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By Ling Hui
KUCHING, July 9: The risk of abusing ‘ketum’ leaves which medicinal value as dangerous drugs is a fine example why medicines sold in pharmacies must be monitored by the Ministry of Health (MoH).
Sarawak Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg said this when emphasising that drug control is necessary due to fake or unendorsed medicine such as ketum.
“The government has to monitor this in view of a lot of fake medicine. It is also for drug control, (concerning) the question of drug abuse.
“For example, ketum. Ketum is a raw material to produce medicine, but if we abuse it, you produce a certain drug, (it) becomes ‘dadah’.
“In other words, whatever products that you sell in the market, you have to get endorsement by MoH,” he said during ‘Sunday Morning with Premier 2.0: Dialogue Session with Young Entrepreneurs on New Economy’ held at Imperial Hotel here today.
Abang Johari was responding to questions posed by Shine Pharmacy pharmacist Christina Wong about the possibility of the government exercising a patient referral system between community pharmacies and government health facilities such as hospitals and health clinics.
To this, Abang Johari said there are certain laws that regulate retailing of medicine products, which is under the purview of MoH.
“That is the product itself. Then, as you know, the prescription is by the doctors in a private clinic or in government hospitals. So, these are the protocols that are involved in the business of drug or medicine.
“To answer your question, we have to be bound by rules and regulation,” he added.
The dialogue was attended by some 130 young entrepreneurs as well as top government officials and heads of departments.
Among those who were also present were Minister of Youth, Sports and Entrepreneur Development Dato Sri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, Tebedu assemblyman Dr Simon Sinang Bada, Deputy Secretary (Economic and Development Planning) Datu Dr Muhammad Abdullah Zaidel and Sarawak Economic Planning Unit (EPU) director Lester Matthew. — DayakDaily