Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Health Ministry is enhancing research and development (R&D) on health and medication through financing from both domestic and global sources.

Rizka Andalucia, the ministry's Director General for Pharmaceutical and Medical Devices, made these remarks to answer concerns over the small R&D budget during a session with Commission IX of the House of Representatives (DPR) on Monday.

She said that aside from utilizing the budget of the National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN) for research on health, drugs, and medical device development, her office seeks funding from the Endowment Fund for Education Agency (LPDP).

The LPDP also offers research grants for students and researchers, she noted.

In addition to domestic sources, the Bill Gates Foundation funds research on vaccines and treatments in Indonesia for neglected tropical diseases through the Gates Medical Research Institute (MRI).

According to Andalucia, on top of publishing research results, the Health Ministry is also pushing for research to be materialized into actual products.

The ministry's road map for improving local material usage in medications includes analyzing the existing materials in terms of both volume and value, she said.

"The challenge is how to make our pharmacy industry, with more than 200 companies, interested in using such local materials," she added.

She remarked that one of the steps taken is to observe the medication list from the National Health Insurance (JKN) to see which ones are used the most. Afterward, the ministry will ask the manufacturers of the said drugs to use more local materials.

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Reporter: Mecca Yumna Ning Prisie
Editor: Anton Santoso
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