KUALA LUMPUR, June 12 (Bernama) -- The Ministry of Health and Novartis
Corporation (Malaysia)Sdn Bhd signed today a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)
to enter into a partnership to build various health care capabilities to further
enhance the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP).
Healthcare is one of the 12 identified National Key Economic Areas
(NKEAs)and has a growth target of RM42.2 billion, while generating more than
260,000 jobs by 2020.
"The MoU is a landmark agreement between the Ministry and Novartis. With
Novartis'' diversified portfolio and the company''s initiative to build healthcare
capabilities in Malaysia to benefit our patients, I am encouraged to partnership
with them," said Health Minister Datuk Liow Tiong Lai after witnessing the
signing ceremony here today.
Novartis Corporation (M) Sdn Bhd has established a special US$700 million
fund for the possible support of Malaysian health care start-up companies.
Liow said the Novartis Venture Fund will help identify and provide enough
capital for those companies interested in the field of pharmaceuticals.
"As the healthcare sector is experiencing continuous growth, I would urge
local companies to take this opportunity to lead the next innovation wave and
explore new business areas with Novartis.
"Today, in Malaysia, the healthcare system is faced with challenges and
opportunities from a rapidly changing operating environment, including
increasing expectations on quality," he added.
The MoU was signed between the Ministry''s Secretary-General, Datuk Kamarul
Zaman Md Isa and Country President for the Novartis Corporation in Malaysia,
Also present was Novartis Corporation (M) Director William Hinshaw.
The MoU with the multinational pharmaceutical company will focus on three
main areas of cooperation, namely, build technical capacity, promote clinical
research and the facilitation of access to innovative and generic medicines.
Liow said the MoU between the Ministry and Novartis will also serve as the
basis for future collaboration with other parties for the benefit of the
Meanwhile, on the generic drug industry, he said the Health Ministry had
implemented a generic drugs policy, as replacement for original medicine or
patented drugs at government hospitals nationwide.
"It has been implemented since the government introduced the National
Key Results Areas (NKRAs) to promote the local medicine industry and generic
drugs are cheaper than patented ones," he added.
CS NAK AS