“We made the statement based on our monitoring in the Kalimantan region in July 2021,” Head of the Regional Office V of the KPPU Secretariat, Manaek S. M. Pasaribu remarked on Friday.
Pasaribu noted that the KPPU had accrued data from several medical device stores in East Kalimantan, South Kalimantan, Central Kalimantan, and North Kalimantan.
He also monitored several health service facilities and pharmaceutical wholesalers (PBF) in Balikpapan and also the Health Service in East Kalimantan Province.
“During the first and second week of July, medicines for COVID-19, such as Azithromycin and Favipiravir, were available. Meanwhile, Oseltamivir was difficult to find since the supply distribution was focused on health service facilities,” Pasaribu pointed out.
He noted that on July 27, five medicines for COVID-19 — Azithromycin, Favipiravir, Ivermectin, Oseltamivir, and Tocilizumab — were available.
“However, not all of them were available in stores,” he stated.
Limited stocks of Ivermectin were available in Samarinda and Pontianak, while Tocilizumab in limited quantities was available in health service facilities.
Redemsivir with imported ingredients and Immunoglobulin were also available in limited quantities on e-catalog.
“Based on our monitoring, COVID-19 medicines are practically not available in the open market for people in Kalimantan,” Pasaribu stated.
From KPPU’s survey of several PBF in Balikpapan, only two medicines — Azithromicin and Favipiravir — were available in limited supply from the factory.
Pasaribu drew attention to the flow of medicines in Kalimantan. First, health service facilities ordered the required medicines from the Health Service in the city. The request will then be delivered to the Province’s Health Service and then followed by a request to the Ministry of Health.
“The Ministry of Health will be handling the procurement for our medicines,” he noted.
Once the medicines are available, the health facility will distribute them to meet the needs of patients, including those undergoing self-isolation at their respective homes.
Hence, the East Kalimantan Provincial Health Office appealed to patients undergoing self-isolation to report to the local health center to enable easier access to COVID-19 medicines.
The East Kalimantan Health Office has collaborated with Mulawarman University to offer COVID-19 telemedicine services through the website bantucovid19.unmul.ac.id. The medicines will be provided by the East Kalimantan Health Office.
Based on information from several conventional pharmacies and PBF, the stocks for COVID-19 medicines were zero due to the dismal profit from selling the medicines, according to Pasaribu.
Pharmacies must comply with the highest retail price (HET) set by the government. In addition, the Drug and Food Control Agency (BPOM) has mandated pharmacies selling COVID-19 medicines to report the distribution of medicines on a daily basis.
Until the fourth week of July, COVID-19 therapeutic medicines were not available at conventional pharmacies and were only found in some Kimia Farma pharmacies.
The KPPU had traced medicine availability for Kalimantan areas through www.farmaplus.kemenkes.go.id on July 26 that showed four types of medicines available: 13,500 pills of Azithromicin, 11,800 pills of Favipiravir, 19,400 pills of Ivermectin, and 1,877 pills of Oseltamivir.
The KPPU also telephonically verified with several pharmacies on July 19 and 27 regarding the data on the Pharmaplus medicine stock of the Ministry of Health.
The results showed that the stock of COVID-19 therapeutic medicines available at pharmacies was very limited and not as numerous as those on the Farmaplus website.
The KPPU also found…