PhAMA launches Industry Fact Book
Innovation, collaboration key to sustainability of quality health service and healthcare revenue
Kuala Lumpur, 14 February 2012 – In the 10 years from 1996 to 2006, there was an 88% increase in the incidence of diabetes in Malaysia and a 43% increase in high blood pressure cases. 70% of the drugs that treat these and other non-communicable as well as infectious diseases in the country are imported. The multinational pharmaceutical companies responsible for developing these treatments take on average 13 to 15 years to produce one drug, at a cost of about US$1.3 billion (RM3.9 billion).
These are some of the facts revealed in a fact book launched by the Pharmaceutical Association of Malaysia (PhAMA).
Titled Innovating for a Healthier, Economically Vibrant Nation, the book emphasises how innovative drugs have helped the country manage prevalent health issues over the years, and continues to provide hope of better outcomes for today’s patients. It also highlights how the role of the industry has evolved from a purely social one of preventing, managing and curing diseases to becoming an important contributor to the economic development of the country.
Guest-of-honour of the book launch, Minister of Health Dato’ Sri Liow Tiong Lai, praised the initiative of compiling all the relevant data. PhAMA has 42 member companies that represent the world's leading innovator pharmaceutical companies which took part in the survey for the purpose of collating information for the fact book. Dato’ Sri Liow also commended these multinational pharmaceutical companies for partnering the Government over the years, contributing to the management of tropical and infectious diseases, and now, towards the treatment of non-communicable diseases such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes and high blood pressure.
“While the Ministry of Health has been relentless in our pursuit to increase public awareness of the dangers of a sedentary lifestyle coupled with unhealthy habits, we would not be able to manage non-communicable diseases without the support of innovative and highly efficacious drugs. Between 2005 and 2009, leading pharmaceutical companies had introduced 369 new ethical products in Malaysia, the top three being anti-cancer drugs, vaccines and drugs that treat diabetes,” he said.
Prior to the launch, the Minister attended an Executive Preview of the fact book during which Ewe Kheng Huat, President of PhAMA, and its Board of Directors highlighted salient points in the book and discussed various issues that affect the industry today. These included intellectual property laws, the registration and approval process of new drugs, the development of Malaysia into a clinical trial hub in Asia, and the role of innovative drugs in medical tourism.
Ewe said, “The book is timely given that the healthcare sector had been identified as one of the 12 National Key Economic Areas that will help the country attain high-income status. The pharmaceutical industry is one of the fastest-growing in the country. During the years 2006 to 2010, its growth outstripped that of industries that are traditionally seen to be strong, such as the automotive, agriculture and electronics,” he said, adding that PhAMA members were in a position to help the Government to achieve its NKEA targets.
Ewe singled out innovation as being key to the continued success of the industry and stressed that PhAMA members were eager to energise the national economic engine with their expertise in innovation. “Innovation forms the cornerstone of every single successful research-based pharmaceutical company because of the nature of diseases and treatment. Innovation can be found along the entire process of producing a new drug, from research to clinical trials,” he said.
PhAMA member companies bring into the country their best, most efficacious drugs to treat prevalent diseases. In view of the cost of innovation, there is a need to protect the enormous intellectual resources that go into the research and production of every successful innovative drug. In order to ensure a continued pipeline of innovative drugs, it is critical to have a regulatory framework that recognises the massive investments in innovation and comprehensive intellectual property laws to spur innovation and research, and development.
The President of PhAMA reiterated that the association’s vision is to ensure access to quality healthcare and healthcare products for all Malaysians, in line with the national agenda. “In order to achieve this vision, we would like to add value to the healthcare sector, and to the economy in general. We see ourselves as being able to promote a more innovative, R&D based economy driven by world-class skills and knowledge.”
For more information on the PhAMA Industry Fact Book, please contact Nurul Nadheerah Mohd Firdaus Ng, Policy & PR Manager, PhAMA. Tel: +603 7960 8322/23 or kindly email at email@example.com.
The Pharmaceutical Association of Malaysia (PhAMA) is the leading voice of the pharmaceutical industry. Comprising 42 local and multinational companies, it serves to maintain a high level of professionalism within the industry and to build relationships between pharmaceutical companies and other stakeholders of the healthcare sector.