.
The Town Hall session with the Minister of Health was successfully conducted on April 2nd. MAPS President was also invited to be a panellist in the Medicine Pricing Forum in the National Pharmaceutical Conference 2019 on April 27th, where our views were presented to a full house crowd.
As we now prepare to host our triennial dinner, the organizing committe has fixed October 18th, 2019 as the date to look forward to. This event has always been a highlight whenever it has been held. As in the past, this event is a time where we get to meet up and network with not only our own members but also with regulators and partners in other associations. Please set aside this date and support our association's event by way of attendance and participation. More details will be shared with you, as the committee works towards the hosting of this event.
President's Message Jan 2019Qong Xi Fa Cai to all, as we celebrate the Chinese New Year.
The MAPS Secretariat has sent out notices of our Annual General Meeting to be held in March ie on the 21st. Although this is not an election year, we hope to see a strong representation, as we will be receiving reports of what has transpired for the past year. It is a good time to also hear our member' feedback.
We have been informed that the Minister of Health will be holding a townhall session with Pharmaceutical Industry representatives in March, and MAPS has submitted a few proposal papers, in preparatin for this session.
May the new year bring new opporunities for growth and prosperity. Drive safe.
President's Message Dec 2018Blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year to all.
MAPS was invited to the meeting with stakeholers on Majlis Tindakan Sara Hidup Kluster Kesihatan jointly chaired by the Secretary General and Director General of Health on the 7th November in Putrajaya.There will be a series of engagements to address the cost of living over several months. MAPS will contribute ideas and inputs to this initiative that is spearheaded by the Deputy Prime Minister.
MAPS was invited to the Malaysian Community Pharmacy Business Forum 3.5 which was held on 10th November. MAPS President was also invited to be on the dialogue panel to share views on specialization of the pharmacy profession.
We have successfully engaged NPRA on November 16th for a dialogue with a long list of topics. Please give your attention to the minutes that have been circulated to you.
MAPS Salary survey has been successfully completed and the full report has been sent to participants. We had close to 50% participation in the survey which shows the keen interest of members in this highly valuable part of operations. You are encouraged to take part for future surveys as it will be beneficial, both to you and the association.
A meeting was hosted by MOPI on December 14th to discuss the track and trace initiative. Eventually the three associations will work together with the Ministry to find a suitabe replacement for the hologram at a reasonable cost. We are still hopeful that the Ministry will consider the 3 associations as its preferred partner in driving this forward.
Finally a word on membership. MAPS can only be strong with the support and cooperation from each of our members. As the new year is fast drawing upon us, we wish to see your continued support for the new year. As a Christmas wish, I wish that we can see an expanded membership base, so that the significance of our voice will grow from strength to strength.
May the new year bring new hope, opportunities and friendships.
President's Message November 2018I wish all our members a Happy Diwali, the festival of lights which celebarates the triumph of light over darkness.
It has been a while since my last message, and many things have transpired since then.
In August, a delegation from Institute for Biotechnology and Medicine Industry (IBMI) called on MAPS to explore possible partnership.
We were engaged in various discussions and meetings such as:
As for upcoming events, these are imminent:
We hope members will participate in providing information for the salary survey as in previous years so that we can have a good outcome of the report. In a matter of weeks, members will be reminded on renewal of membership. Please support the association, as we are only as strong as our membership
President's Message -June 2018In a little while, the month of Ramadan will end, ushering in Syawal.
Selamat Hari Raya Puasa!
On another note, we now have a new government, and the new Minister of Health has outlined 6 measures in addressing health services issues. Many of this will lead to a more vibrant market for us. Not in the 6 measures, but also a matter that will be adressed is the way the government procures medicines. Battling drug shortages will be topmost on the minister's mind.
While the pharmaceutical industry had benefited from zero rating of all poisons and many essential non-poisons, the effective zero-rating of all products now augur well for our industry. Many of you have substantial business in supplements that were not zero rated.
I trust that with all the developments, many of you will have a more vibrant business environment as we move into higher gear after the holidays.
However, we know that regulatory requirements are getting more intense, and this is not only limited to our country. It is part and parcel of delivering high quality, efficacious and safe medicines to our market. Towards this end, MAPS will engage with stakeholders to ensure that such implementations are for best outcomes.
President's Message - February 2018I would like to wish you a Happy Chinese New Year. Many of you may be returning to your hometown, whether or not you are Chinese. Such is the uniqueness of our country, where we take time to celebrate our cultural diversity.
I would like to record my thanks and congratulations to the regulatory sub-committee, for organizing the 1-day Workshop on Regulatory Updates on 18th January where 6 Regulatory Officials from the NPRA interacted with 39 participants from 23 member Companies. It was a huge success and special thanks to GS Beh, SM Chong and Tammy Lim for their sacrifice in making it a success. Not to forget, Medispec that has always been our gracious host, also a big thank you.
The Annual General Meeting is less than 2 months away, and with the CNY holidays coming up, we anticipate that it will arrive sooner than we think. As a reminder, please make this a priority, to attend the AGM scheduled for March 20th. This is an election year, and I trust you will want to elect a board that carries your confidence in representing our collective interests.
President's Message - December 2017All of a sudden the last month of the year is upon us. How time flies. Since my last message several things have happened.
As a follow through of the June joint meeting of the industry, MAPS, PhAMA and MOPI, we managed to have a fruitful meeting on August 24th with the Secretary-General of the Ministry of Health, Datuk Seri Dr Chen Chaw Min together with senior members of his team. We managed to discuss and hear on various issues including the SL1M program, proposal on mandatory declaration of medicine prices, corporatisation of NPRA, Healthcare Transformation, Patient Assisted Program (PAP) and the direction of hologram/track and trace system.
This was followed up by a further discussion on September 7th, with the Bahagian Perkhidmatan Farmasi to work out the mechanics of the price declaration. Members are reminded to register with the Mypharma-C portal to report on the prices.
Also following through on the meeting with the Secretary-General, a closed door meeting was held on October 13th on the track and trace system, which would be the first in a series of such meetings. Ultimately the aim of this system is to provide an end-to-end track and trace system to enhance the safety features of medicine supply.
On the competition front, there have been a series of meetings held by the MyCC Pharmaceutical Steering Committee, and the appointed consultants to review the Pharmaceutical market. This has resulted in the publication of a draft report of the Pharmaceutical review available on the MyCC website. Two public consultations were called to gather feedback from the public, in Kuala Lumpur (November 22) and Penang (November 24). Another avenue for feedback is via the MyCC website. As a reminder, if you have any feedback please provide tit through the link on the website by December 7th 9.00 am.
As you can see, MAPS is very actively engaged to represent the interests which are aligned to yours. Shortly, we will be sending out notices for membership renewal for 2018. A notice on the 2018 Annual General Meeting will be sent out early 2018. You need to be a fully paid up member, in order to exercise your rights.
Another exciting event is the Workshop on API, BE & LAB exclusive event with MAPS on 18 January 2018. This event will feature speakers from the NPRA. The secretariat has informed that within just 2 days of opening registration 1/3rd of available seats have already been registered. Do hurry to register, as this is a highly valuable session.
Finally, I take this time to wish an early Christmas greeting to you and a happy new year.
President's Message - Jun 2017In a few days, we will be celebrating Hari Raya Puasa, after a month of fasting. I would like to firstly wish all of us Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri.
Our 6th AGM was conducted smoothly on 21st March. We thank the members for continuing to support our role in representing our shared interests. We hope that members will also take up more active roles in the association, as there is an increasing need to engage stakeholders in the industry, especially at this time when many proposals are being made to amendments of legislations.
A delegation from MAPS visited the CPhI South East Asia Conference in Jakarta from 22 -24th March 2017. Members who attended the conference have started to work on opportunities, and are continuing to engage the exhibitors to bring these to fruition.
We also successfully organised a Halal Pharmaceuticals talk on April 6th, attended by about 30 participants. Our distinguished panel of 4 experts delivered a very engaging session.
A regulatory subcommittee meeting on May 9th was well attended, and many issues were discussed in anticipation for our dialogue with NPRA. Many topics were covered including new product registration, product registration renewal, Zone IVB requirements, BE centre accreditation and Quest 3+ issues. Members are encouraged to send their regulatory officers to such meetings as it is an avenue in which much can be gained in raising issues affecting this key point of our business existence. Our dialogue with NPRA originally scheduled for June 6th was deferred to July 3rd due to the appointment of the new Director of NPRA.
MAPS represented by the President celebrated MPS's 50th anniversary ceremony and events on May 13th.
The three industry associations, MAPS, MOPI and PhAMA met to discuss various issues on 5th June. Main topic discussed was the proposed amendment to Good Pharmaceutical Trade Practises. The MyCC has given the opportunity to the industry to propose amendments to the GPTP as a higher compliance to the GPTP is desired. It was agrred at this meeting that we would also seek a meeting with the Secretary General of MOH to discuss the anti-counterfeiting program (Hologram/GS1).
A seminar on Improving Health Innovation and Access to Medicines was organised by IDEAS, and MAPS was represented to discuss the issue of encouraging and protecting health innovation and increasing access to medical technologies and medicines. It was organised as part of supporting World Health Day and World Intellectual Property Day, is aimed to be a platform for relevant stakeholders in the health sector in Malaysia to discuss on the progress made thus far under the Healthcare National Key Economic Area (NKEA) sector, focusing on the development of pharmaceutical products and health devices.
Within the month of June alone various government engagements were conducted to gather feedback on amandements to the following legislation
President's Message - Mar 2017I would like to start by thanking the participants of our year 2016 Salary survey, making it the 4th successive year that we have published the survey. The final results were posted to participants before the end of last year, and is expected to have guided participants on the salary and benefits for the relevant staff categories.
MAPS regulatory committe was also represented in the Technical Working Groups on Bioequivalence, and the inputs were distributed to help guide our members.
The Minitry of Health also shared via our secretariat, the MOH Formulary (2016), a document of 402 pages. We trust that members will find it useful in sourcing products to expand their portfolio and also to meet the nation's needs.
As you may know the Anti-Profiteering mechanism was introduced along with the GST, and was originally meant to end by the first full year of GST implementation. However, it was extended to the end of last year. The Price Control and Anti-Profiteering (Mechanism to Determine Unreasonably High Profit for Goods) Regulations 2016 (2017 Regulations) was gazetted on 22 December 2016. The 2017 Regulations came into force on 1 January 2017 upon the expiry of the previous regulations on 31 December 2016. This new APM limited the scope to only certain classes of goods, which include food and beverages, and household goods.
On developments regarding the hologram, some proposals have been made to the Ministry of Health. One contender for this is the GS1 System. The Pharmaceutical Services and National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA) was briefed on the "GS1 Healthcare Trial Project - Pharmaceutical Products Authentication and Getting Started with Track & Trace, Manufacturer to Distributor to Retailer". We are still waiting further development, but for the foreseeable future, the Meditag will remain.
The MyCC organised a Malaysia Competition Conference 2017 - Competition Law: Breaking Norms, Managing Change. There is growing interest in the Pharmaceutical Industry's competition practises. A Pharmaceutical Market Review was submitted to the MyCC, and MAPS had the opportunity to comment on the review.
We conducted a timely Good Governance in Medicines talk late last year, as the Pharmaceutical Services Division is spearheading further adoption of the practices. In this regard, the PSD will be making available 2 sets of GGM brochures to MAPS members, and is calling for an implementation meeting again just days after our AGM.
As the AGM comes around on the 21st Mar 2017, I hope that member companies will be represented in the AGM, although there is no election of office bearers this year. The coming together to receive the reports and to discuss matters will help guide the association to better serve its members' needs.
We are also very pleased that CPhI South East Asia organisers have reached out to MAPS, inviting our members to the event at the Jakarta International Expo from Mar 22 - 24th. There has been good response from our members for this event.
Back home, MAPS is organising a talk on "Halal Medicines" with a panel of 4 speakers for April 6th. A component of DuNas is on halal medicinces, and this remains a subject that we need to further understand and appreciate to remain relevant in this market. I trust that many of you will sign up for this event.
President's Message - Dec 2016Many of us will be 'closing' the books as we end the Year 2016, in the next few days and are preparing to welcome 2017
Reflecting on the Year, we must say that it has not been easy.
The Pharmaceutical Industry has not recovered fully since the implementation of the GST in April 2015 coupled with the Government budget tightening, the weakened Ringgit against the US Dollar and a weak domestic demand. These are some of the challenges that the Industry will continue to face as it enters into 2017.
On the regulatory front, we have yet to see the full settling of the Quest 3+, but we are confident that the NPRA will take steps to alleviate our difficulties. The MyCC has been stating that it is now focused on the Pharmaceutical industry to ensure that anti-competitive afforts are weeded out. I trust that members will continue to review their policies and procedures to avoid being on the wrong side of the law.
As an Industry, which imports pharmaceutical and healthcare products into Malaysia, we must continue to be resilient, creative and innovative in sustaining and growing the Industry. MAPS will continue to be the umbrella where the interest and practice of the members be protected and enhanced as the eco-system of the healthcare continues to be challenged and evolve.
I strongly urge each one of you to continue to be more active in MAPS in the years to come. Do maximize the network available, within MAPS, to share experiences and collaborate with one another in accelerating Company performance and growth. The impact of this young society is already being felt, as MAPS has been recognized by the Bahagian Perkhidmatan Farmasi via the appointment of our Executive Director and Vice President, Dr Choe Tong Seng into the Pharmacy Board. We congratulate Dr Choe as he serves our country. Your participation will ensure that MAPS will continue to play a prominent role for yourselves as well as for society.
Meanwhile, on behalf of the Board of Directors, I would like to wish you and your staff “Blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year, 2017”!
President's Message - Sep 2016We have just celebrated our 59th Merdeka. History tells us that it was the unity of purpose among our leaders, notwithstanding race and religion, that was instrumental in achieving that history.
As we recollect our thoughts on this young association, MAPS, we are reminded that we have come a significant way by unity of purpose in our collective efforts to address needs whether as an association or with other stakeholders such as other industry associations, government agencies and most importantly the general public.
We have managed to
The PRP program, is an opportunity for getting pharmacists who are primed to serve your needs. Previously, most pharmacists coming out to our industry are just clinically inclined and naive to industry practises. They have a steep learning curve to in order to bridge the gap of functioning well. So pharmacists undergoing PRP training in MAPS member companies would be more conversant in handling the complexities of our industry. This improves the productivity of your new recruits significantly.
As you may know the contract for hologram with Meditag is coming to an end next year. Many members and even other association members have been extremely vocal about it. We agree with the MOH that counterfeiting of medicines is not something that can be taken likely, and it is bad for the consumers and us too. As such anti-counterfeiting measures are here to stay. However, the joint industries are the major stakeholders and we have made our proposal to take over the system using an enhanced GS1 system. The objective is to gain control of the cost transparency of the program. The proposal remains under consideration, as we try an address some issues of concern raised by the MOH
We will be having our biennial dinner on 21st October with the theme, "Together for Strength". As outlined above, indeed by working together we can safeguard our interests without compromising on the interests of the regulators and consumers. I encourage all members to come together again this time to make it a succesdful event, to make it yet another night to remember. The organizing committte, under Mathew John is putting together a beautiful event.
It is evident MAPS is surely working for the common good of the Industry, and we can be more effective with better participation. As such, we trust that current members will continue to support both in terms of membership and participation in the programs organised by the association, such as the dinner. Perhaps some readers of this message have yet to be members of MAPS, and would benefit from being members and participating in our programs. We can only become better with more active participation.
President's Message – June 2016We enter into the month of Ramadhan, with our Muslim members observing a month of fasting, and reflect on things to be thankful for. While those of other faiths may not be observing fast, but perhaps would also reflect on things to be thankful for.
The price of oil has gained, at one point even exceeding USD50 per barrel, and remains stable around the high USD40 range, from the lows of sub-USD30 just a few months back. If prices sustain at this level and continue to move forward, this would be good for our economy and consumer sentiments will improve.
Since my last message, much have happened.
An interest group among MAPS members met on 14th April 2016 in the MAPS Secretariat to draft a PRP(Provisionally Registered Pharmacists) Training Program. Upon approval, this Program will be the template used by participating companies. This PRP program is mutually beneficial to MAPS members who choose to employ such pharmacists, as it reduces the learning curve of the new pharmacists, into fully functional pharmacists specific to your company needs
The MyCC Pharmaceutical Steering Committee Meeting had its first meeting on the 24th April where MAPS was represented to discuss the terms of references for the Pharmaceutical Steering Committee and Pharmaceutical Market Review. The MyCC encourages regulates competition to ensure that there is healthy competition. This steering committee helps enable healthy competition in the pharmaceutical industry.
A Quest 3+ briefing was held on April 24th, and quite a number of participants from MAPS attended the event organised by the BPFK.
Director General of Health, Datuk Dr Noor Hisham chaired the briefing session on the latest development on the Pharmacy Bill (RUUF) on May 9th. Bhg Farmasi presented the decisions of the Minister of Health on various points in the Bill. One matter of concern is price control in the Bill, and the three associations, MAPS together with MOPI and PhAMA will jointly make representations to object this matter with the Ministry.
The very next day MAPS had 7 representative attending Training for Trainers (TOT) -Good Governance for Medicines session organised by the Bahagain Farmasi which involved 3 lectures, followed by discussions and presentations on 10 cases. As good governance is an effective means to prevent leakages and contain costs, members are encouraged to adopt it.
The organizing committee for the biennial dinner has met twice, and we are looking forward to the support of members for this event, as more details will come your way in the next few weeks.
The second Board meeting of the current board will be deliberating on the 9th of June on many matters of concern.
President's Message – Apr 2016We have just passed one year of the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST). While some hiccups were experienced, generally most of us have managed this new tax regime quite well. With the co-operation of various stakeholders comprising from industry, professional and government bodies in appealing to the Finance Minister, the zero-rated products list was expanded to cover all scheduled poisons effective January this year. However, we would like the tax to revert to what was before, ie all medicines, regardless of scheduled poisons or not should be accorded zero-rating. In the coming months, we will work with various stakeholders to further expand this list to include non-scheduled poison medicines.
There is concern from Customs, that despite the removal of GST for scheduled poisons, the prices of these medications remain high. We have been reminded that the removal of tax should be passed on as a benefit to the patients/consumers. I trust that our members have the interest of the patients at heart and have passed on the benefit to the patients.
While we are thankful for the benefit to patients, Customs insisted on the use of suffix Z as a means of educating consumers of the zero-rating status of such products. With regard to suffix Z, some members have raised the question on whether it is necessary to apply for variation of the MAL numbers. In our dialogues with BPFK and BPF, the change will be done unilaterally by the BPFK. However, companies have to ensure that suffix Z be marked on the products, to protect consumer rights, and to pay heed to the deadline of implementing it.
The recovery of oil prices and dovish stance of the US Federal Reserve on interest rate revision has given some respite to the Ringgit exchange rate. By now, most of you would already have known the results of your first quarter. We hope members will continue to manage their businesses well as we weather this rough time together.
As a relatively young association, we are seeing our first transition of leadership with the recently concluded AGM. I would first like to record my thanks to members for the good turnout, in ensuring that the AGM was conducted efficiently. I thank members and the Board for their confidence in me, but more importantly I look forward to the support in ensuring that our common goals be met. I welcome Michael Chow as a new member of the Board of Directors. Most surely, I pay tribute to En Radzmi Rahmat, our past President who has helmed the leadership from the inception of MAPS. Continue to remember him in your prayers.
Finally, it is an impetus for us to enlarge the membership of the Association, as indeed there is strength in numbers, and there are still many companies who have yet to be part of us. We count on our members to work with the Board to increase the membership so that we can be more effective.
LIM TENG CHYUAN
President's Message – Jan 2016Happy New Year!
As we enter into the new Year, there is a feeling of uncertainty as Malaysia is still burdened with some of the challenges of the previous year with no landing in sight viz the weakening Ringgit, the political dilemma, the plunging price of crude oil, etc
On the global scenario, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) cut its global growth forecasts for the third time in less than a year, as new figures from Beijing showed that the Chinese economy grew at its slowest rate in a quarter of a century in 2015. Global oil markets could “drown in oversupply,” sending prices even lower as demand growth slows and Iran revives exports with the end of sanctions.
The Malaysian Government has announced that it will recalibrate its 2016 Budget on 28th January 2016 to optimise expenditure and reprioritising projects so that they could bring greater benefits to the people.
It had been reported that many Government Hospitals had their “drug budget” reduced by about 30%. This is indeed challenging, not only for the Hospitals to meet their patients’ needs but also for importers, and even local manufacturers, due to the weak Ringgit, had to purchase products at higher prices in foreign currencies, which translate into higher local prices to the hospitals and consumers.
Cost of operations had also “gone up” since 1st April 2015 as a result of GST implementation and a host of other opportunistic increases by Vendors. 2016 will therefore, once again, present great challenges to our members.
Thus, like many other factors contributing to the success of an organisation, productivity and efficiency, with better cost containment and management, are the keys to business sustenance until this present gloomy climate changes for the better.
I believe, with positive attitude and our respective experience we can all be successful, healthy and strong in meeting each of our business objectives in 2016, as in many past years when the economies were facing global challenges as well.
We will be having our 5th AGM on 22nd March 2016. It will be an Election Year for the new Office Bearers. The strength of the Association is as strong as its memberships. I look forward to your attendance and participation.
Members are encouraged to be active in the activities of the Trade and the Association.
Finally, I would like to wish all of you a “Happy Chinese Lunar New Year”. Do take time off to celebrate. Get time to relax and recharge. Come back to “fight” for another year!
President's Message – Dec 2015Since my last Message, many members have yet to recover to their pre-GST sales level ie 1st April 2015. Within a week or two, many will be closing their financial year, and, it is a big task to many to reach their respective year-end sales targets.
The challenge for many Companies, for the year, is the managing of the weakened Ringgit against the USD. The Ringgit continues to "bug" and adversely affect the cost of imported products. Coupled with this, the increased cost of "doing" business in the Country, in the last few months, adds to the challenge for Companies to remain profitable and sustainable.
At the time of writing this Message, the ringgit fell further to a three-week low as a new China index tracking the yuan against a basket of currencies spurred speculation that the exchange rate will further weaken. The move is expected to put pressure on Asian currencies to depreciate as policymakers bid to keep exports competitive with China by allowing their exchange rates to fall. Meanwhile the greenback is expected to be strengthened amid a looming increase in the US interest rate. The Ringgit also declined as a protracted slump in Brent crude cut government revenue.
Meanwhile, I trust that those of you who had participated in the "Salary & Benefit Survey 2015" had by now received a full 44-page Report, which in my mind, comes at the right moment, as all of us will be reviewing the package for our respective staff for the new Year. For those who had not participated, you will receive an "abridged copy", which I hope you will participate next year. I must thank the Trade Committee for its contribution and great effort.
What will be waiting in 2016?
The Ringgit is expected to remain weak as we move into the new year. Cost must be managed and contained to the best of our ability. Sales revenue, work efficiency and productivity must increase. Businesses must collaborate and meet the challenges together to remain competitive and efficient.
Company leadership needs to be more creative and innovative in their management and business plan. Again, the need to be efficient in the business systems and processes, with high performance team and relevant support infrastructures, must be further developed and put in place.
MAPS will continue to support the interest of its members to ensure that the competitive landscape is fair and equitable to all in the Industry.
In this regards, effective January 2016, all prescribed medicines will be “zero-rated” as a result of the Appeal by the joint effort by all the stakeholders in 2015. There will be many activities and joint activities organised by MAPS and the 3 Trade Associations ie MAPS, MOPI and PhAMA to enhance the skill and knowledge of the manpower of the Industry specifically in the Regulatory environment.
MAPS will continue to engage the Bahagian Farmasi and all stakeholders in the development of the Industry.
Let us continue to work together in 2016. In closing, I wish all of you "Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year".
President's Message – May 2015We are approaching the middle of the Year.
According to the recent economic report, the Country’s real GDP growth registered 5.6% yoy in 1Q15, which is slightly above the market consensus of 5.5%. Growth was mainly supported by household consumption (+8.8%) on the back of pre-GST spending and total investment (+7.9%) as both private and public investment recorded positive growth. Moving forward growth is expected to moderate at 5.0% by year end.
Many of our member Companies had upsurge of sales pre-GST as well. However, the months following in April, and now May, sales slowed. Most expect the sales to “catch-up” when customers begin to replenish their inventories in the next few months.
The implementation of the GST, effective April 1, 2015 was managed well by our members despite some teething issues and challenges. However, these were resolved and hopefully, as the months roll forward, these will be managed professionally as well. I must thank the members for assisting, sharing pointers and information with one another to surmount these issues and challenges.
Currently there are 4600 brand names being “zero-rated”. We now await the decision of the Finance Minister, which is expected to be in Q3, 2015 to give approval for all prescribed medicines to be “zero-rated”. We must thank the Bahagian Farmasi in supporting the Association’s proposal.
Meanwhile, let’s continue to play our role in ensuring that we meet all the requirements for the implementation of “zero-rated” especially the timeline for labelling “z” for all “zero-rated” products.
Whilst writing, I am glad to note that the global crude oil prices had creeped up, and with this, the Malaysian Ringgit will strengthen. In fact, some optimist economists had forecast that the Ringgit against the USD, may be back to its former level by year end albeit any surprise disruption in global and local political development.
I would like to report that our first CEOs’ gathering held on 13th May 2015 was a great success with many desiring to have more regular gatherings, and, inclusion of senior Managers as well. Not only was there good food, there were also opportunities to network, sharing experiences and also mutual learnings in a nice and relax ambience! Well, for those of you who missed out, we look forward to having you in the next.
Once again, as an Industry, let us be reminded that we must not lose focus, but continue to serve by delivering quality, safe and efficacious products at affordable prices to the community that we are in. Keep going and be winners!
Well, until the next write-up, I wish all of you the best for the rest of the year!
President's Message – February 2015I just remembered ushering in the new Year, 2015 and, at the time of writing, we are now in mid-February.
Many expect the new Year to be challenging as uncertainties abound.
As importers, we are all wary of the weakening Ringgit, and there is no sign of it stabilising, which would definitely affect the cost of goods.
As a responsible Company, I am sure, each of us, would endeavour to ensure that prices of medicines in Malaysia would still be affordable and accessible to all stakeholders.
Implementation of GST is expected to be implemented on 1st April 2015. The Industry's collaborative effort, together with the Malaysian Pharmaceutical Society, to appeal to the Finance Ministry to have all pharmaceuticals, "e;zero-rated"e; had not been encouraging. However, we will continue to pursue this Project until all avenues had been exhausted.
The falling global prices of crude oil had definitely not helped Malaysia in its original Budget for 2015. The Prime Minister in January 2015 had recently revised the Budget. The revised GDP for Malaysia is now expected to be between 4.5 to 5.5% which is below the earlier forecast. Thus many analysts expect that the economy and consumer spending are expected to be slow.
Thus, it is good to relook and to enhance our internal systems and processes to be more efficient and productive whilst having an eye on opportunities that are also, I am sure, exist, in the market.
On a final note, do be advised that MAPS will be having its 4th AGM on 19th March 2015 at the Secretariat. I look forward to meeting all of you in the AGM.
Finally, wishing all Malaysians "e;Happy and Prosperous Chinese New Year"e;. Do take time to rejoice and wish one another.
President’s Message – December 2014As the year is fast drawing to a close, I would like to wish all of you a successful achievement of the year-end budget and financial closing.
Reflecting on the past 11.5 months, your Association had also being very hectic with engagements with the Ministry of Health and other relevant stakeholders pertaining to issues and challenges in the healthcare Industry.
One of the highlights of the year would be, after the Joint Memorandum with PhAMA and MOPI, the Minister of Health, had approved the upgrading of BPFK’s Quest 3 IT registration system in October 2014.
Other interesting highlights were the Workshops by the Ministry of Health on “Medicine Pricings & Reimbursements”, “Good Pharmaceutical Trade Practices”, “Guidelines for the Provision of Orphan Drugs”, “Guideline for BE Inspection”, “Analytical Method Validation and Process Validation Seminar”, to name a few, where MAPS had been participating.
There were also various Industrial dialogues with the BPFK and also with the relevant Trade Associations.
The Secretariat had also been actively sending circulars from the BPFK to members on issues relating to product registrations.
There were 2 Talks in 2014 viz: “Contractual Agreements between Principals & Distributors” and “GST – Getting Started”.
MAPS had its 1st Annual Dinner on 31st October 2014. It was very well attended by members.
The Directors of the Board and I, look forward to your continuous support as we continue to serve you in 2015.
Finally, I would like to wish all our Christian members a “Blessed Christmas” and to all “A Happy and Prosperous New Year” as we enter into 2015!
Message from the President, November 2014As we race into the last Quarter of 2014, and fresh with the memory of the just celebrated MAPS 1st Annual Dinner, 2014 I would like to take this opportunity to wish all of you great success in achieving your respective objectives for the Year.
I would also like to thank all CEOs who supported MAPS 1st Annual Dinner on 31st October 2014. It is an auspicious and important milestone for MAPS. Many guests came and the atmosphere for the evening was filled with excitement and rejoicing. Guests were also able to meet up with one another and had the opportunity to exchange greetings and thoughts. Guests were also captivated throughout the evening with dancers performance, 3-piece live Band, Best Dress Awards and an entertaining emcee. Prizes were won and the grand prize was a 42” TV.
All-in-all, it was an overwhelming evening with many compliments and accolades received congratulating the Organising Committee. But for me, it was also the support of you all, who made the evening an awesome success.
For those of you, who had missed out MAPS 1st Annual Dinner, I look forward to having you in the next Dinner.
I am reproducing my Speech herewith for those who had missed out in the Dinner.
“Yang Berusaha Dr Nour Hanah Othman, Timbalan Pengarah Dasar & Pengurusan Farmasi, who represents YB Dato Eisah, Pengarah Kanan Perkhidmatan Farmasi, who is unable to be with us this evening, as she is now in Mecca performing her Haj,
Message from the President, June 2014At the time of writing, the World Cup, 2014 in Brazil has reached samba feverish pitch, and this does not seem to abate, with unexpected results with some favourite Countries losing out in the goal scores.
With defending champion, Spain, definitely out of the race, the number 1 position is wide open to many serious and ambitious contenders. May the best team win and the new Champion crowned!
Even for us, we are in the midst of the end of the first half of the year, I would like to wish all members a great score, with many goals scored in your business achievements, when we reached the year end.
In the trade arena, the pharmaceutical Industry is still awaiting for its proposal of "zero-rated" tax for prescription and OTC pharmaceuticals to be approved by the Ministry of Finance and the Royal Custom of Malaysia. In fact, the Ministry of Health, is also working very closely with the Finance Ministry on this matter. With the expected implementation to be on 1st April 2015, it is hoped that decision will be made soon.
Meanwhile, companies are being advised to prepare for the implementation as GST will also affect other products other than the prescription and OTC pharmaceuticals.
The Ministry of Health, under the Bahagian Farmasi, intends to introduce a guideline, known as "Good Pharmaceutical Trading Practice (GPTP)". This will be a guideline, as its name implies, for the Industry. All stakeholders had given their respective input, with the Industry players, urging for "free market forces", and not control measures by the Government, in order to encourage and nurture a healthy competitive, economically viable, productive and efficient market in the delivery of healthcare products and services to the Rakyat.
The GPTP will be expected to be "rolled out" in 2014.
Malaysia is the Chair for ASEAN Consultative Committee for Standards and Quality – Pharmaceutical Product Working Group (ACCSQ-PPWG). It held its 21st Meeting in Sunway Resort Hotel & Spa on 17-19th June 2014. The objective of the ACCSQ-PPWG is to harmonise Registration Regulations in order to allow for free movements of resources and products across the ASEAN geographies etc. The year to achieve this is 2015 ie next year. It is hoped that this ambitious target year will be achieved as there seemed to be much work that have yet to be done.
MAPS's members also contributed to the organisation and participation of the ACCSQ-PPWG.
MAPS 1st Annual Dinner is now confirmed to be on 31st October 2014 at the Holiday Inn Glenmarie, Shah Alam. Programs are being planned and the Organising Committee has promised an entertaining evening. Thus, the Board of Directors, look forward to your participation with each member Company purchasing, at least, a table each.
I would also like to wish all our muslim brethren a great religious celebration as we enter the month of Ramadan by the end of this month
Message from the President, April 2014We had just concluded the 3rd Annual General Meeting held on 20th March 2014.
I would like to thank members who came for the Meeting and their active participations in the election of the new Board of Directors, 2014/2016 and the discussions in the various Reports and issues brought forward.
At this juncture, I would like to congratulate and welcome the new Board of Directors and, in the same breath, for members continuous encouragement and support.
Moving forward, members continuous active engagement in the various activities of the Association as well as the issues and challenges of the Trade are strongly needed to ensure level playing field for all stakeholders in the Industry.
In general, our members' business model is that of representing foreign quality partners through product and technical importations right through the distribution value chain encompassing product registrations, selling, marketing, warehousing, invoicing and distribution. Thus, it is important that members are always having the capacity in building and making available special skill sets, knowledge, support and resource structures in delivering results and success in the business partnership.
The Association is cognizant of its responsibility and thus one of the KPIs of the Association is to organise Talks for members to learn and upgrade its know-how and expertise eg: a recent Talk on "Contractual Arrangement between Principals & Distributors" was held on 27th March 2014 and another will be held on "Understanding GST" on 21st April 2014.
Members were also briefed on the Personal Data Protection Act 2010 during the recent AGM and the Talk on 27th March 2014.
In addition, as importers, members need to be competitive not only in product quality and pricing but also in quality, service and logistic efficiency whilst complying with the various legislations that are in place governing the pharmaceutical environment.
Therefore, members need to continue to play their role in delivering quality, safe, efficacious products to the Rakyat at affordable prices and in a timely manner.
In closing, let us be always conscious in contributing and building a healthy Pharmaceutical Industry for the Rakyat and Nation.
Message from the President, January 2014How swift the time flies and we are now in mid-January 2014.
I would like to take this opportunity to wish all our members and friends, “Happy Chinese Lunar New Year and Gong Xi Fatt Chai”!
May the Horse usher in a great and successful year for us all and, I was told, that the horse is not only a symbol of travelling, but also a sign of speedy success. So, let us put on our relevant gears and gallop into speedy success.
For the Association, 2014 will be a year where members elect a new Board to manage its business. Thus, I would urge all of you to be present, not only to receive the Annual Report for 2013 and deliberations on the Industry, but also to elect Board Directors who can aggressively represent your interests.
The Annual General Meeting will be held on 20th March 2014 @ 1:00 pm in the MAPS Secretariat. I look forward to your presence and your active participation in the Meeting.
On the matter of costs, where the Government has reduced subsidy for sugar, tariff increase in electricity and a host of others like petrol beginning 2014, and the impending road tolls hike etc, indeed demand that the consumers and Industry have to be more innovative and creative in managing these challenges.
Thus, it would be inevitable, that the Industry in order to remain viable and competitive has to manage costs effectively, improve efficiency and productivity to achieve a lower unit cost and to explore new markets and/or products to increase revenues. These are not exhaustive but some of the means to remain sustainable. I am confident that all our members will come out stronger from these challenges!
In closing, I wish all of you once again, a successful 2014!
Message from the President, December 2013According to the Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Mohamad Hanadzlah, as reported on 10th December 2013, Malaysia’s strong economic and financial situation has been ratified by the World Bank’s "Doing Business 2014" report and international ratings agency Moody’s Investors Service.
In the "Doing Business 2014" report, the country jumped to sixth spot from 12th position in 2013. In November, Moody upgraded Malaysia’s sovereign credit outlook to “positive” from “stable”.
Thus, 2014 is expected to be a better global economy, with Malaysia’s gross domestic product (GDP) projected to grow by 5% to 5.5%, from 4.5% to 5% in 2013. The Government’s deficit will continue to decline to 3.5% of GDP in 2014, from 4% in 2013.
Thus, as the horse gallops into 2014, we can look forward to a more robust economy. The horse, under the Chinese zodiac, is energetic, bright, warm-hearted, intelligent and able. May the year indeed delivers successes to us all.
The transformation of the Pharmaceutical market, driven by the Government, is still in progress and MAPS will continue to ensure that, whilst the Government moves into Policy, Regulatory and Enforcement roles, the trade must continue to be able to practise and compete through market forces where competition is driven by quality product, safety, efficacy through free enterprise and market efficiency.
On another note, MAPS had just recently sent to members the "Salary & Benefits Survey - 2013 Report". For those who had participated, a full Report would be received by them. However, for those, who had not, an "Abbreviated Report" will be also sent. It is my desire that all members would participate in future Surveys.
Finally, I would like to wish all of you a successful closure for the year, 2013 and a great year for 2014.
Meanwhile, wishing all of you, especially our Christian colleagues and friends, a "Blessed Christmas and Happy New Year, 2014".
Message from the President October 2013On 2nd November, 2013, the Country will celebrate another important festive occasion, Deepavali, which is a testimony to Malaysia’s stable, peaceful and happy multicultural society. I would like to wish all our friends, especially our Indian brethren, “Happy Deepavali” and may we all rejoice and celebrate this together.
We are also entering the 4th and last Quarter of the Year. Some may have already reached their respective budget or on the way to reach the budget. I wish all of you the very best in achieving your respective budgets and goals.
MAPS was invited to participate in the National Medicines Policy (NMP), 2nd Edition (2013-2017), or DUNas (Dasar Ubat Negara) by the Ministry of Health on 24th to 27th September 2013 in Port Dickson. There were 5 components to this NMP, which is a continuation of the NMP, 1st Edition (2008-2012) viz: 1) Governance in Medicines 2) Quality, Safety and Efficacy of Medicines 3) Access & Affordability of Medicines 4) Quality Use of Medicines 5) Partnership and Collaboration for the Healthcare Industry.
Briefly, the main thrust of the NMP is to ensure basic quality, safety and efficacious medicines are accessible and affordable to all. Consumers will also be empowered to make informed choices on medicines. With the Policy of the Government to increase generic prescribing and consumption, the Ministry of Health is driving for the development and growth of domestic generic medicines. This Policy is no different from other developed countries like the US, Australia and the United Kingdom.
In meeting the challenges of domestic generics, imported generics, that is, MAPS members have to be more competitive, strategic and agile. There must be a cohesive, coherent and united stand by MAPS members to continue to defend and grow the market.
You could also visit the Bahagian Farmasi’s website for more information on NMP 1st Edition. The 2nd Edition has yet to be approved by the Cabinet. Once approved, it will be expected to be uploaded to the site.
The other issue that MAPS members should be aware of is the TPPA (Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement). TPPA is a multilateral free trade agreement currently being negotiated by 12 countries, led by the US. Malaysia is one of the negotiating Parties. The area of concern for MAPS is the threat for the possible extension of the product patency and introduction of tariffs that might further delay the patent expiry.
The US is looking forward to the TPPA to be signed by all negotiating countries by end December 2013, if not earliest. The good news is that Malaysia is aware of the threat of patent extension and is resisting this particular clause in the Agreement.
Your Board of Directors will continue to be vigilant and will carry out its responsibility in the interest of the members.
Message from the President August 2013We will be celebrating the Hari Raya Aidilfitri in about a week’s time. I would like to wish all our friends, especially our Muslim brethren, “Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri”.
It is the time to seek forgiveness for the wrongs that we have done to others and also the time to renew and strengthen relationship. May Allah be merciful and fills us with His grace that we continue to learn and walk with Him for His glory.
At this juncture, let us as an Association continue to ensure that we source, import and deliver quality, safe and efficacious products, at affordable prices to the community in which we serve. Let us practise “Good Corporate Governance” and embrace “Corporate Social Responsibility” as well in order to exist as a responsible and good corporate citizens.
Since my last message, MAPS had attended a mini-lab for NKEA: Healthcare EPP3, driven by PEMANDU on 4-6th June 2013. The scope of the Lab was to review the existing ETP Roadmap for the pharmaceutical industry. The scope of the NKEA: EPP3 was expanded to include Biologics, OTC and Generics. The strategic directions for the Lab were to explore on export opportunities, self-sufficiency and opportunities for sustainability. Once the strategies are finalised a full report, MY Pharma 2.0, will be shared with the stakeholders.
The participants were Bahagian Farmasi, NPCB, CRC, Biotech Corp, MITI, MIDA, Ministry of Finance, Universities, Bankers and the Industry stakeholders.
Meanwhile, for the economy, the Government does not foresee any deviation from its earlier set GDP growth of 5% to 6% by the year end.
The Association is also in the midst of organising its “First Dinner and Dance” on 18th October 2013 at Holiday Inn Kuala Lumpur, Shah Alam, Selangor. We look forward to your support to ensure the success of the Event. More details will be forthcoming once the details are in place.
I look forward to your continuous support and active participation in the Industry.
Wishing you all once again “Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri”.
Message from the President June 2013…The new Cabinet has been announced. The Country is expected to be back to business after many months of uncertainties prior to GE13.
We welcome the appointment of YB DATO’ SERI SUBRAMANIAM as the Health Minister and YB DATO’ SERI HILMI BIN YAHAYA as the deputy Minister. We look forward to working with both Ministers to ensure that the Healthcare Industry will continue to deliver quality, affordable and equitable healthcare to all. The Central Bank recently announced a 4.1% GDP expansion in the first quarter of the year against the backdrop of a weaker global environment. It was weaker compared with 5.1% in the same quarter last year and 6.5% in the preceding quarter. However, Malaysia's growth prospects remain bright, especially in the second-half of the year, driven by projects identified by the Government. With the GE 13 over, we expect an acceleration of the various projects being implemented for the second half, in particular, GDP will increase with more significant traction. The Government expects 5% to 6% GDP growth by the end of the year.
On the Industry, we would expect the Bahagian Farmasi to continue driving the prescribing and use of generics to patients, encouraging domestic companies to increase exports and moving up the value chain in super generics manufacturing and R&D, NHS, product pricing, dispensing separation, developing Malaysia as a pharmaceutical halal hub to name a few. We are thankful that the Bahagian Farmasi continues to engage MAPS in matters pertaining to the regulatory requirements of the quality, safety and efficacy of the products, whether domestically produced or imported, to safeguard the health and interest of the Rakyat.
In this regard, we would like to congratulate the Bahagian Farmasi for having successfully organised the National Regulatory Conference 2013, KL from 7th to 9th May 2013. MAPS is glad to collaborate with the Bahagian Farmasi in this Conference. The Social and Sports Committee, under the leadership of Mr Mathew John is organising MAPS first ever Annual Dinner & Dance in September. Once the venue and date have been confirmed, we look forward to your support to ensure the success of the 1st Annual D&D.
Meanwhile, I wish you successful and profitable months ahead.
Message from the President Jan 2013We bade 2012 farewell recently and now we are in the second month of 2013! Time flies …
Looking back, 2012 has not been the best of year for the global economy as the continuation of the European financial crisis has weighed down the major economies of the world. In Japan, the rising value of the yen is bad for the export market as it made the Japanese goods less attractive in overseas markets. China’s economy is also been affected by exports due to weaker demand from Europe.
However there are favourable forecast for South East Asia economies as the expected combined growth rate of 5.5% up from 4.6% the previous year.
In Malaysia, due to the Government’s implementation of its Transformation Programmes through the GTP and ETP, the Government has forecast growth of between 4.5% to 5.5% in 2013. This forecast is also aligned to the Asian Development Bank’s projection for Malaysia’s GDP as rising by 5%.
In the Healthcare sector, the MOH will be expected to continue to drive the local pharmaceutical Industry up the value chain and to encourage exports. Generics prescriptions and utilisation are expected to aggressively increase in market share. Various policies and legislations, like the Halal labelling for OTC/Health supplements, the new Pharmacy Act 2012 will be expected to be gazetted in 2013, “price control for pharmaceuticals”, “separation dispensing rights for Pharmacists” will also be agents of change for the market behaviour and practices.
The ageing population and the cost of healthcare will definitely rise as the Government continues to take proactive measures to contain cost and meet rising demands.
Health tourisms will also be expected to grow as the economics of hospitality and travelling sectors are within reach of the average pockets of the individuals.
The MOH will continue to engage the various stakeholders in dialogues and working groups to ensure that the EPP3 for pharmaceuticals, under the ETP, will be achieved if not surpassed. Meanwhile, as an Association representing the Importers, it is important that the Association remains healthy and strong. We must be actively engaged in the various stakeholders’ meetings, dialogues and working groups as the Healthcare is undergoing transformation and NOT gradual growth and development. I would like to thank all of you for your strong support in 2012 and nothing less, if not more is expected, in 2013. Meanwhile, wishing all of you a Blessed and Successful New Year .
President (2012 - March 2016)