Traditional Complementary Medicine Players in Malaysia

According to the National Pharmaceutical Control Bureau (NPCB), registered licensed premises in Malaysia (inclusive of pharmaceutical, OTC, traditional medicine and cosmetics) comprised manufacturers, importers and wholesalers. Figure 4 shows the growth status trend in the registered licensed premises from the year 1987 until 2006.

Figure 4. The number of registered licensed premises from year 1987 to 2006


Source: Annual report 2005, National Pharmaceutical Control Bureau, MOH

The number of licensed premises in Malaysia has seen a steady increase. The growth rate of licensed premises (during years 1997-2006) ranged from 0.9 to 25.7% with an average of 10.9% annually. However, in 2006, there was a decline in the number of premises from 1,920 to 1599, a decrease of about 16.7%. Overall, the growth rate of registered licensed premises shows a consistent upward trend from 1987 to 2006. However, the number of premises slightly declined in 1994 and 1996 before bouncing back the year after.

Wholesalers constituted most of the licensed premises in Malaysia from 1997 to 2006 ranging from 50.1 to 70.4% (an average of 58.5%) followed by importers, ranging from 12.3 to 34.3% (an average of 22.9%) and manufacturers ranging from 14.3 to 26.5% (an average of 18.6%). Although importers comprised the second highest portion of licensed premises, their average annual growth rate was the highest for the last 10 years (20.3%). The manufacturers came second with an average annual growth rate of 8.6% while wholesalers recorded a 4.9% average annual growth rate.

Figure 5. The geographical distribution of licensed premises, 2006 (Traditional Medicine)


Source: Annual report 2005, National Pharmaceutical Control Bureau, MOH

Overall, the majority of licensed traditional medicine premises in 2006 operated in Selangor (29.9%), Kuala Lumpur (19.7%) and Johore (13.2%) (Figure 5). Most of the licensed manufacturers could be found in Selangor (34.8%), Johore (14.9%) and Kedah (9.9%). Importers are mostly located in Kuala Lumpur (43.9%), Selangor (28.0%) and Johore (9.3%) while Selangor (25.6%), Kuala Lumpur (15.8%) and Johore (14.3%) constituted most of the licensed wholesalers in Malaysia in the same year.