Why the leeway for private hospitals over mask profiteering? Pharma firms ask

The Malaysian Pharmaceutical Society has criticised the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs today for treating a private hospital with kid gloves for over-pricing face masks during the Covid-19 pandemic. — Reuters pic
The Malaysian Pharmaceutical Society has criticised the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs today for treating a private hospital with kid gloves for over-pricing face masks during the Covid-19 pandemic. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, May 17 — The Malaysian Pharmaceutical Society (MPS) has criticised the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (KPDNHEP) today for treating a private hospital with kid gloves for over-pricing face masks during the Covid-19 pandemic.

In a statement, MPS said the ministry had itself imposed RM20,000 to RM30,000 fines against pharmacies that sold the masks at an exorbitant price, rather than “waiting for explanation” like it is doing with the private hospital.

“MPS would like to urge KPDNHEP to be fair and act against all offenders fairly whether it’s a privately-owned pharmacy or a conglomerate owned private Hospital,” its president Amrahi Buang said.

Earlier today, state news agency Bernama quoted KPDNHEP deputy minister Datuk Rosol Wahid saying it still waiting for an explanation from a private hospital in Kuala Lumpur which had allegedly increased the price of three-ply masks for patients receiving treatment.

Rosol said the ministry has begun investigations on the matter and would only take further action after receiving feedback from the hospital that was accused of selling the masks at 7.5 times the recommended retail price of RM 1.50.

He said KPDNHEP had visited the hospital following public complaints and the case is investigated under the Price Control and Anti-Profiteering Act 2011.

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