The practice appears because we are lacking generic drugs in Medan, and the medicine in Indonesia is much more expensive
Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Indonesian Health Ministry has reminded the public to beware of medicine products obtained from good delivery services or personal shoppers (jastip) from abroad, as their quality and safety cannot be guaranteed.

"Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin has reminded us to be careful of using medicine from foreign market because no one can guarantee the safety," the ministry's head of the communication and public service bureau, Siti Nadia Tarmizi, noted in Jakarta, Thursday.

Tarmizi remarked that medicine products obtained from the jastip method were categorized as illegal goods circulating in Indonesia, as their safety was not guaranteed.

Tarmizi explained that provisions on the use of imported medicinal products are only exempted if it aims to meet the needs of the buyer or personal interests, under the supervision of a doctor.

Earlier, health personnel at the Adam Malik Hospital, Medan, had reported to Minister Sadikin about the jastip trend for drug products.

The practice of medicine jastip in Indonesia has started to grow following a price difference of up to four folds cheaper in Singapore and Malaysia. In addition, there is a shortage of certain drugs in the domestic market.

"The practice appears because we are lacking generic drugs in Medan, and the medicine in Indonesia is much more expensive," Tarmizi pointed out.

She said that jastip transactions for certain drugs in Medan were able to reduce prices to 5-15 percent cheaper.

The types of drugs obtained through jastip services are usually used for cancer recovery that had still been very limited in Indonesia, she stated.

The scarcity of cancer drugs in Indonesia is due to factors related to registration provisions and trade rights that can only be obtained by official distributors registered with the government.

"For example, a cancer foundation for children in Indonesia cannot register the medicine to enter the country because it is not registered as an official distributor," she explained.

Until now, the Ministry of Health continues to coordinate this matter with the Food and Drug Supervisory Agency (BPOM), as the drug control authority in Indonesia, to provide access to parties outside of distributors in the efforts to supply medicines, she stated.

Other types of drugs that are also popular in the jastip method are heart disease drugs, blood sugar drugs, and vitamins, Tarmizi noted.

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Translator: Andi Firdaus, Resinta S
Editor: Sri Haryati
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