Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam, Malaysian Health Minister, recently spoke out about the selling of drugs in light of recent news headlines regarding this issue. He said that it is completely against medical ethics and provision of the law to sell any drugs listed as controlled medication under the country’s Poisons Act 1952.

He also added that only qualified medical personnel must prescribe any medicine under the list before it can be obtained or taken by patients.

“For instance, even morphine is a banned drug here but we (ministry) use morphine in the hospitals to treat patients. It is commonly used as a painkiller for some cases, especially for patients in critical condition and those who had just undergone major surgeries. Even then, doctors are not encouraged to use morphine or other such drugs and it is prescribed only under strict conditions,” explained Subramaniam.

‘Dr Ganja’ arrested for illegal distribution of drugs

The Health Minister was referring to the case of a 58-year-old retiree from Klang who was arrested for prescribing and prescribing ganja-based food products. He promoted these items on social media and sold them from his house. He was arrested on 26 May together with his wife and assistant following a police raid.

The man, a former military officer, was said to have produced the products which included cakes, oil, honey, margarine, chocolate and milk from his home. They were then sold on multiple social media platforms for between RM5 to RM150, depending on the food item.

He established a following under the social media name, ‘Dr Ganja’ as he claimed his products laced with ganja could provide the best cure for a range of illnesses such as high blood pressure and heart-related problems. Customers who believed his claims would purchase the products from his house and some were even allowed to consume the ganja there.

Bukit Aman police officials believe that the man learned to make these products from the internet. The perpetrator stated that his intention was to aid people and distributed some products free of charge for those who could not afford the cost.

Strict control of these medications

Speaking at the MIC Central Working Committee, Subramaniam said, “Even at the hospitals these drugs are kept under lock and key, and it is only used based on case by case basis or the necessity (including the severity of a patient’s injury, procedure and pain tolerance).”

He continued, “Besides if such drug is administrated, it must be recorded in the hospital ledger in detail, together with the dosage, the purpose and other related information.” MIMS

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