Doctors can get anti-viral flu drug from alternative supplier, says ministry

The flu outbreak has resulted in a shortage of vaccines at private clinics. (Bernama pic)

PETALING JAYA: Private doctors have been urged to apply to the health ministry if they want to purchase Oseltamivir, an anti-viral drug for treating Influenza A, from an alternative supplier.

The ministry’s Pharmaceutical Services Division senior director Dr Ramli Zainal said the ministry had approved for 1 million Oseltamivir tablets to be supplied by an alternative supplier. The tablets will benefit 100,000 patients.

“So the private clinics can get the vaccines themselves. But they need to apply to us if they want to get (Oseltamivir) from the alternative supplier,” he told reporters here.

He added that the private sector may apply for a permit to import the drug and it would be approved on the same day.

Ramli said this in response to claims that most private healthcare facilities were experiencing a shortage of anti-viral drugs.

He said the ministry currently obtained its supply of flu vaccines for government hospitals from five suppliers.

“It (flu vaccine supply) is not a problem in government hospitals,” he said.