Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Pharmacies to dispense medicines if proposal accepted

Pharmacies to dispense medicines if proposal accepted

PETALING JAYA: Instead of getting their medicine from private clinics, patients will have to obtain it from pharmacies if the Health Ministry accepts the proposed “Doc­tors diagnose, pharmacists dispense” system.

While the system may cause some inconvenience to patients, pharmacists say it will help bring down the prices of medicine and give doctors access to many more drugs to prescribe.

It is learnt that doctors and pharmacists have held several discussions on the issue over the last year and they plan to meet the Health Minister soon.

They are represented by the Malaysian Medical Association (MMA), Medical Practitioners Coalition Association of Ma­­lay­­sia, Islamic Medical Association of Ma­­­laysia, Malaysian Pharmaceutical So­­ciety (MPS) and Malaysian Community Phar­­macy Guild (MCPG).

According to MCPG president Wong Sie Sing, the five organisations had, at their last meeting on Nov 8, agreed in principle that dispensing be left to pharmacists.

Representatives of pharmacists later met Health Ministry director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdul­lah on Nov 26.

He said the two professions met to work out a timeframe to introduce the new system, adding: “I hope we can implement it by April.” Debate on the issue has been going on from as far back as 2008.
“If pharmacists are allowed to dispense, doctors would have access to 10 times more drugs to prescribe than what they have in stock. This will benefit the patients,” Wong said.

MCPG represents more than 2,000 community pharmacies employing some 2,500 pharmacists.

MPS president Datuk Nancy Ho said patients would receive further counselling from another group of well-trained healthcare professionals if pharmacists were to dis­­pense medication.

“The check-and-balance reduces prescription and dispensing errors. Dispensing separation is about professional medication management and only pharmacists are trained in this specialised practice. We know everything about a drug’s healing value and possible harm,” she said.

MMA president Dr H. Krishna Kumar confirmed that the associations had met on the proposed new system but said nothing had been agreed on yet.

Dr Noor Hisham confirmed meeting representatives of pharmacists, and said they discussed about integrating and consolidating the Pharmacy Act.
Stating that nothing had been decided on, he stressed that the ministry’s main priority was to ensure quality and safety.

Universiti Sains Malaysia (School of Phar­maceutical Sciences) Assoc Prof Mohamed Azmi Ahmad Hasalli said a 2013 study of 40 clinics and 100 pharmacies in Penang found that doctors dispensed more medicine and antibiotics and charged more than pharmacists.

Separation of dispensing rights will raise cost

MALAYSIANS are learning to adapt to rising prices all round, including the added burden of the impending Goods and Services Tax (GST).

Thus it is surprising that there are vested parties wanting and demanding to separate dispensing rights from doctors.

The one-stop consultation and dispensing of medicines by general practitioners has kept the price of healthcare affordable.

This time-tested practice has existed in Malaysia for more than a century.

Doctors package the cost of a visit to a GP on an average of RM50, which includes medicine and consultation.

If separation is done, the average cost will balloon many times more.

The GP then will have to charge RM30 to RM50 for consultation alone as approved by the Health Ministry Fee Schedule.

Patients will have to look for a pharmacy after consultation with a GP, to get the medicines of his prescription from the pharmacies. This will make healthcare unaffordable for most Malaysians.

GP clinics are easily accessible. There are probably more GP clinics than post offices or police stations in Malaysia. GP clinics exist even in remote corners of the country, including Sabah and Sarawak. Many GP clinics operate a 24-hour service.

Pharmacies are few especially in the rural areas. None offers round- the-clock services even in urban areas.

Most Malaysians prefer and have used this one-stop service without any complaints. Why change a system that works and keeps all happy?

Malaysia is known to have the most affordable private primary healthcare system in the world.

Let us not lose this hard won international accolade due to pressure and lobbying by those having financial self-interest.

Malaysians will have to pay a heavy price for this change if it ever becomes a reality.

They hope the Government will not yield to this “bullying” by the concerned parties to separate dispensing from doctors.


Thursday, February 12, 2015

Matrix Concepts 4Q net profit up 39%, declares 6.5 sen dividends

Matrix Concepts 4Q net profit up 39%, declares 6.5 sen dividends

KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 12): Matrix Concepts Holdings Bhd ( Financial Dashboard) (fundamental: 1.85; valuation: 1.2) saw its net profit risen 39% to RM56.53 million for the fourth financial quarter ended Dec 31, 2014 (4QFY14), from RM40.66 million a year ago, due to better product mix in the property development segment, complemented with higher sales recognition for its residential and industrial properties.
Revenue increased 4.6% to RM151 million, from RM144.34 million in 4QFY13. Earnings per share (EPS) rose to 12.4 sen in 4QFY14, from 13.5 sen a year ago.
The Seremban-based property developer also declared a fourth interim dividend of 5.25 sen per share and a special dividend of 1.25 sen per share for the financial year ended Dec 31, 2014 (FY14), payable on April 9, 2015.
This brings total dividends of 17.33 sen per share, with payouts totalling RM77.2 million for FY14.
For the 12 months period (FY14), Matrix Concepts posted a record net profit of RM182.61 million, from RM151.56 million in FY13; while revenue was 4.3% higher at RM598.29 million, from RM573.5 million.
EPS for FY14 was 48.9 sen, compared with 64.1 sen the previous year.
In a statement today, Matrix Concepts said of total group revenue in FY14, residential and commercial properties contributed about 76% or RM453 million, while sales of industrial properties and land made up the remaining 24% or RM144.7 million.
“Our strong FY14 report card is the result of the group’s strategies to enhance efficiency and move up the value chain, even though the overall climate was challenging,” its chairman Datuk Mohamad Haslah Mohamad Amin said in the statement.
“The strong buyer response to our launches justified our commitment to availing properties that are within reach to a growing population in Negeri Sembilan and Johor,” he added.
As of Dec 31, 2014, Matrix Concepts' unbilled sales amounted to RM429.3 million, which will last it until 2017.
“We believe that demand for affordable products would remain intact in FY2015, and intend to continue our momentum, going forward. Hence, we target to launch new projects amounting to a gross development value (GDV) of RM1 billion in Negeri Sembilan and Johor, which will stand us in good stead to deliver stronger growth in the years to come,” said Mohamad Haslah.
As of 3.34pm today, the counter rose 6 sen or 2.14% to RM2.87, valuing the group at RM1.28 billion.
(Note: The Edge Research's fundamental score reflects a company’s profitability and balance sheet strength, calculated based on historical numbers. The valuation score determines if a stock is attractively valued or not, also based on historical numbers. A score of 3 suggests strong fundamentals and attractive valuations.)

Monday, February 9, 2015

EPF declares 6.75% dividend rate for 2014

EPF declares 6.75% dividend rate for 2014
by nurbaiti hamdan


PETALING JAYA: Contributors to the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) have every reason to smile – EPF has declared a 6.75% dividend rate for 2014, the highest rate since 1999. With the latest dividend rate, total payout amounts to RM36.66bil, an increase of RM5.46bil compared to 2013’s RM31.2bil. In 1999, the dividend rate was 6.84%.

The EPF also recorded a RM39.08bil gross investment income for the financial year ending Dec 31 2014, an 11.66% increase from RM35bil in 2013.

Its chairman Tan Sri Samsuddin Osman said despite uncertainties in both the domestic and global markets, EPF had outperformed its achievement in 2013.

“Our global investments have contributed 33% towards our total income for 2014 despite being only 23% of our total assets.

“No doubt, the end of 2014 has been challenging for EPF due to the slump in global oil prices. The weakening of the ringgit in the fourth quarter added further uncertainty.

“However, our prudent diversification approach has given us the edge and resilience to weather the economic conditions, particularly in the global markets,” he said in a statement here yesterday.

In order to correspond with EPF’s objectives of preserving and adding value to members’ savings, Samsuddin said it aimed to provide at least a 2% returns of above inflation over a three-year rolling period.

The dividend declared for 2014 is equivalent to a rolling three-year real returns of 4.11% over inflation.

EPF, said Samsuddin, foresaw challenges ahead due to rising levels of economic uncertainty in both domestic and global markets on the back of low oil prices, potential reduction in global Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth and further compression in fixed income yields.

Recent quantitative easing in global markets and a more deflationary outlook, he added, would also lower expected nominal yields for long-term investors like EPF.

However, Samsuddin said it expected inflation to “remain benign”, adding that EPF would continue to uphold its policy of judicious risk management and investment allocations.

The EPF account statement for the crediting of the dividend is available online via i-Akaun at myEPF website (www.kwsp.gov.my).

Alternatively, members can obtain their statement via EPF kiosks or visit any branch starting today.

considered another pre-chinese new year bonus for most of us, quickly go and check your money!!!!
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