15 October 2003
The Direct Selling Association of Malaysia (DSAM) would like to issue a press statement in response to a news which appeared in several major newspapers today on the proposed ban by the Government of the direct sales of medicinal products. DSAM would like to clarify that based on our discussion with the Ministry of Health, it is not the intention of the Government to do so. We are aware of the Pharmacy Act and a proposed Clause in it that restricts the sale of health food supplements / traditional / medicinal products to fixed premises and we are concerned that this single out the direct selling industry.
Under the Registration of Drugs and Cosmetics Act, all medicinal, traditional and health supplement products are required to be registered with the Ministry of Health (MOH) before being sold. One of the conditions of this registration is that proper records of the sale of these products must be kept by the retailers.
One primary advantage of the direct selling channel is that there is an even more effective control mechanism in place to monitor the movement of products. For example, when distributors buy products from direct selling companies, the companies have a record of their names and addresses. When they in turn, sell to customers whom they know. This then helps the companies track the movement of the products. This is a far more effective way of controlling the sale of these products, as opposed to products being sold over the counter or in stores that don’t record such purchases. This should effectively provide a clear control and monitoring mechanism for the movement of these products. Therefore, by restricting the sale of such products to a fixed location will not adequately address the issue of unscrupulous companies or individuals who may have other means to circumvent the Law in selling unregistered products.
Having said that, DSAM is fully supportive of the Government’s actions against such companies as no products that deal with human health should be peddled in that manner. We wish to reiterate our belief that the proposed Clause in the Act (to limit the sale of medicinal products/health food supplements to a fixed location) will not address the matter adequately. We are concerned that it seems to single out direct selling industry by not recognizing it as an effective channels of getting quality and safe products to consumers. Requiring customers to go to the offices of direct selling companies can limit consumer access to well-established quality products.
DSAM recognizes that the MOH has concerns about the movement of these products and would be most willing to engage in dialogue to address current issues, seeking a solution which best safeguards the public, endorses fully the ethics of DSAM and improves standards at all levels. …2/- Press Statement by Paul Yee
President, DSAM (Page 2)