TEMPO.CO, Jakarta-The Business Competition Supervisory Commission (KPPU) is cooperating with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) to create public access to affordable medicine. Both institutions assess that the public is still facing various kinds of regulatory problems when it comes to accessing drugs and medicine.
"We will suggest the government to make changes in regulations that are blocking people's access to medicine," KPPU chairman Syarkawi Rauf said after a courtesy meeting with the UNDP in Jakarta Wednesday, May 25.
Syarkawi said that difficulties to access medicine are common in Indonesia; sometimes they happen when patients are consulting with physicians. Doctors, he said, tend to prescribe without informing patients of the drugs' content. They only mention the brand.
"It leaves consumers with no other options," Syarkawi said.
KPPU's wish is in line with the UNDP's mission, which is focused on development in developing regions. To date, the UNDP has worked in 170 countries to eradicate poverty, reduce inequality, and combat discrimination.
Frederick Abbott, member of Expert Advisory Group for UN High-Level Panel on Access to Medicines, said that Indonesia is a country whose citizens are still having trouble accessing medicine due to high prices and/or lack of knowledge. That's why he aims to seek for policies that could solve the problem.
"I am working closely with the KPPU on the various forms of options on competitive markets policies that can make medicine more accessible to people living here," Abbot said.
The KPPU's meeting with the UNDP also addressed the increased use of business competition laws to secure access to health technologies. Strengthening competition in healthcare industry, especially for drugs and medicine, was also discussed in the closed meeting.