Report: Medicine prices expected to go up 5pc due to weak ringgit

(MMO) – The price of medicine in Malaysia is expected to increase by 5 per cent in the coming months as the ringgit continues to slide against the greenback, Utusan Malaysia reported today.

According to the news report, the most affected products would be medicine for coughs, fevers and antibiotics that are mostly imported using the US dollar.

Malaysian Pharmacists Society president Amrahi Buang told the newspaper that the weak ringgit will affect Malaysia’s ability to purchase the raw goods to manufacture medicine and the situation is further exacerbated by the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine.

“The price of medicine is dependent on the cost of prices of the active pharmaceutical ingredients needed to manufacture it. In addition, the price of pharmaceutical excipients, the substances other than the active drug used in pharmaceutical dosage forms which is an ingredient needed in the manufacture of medicine, is another cost that needs to be included in the price apart from logistical costs.

“Then you add sending medicine to Sabah and Sarawak and that is another additional cost,” he was quoted as saying.

Amrahi told the newspaper that prices of medicine are stable for the time being, but will increase if the ringgit continues to weaken.

He said the Domestic Trade and Consumer Ministry should make early preparations and have a plan in place when it happens.

National news agency Bernama reported the ringgit rose slightly to 4.6725/6790 against the US dollar at 9am today when markets opened, compared to 4.6760/6805 at the close of trading last Friday.