ASEAN Pharma Roundup: Singapore’s HSA Gets Top WHO Classification; Indonesian MoH in Conversation; Future-Proofing Malaysian Healthcare


The latest pharma news from Southeast Asia, including the Singaporean Health Sciences Authority (HSA) being awarded the highest maturity level in the WHO’s classification of global regulatory authorities, as well as highlights from Indonesia, the Philippines, and Malaysia


Singapore medicines regulator world’s first to achieve highest maturity level in WHO classification (Express Pharma)

Out of 28 countries formally assessed by the World Health Organization (WHO), Singapore is the first to have achieved the highest maturity level (ML 4) in WHO’s classification of regulatory authorities for medical products. Achieving ML 4 brings Singapore closer to becoming a WHO-listed authority, a new scheme that will be operational later this year and will list the world’s regulators of reference, WHO notified in a statement.


Interview with Indonesian Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin (The Jakarta Post)

For almost two years, the COVID-19 pandemic has battered the world and severely tested Indonesia’s healthcare system. Now, Indonesia is facing yet another wave of infections, triggered by the highly contagious Omicron variant.

The Jakarta Post’s Nina A. Loasana, Marchio Irfan Gorbiano and Adisti Sukma Sawitri spoke with Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin about strategies to lessen the impact of the COVID-19 third wave, the country’s health system and how Indonesia’s G20 presidency will improve global resilience against the virus.


Hyundai Scion’s Buyout Firm Invests $140.5 Million In Four Singapore Healthcare, Pharma Companies (Forbes)

Sylvan Group—the private equity firm cofounded by Chung Kyungsun, a grandson of Hyundai Group founder Chung Ju-Yung—is investing $140.5 million to take majority stakes in four healthcare and pharmaceutical companies in Singapore.

The Singapore-based company is buying into pharmaceutical firms Juniper Biologics, a developer of oncology drugs, and Juniper Therapeutics, which specializes in treating osteoarthritis. It’s also acquiring stakes in orthopaedic specialist Artemis Health Ventures and radiology firm DX Imaging.


Philippines: More investments in pharma needed says DOST chief (Philippine News Agency)

MANILA – Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Fortunato de la Peña said on Wednesday there is a need for more investments in the pharmaceutical industry.

In a public briefing, he said the DOST has been placing huge investments on research and development (R&D) and drug discovery program, and the outputs of these would have to be commercialized by the private sector.


Future-proofing Malaysia’s healthcare system (The Star)

One of the silver linings of the Covid-19 pandemic is that it has brought healthcare to the forefront of our consciousness.

One can argue that we are now more aware of the importance of a robust public health system, alongside a healthcare service that is able to serve current and future needs.

As we troubleshoot one Covid-19 issue to the next, it is difficult to pause and scan the horizon.

Identifying potential future scenarios that may challenge our healthcare system is essential, alongside coming up with realistic strategies that can be implemented in a timely fashion.

The first step is to identify core issues, of which there are many.

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