Whistleblower Uncovers Massive Multi-Billion Medicine Monopoly Linked To Politicians

An exposé detailing the alleged monopoly on the supply of drugs was reportedly submitted to the Health Ministry.

  • A whistleblower has unearthed a new scandal related to the supply of billions of ringgit worth of medical drugs

    • Recently, there were claims about Pharmaniaga Manufacturing Berhad, alleging that the company is the sole concession holder supplying medicines to public health facilities.

      The Ministry of Health has since responded and denied allegations made about the matter. In a statement on 8 June, Health Minister Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad refuted claims that Pharmaniaga had a monopoly as there were also other vendors supplying directly to all health facilities under the ministry.

      Just days after Dzukefly said a task force will be set up to review the healthcare procurement process, new findings have emerged about the issue of tender and supply monopoly.

      According to media reports published yesterday, 13 June, a 12-page document was sent to the Health Minister and several other parties including the media via email. The document reportedly revealed details about the alleged corrupt tender deals and elite enrichment as certain companies linked to politicians had control of the medicine supply chain.

  • It was alleged that a handful of companies secured deals through a procurement process that was rigged

    • Free Malaysia Today (FMT) reported that about 20 companies acted as "tendering agents" between 2013 and 2016, which saw them obtaining medicine tender awards by the Health Ministry which totalled to RM3.7 billion.

      According to The Star Online's report, the top six tendering agents took a big share of the RM3.7 billion, collectively getting RM3.4 billion (90.93%) of the total sum. 

      The contracts were purportedly only awarded to a handful of companies, although there were other players in the industry in Malaysia.

      • 1c98 Image via Meroket
        Photo for illustration purposes only.
  • These "tendering agents" were linked to politicians and senior officials

    • "More importantly, the top tendering agents are actually owned by high ranking officials and/or politicians, or relatives of high ranking officials and/or politicians.

      "International pharmaceutical companies collude with official-owned tendering agents to bid rig," read the document, as reported by The Star Online.

  • These international pharmaceutical companies allegedly engaged local "tendering agents" to assist in obtaining or retaining business in Malaysia and refused to supply or deal with other parties for government contracts

    • FMT also cited the document which stated that, "By refusing to supply or deal to other resellers and tendering agents, international pharmaceutical companies grant official-owned tendering agents a monopoly, thus securing an automatic win in a tender. 

      "Foreign companies cannot participate in a Malaysian government tender directly, but instead must go through a Malaysian distributor, reseller or tendering agent."

      It also added that agents were paid a percentage of commission for every tender won, and earned a "clean profit" without any marketing, logistics, or distribution activities.

  • Meanwhile, Dzulkefly has promised that the Health Ministry will take steps to ensure transparency in the medicine supply chain

    • Responding to a tweet by Lembah Pantai MP Fahmi Fadzil this morning, Dzulkefly reiterated the Health Ministry's commitment in ensuring that the supply chain of medication is efficient, responsible, and transparent.

      "The Pakatan Harapan (PH) government aspires to fix any existing weaknesses and resolve any form of wastage (and misconducts if proven)," he wrote in the tweet

  • Speaking of monopoly, BERNAS' monopoly over rice imports is coming to an end:

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