After recent elections conducted in May 2018 saw Mahathir Mohamad returning as Prime Minister after 15 years to seal a historic victory, Malaysia is again back on its feet. Bolstered by well-established institutions, a fully-functional IP framework and strong and open relationships between industry and government, Malaysia is increasingly a highly-appealing investment destination.
This is especially true for the country’s healthcare and life sciences sector. Despite a population size of only 32 million, Malaysian pharma is one of the best-performing sectors in the region, with an increasing number of multinational companies situating regional and global functions in the country and local firms capitalising on the nation’s improving quality standards to export their medicines.
Through exclusive interviews with the Malaysian Minister of Health as well as the head of the country’s regulatory body – the NPRA – this report examines emerging trends in Malaysian healthcare, with Prime Minister Matahir Mohamad spearheading a bold health policy reform.
Also explored are the emergence of the halal medicine niche – where Malaysia has the potential to be a global leader given its geographic links to Southeast Asia and cultural ties to the Middle East – the first Malaysian biosimilars, the country’s outstanding potential as a regional clinical research hub and the rise of medical tourism.
All is not perfect in Malaysia; the nation still spends a relatively low percentage of its GDP on health and non-communicable lifestyle-related diseases are on the rise, potentially straining the healthcare system to breaking point in years to come. However, for now at least, Malaysia remains a steady force and not to be discounted.