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Cost of metformin in malaysia

Find out the cost of metformin in Malaysia and how it compares to other countries. Learn about the factors that influence the price of metformin and where to buy it at the best price in Malaysia.

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Cost of Metformin in Malaysia

Metformin is a widely used medication for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. It is an oral antidiabetic drug that helps to control blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity. In Malaysia, where diabetes is a growing health concern, the cost of metformin is an important factor to consider for those who rely on this medication.

The cost of metformin in Malaysia can vary depending on various factors such as the brand, dosage, and location. Generic versions of metformin tend to be more affordable compared to brand-name options. It is also worth noting that the cost of metformin can differ between different pharmacies and hospitals.

For individuals without insurance coverage, the cost of metformin can be a significant expense. However, there are programs and initiatives in Malaysia that aim to make essential medications more accessible and affordable for those in need. These programs may provide discounts or subsidies for metformin and other diabetes medications.

It is important for individuals with diabetes to consult with their healthcare provider or pharmacist to find out the most affordable options for metformin in Malaysia. They can provide guidance on cost-saving strategies, such as switching to generic versions or exploring patient assistance programs.

Factors Affecting the Cost of Metformin in Malaysia

Metformin is a commonly prescribed medication for the management of type 2 diabetes in Malaysia. The cost of metformin can vary depending on several factors. These factors can influence the affordability and availability of metformin for patients in the country.

1. Government Regulations

The Malaysian government plays a significant role in regulating the pricing of pharmaceutical products, including metformin. Price controls and regulations set by the government can affect the cost of metformin in the country. These regulations aim to ensure accessibility and affordability of essential medications for the population.

2. Pharmaceutical Industry

The pharmaceutical industry in Malaysia also impacts the cost of metformin. Factors such as manufacturing costs, research and development expenses, and marketing expenses can contribute to the pricing of the medication. Competition among pharmaceutical companies can also influence the pricing of metformin in the market.

3. Importation and Distribution Costs

Metformin is not manufactured locally in Malaysia and is primarily imported. Importation costs, including shipping, customs duties, and taxes, can affect the overall cost of metformin. Distribution costs, such as transportation and storage, can also influence the final price of the medication.

4. Currency Exchange Rates

The exchange rate between the Malaysian Ringgit (MYR) and the currency of the country where metformin is sourced can impact its cost. Fluctuations in exchange rates can lead to variations in the price of imported metformin, making it more or less expensive for patients in Malaysia.

5. Health Insurance Coverage

The availability and extent of health insurance coverage can affect the out-of-pocket cost of metformin for individual patients. Health insurance plans may cover a portion or all of the cost of metformin, making it more affordable for insured individuals. The type and coverage of health insurance plans can vary, resulting in different costs for patients.

6. Generic vs. Brand-name Metformin

The choice between generic and brand-name metformin can also impact its cost. Generic metformin is generally more affordable than brand-name versions due to lower manufacturing and marketing costs. However, some patients may prefer or require brand-name metformin, which can be more expensive.


The cost of metformin in Malaysia is influenced by various factors, including government regulations, the pharmaceutical industry, importation and distribution costs, currency exchange rates, health insurance coverage, and the choice between generic and brand-name versions. These factors contribute to the overall affordability and accessibility of metformin for patients with type 2 diabetes in the country.

Pharmaceutical Market

The pharmaceutical market in Malaysia is a rapidly growing industry, driven by factors such as increasing population, rising healthcare awareness, and improved access to healthcare services. The market is primarily dominated by multinational pharmaceutical companies, but there is also a significant presence of local pharmaceutical manufacturers.

Market Size and Growth

The Malaysian pharmaceutical market is estimated to be worth around RM10 billion (approximately USD2.5 billion) and is expected to continue growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6-8% over the next few years. This growth is primarily driven by an aging population, increasing prevalence of chronic diseases, and government initiatives to improve healthcare infrastructure.

Regulatory Environment

The pharmaceutical industry in Malaysia is regulated by the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA). These regulatory bodies are responsible for ensuring the safety, efficacy, and quality of pharmaceutical products in the market. Companies are required to obtain product registration and comply with Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) before they can market their products in Malaysia.

Market Segmentation

The pharmaceutical market in Malaysia can be segmented into various categories, including prescription drugs, over-the-counter (OTC) drugs, generic drugs, and herbal and traditional medicine. Prescription drugs account for the largest share of the market, followed by OTC drugs. The generic drug segment is also growing rapidly due to the government’s push for cost-effective healthcare solutions.

Key Players

The Malaysian pharmaceutical market is highly competitive, with both multinational and local companies vying for market share. Some of the key players in the market include Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis, Sanofi, and local manufacturers such as Pharmaniaga and Hovid.

Challenges and Opportunities

Despite the positive growth prospects, the pharmaceutical market in Malaysia also faces several challenges. These include the increasing cost of healthcare, the presence of counterfeit drugs, and the lack of access to healthcare services in rural areas. However, these challenges also present opportunities for companies to develop innovative solutions and expand their reach in the market.


The pharmaceutical market in Malaysia is a dynamic and rapidly growing industry. With a large and aging population, increasing healthcare awareness, and government support, the market offers significant opportunities for both multinational and local pharmaceutical companies. However, companies must navigate the regulatory environment and address challenges such as rising healthcare costs and counterfeit drugs to succeed in this market.

Government Regulations

The cost of metformin in Malaysia is influenced by various government regulations that govern the pricing and availability of drugs in the country. These regulations are put in place to ensure that medications are affordable and accessible to the general population.

Price Control

The Malaysian government has implemented price control measures to regulate the prices of essential drugs, including metformin. The Ministry of Health sets the maximum retail price that pharmacies and healthcare providers can charge for metformin. This helps to prevent price gouging and ensures that the medication remains affordable for patients.

Pharmaceutical Regulations

The Malaysian National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA) is responsible for regulating the importation, manufacturing, and distribution of pharmaceutical products, including metformin. The NPRA ensures that all drugs meet safety and quality standards before they are approved for sale in the country. This helps to protect consumers from counterfeit or substandard medications.

Subsidized Programs

The Malaysian government also operates subsidized healthcare programs, such as the 1Malaysia People’s Health Program (KP1M), which provides affordable access to essential medications, including metformin, for low-income individuals. Under these programs, eligible individuals can receive metformin at a significantly reduced cost or even free of charge.

Insurance Coverage

Private health insurance companies in Malaysia may also provide coverage for metformin, depending on the policy and the individual’s specific insurance plan. This can help alleviate the financial burden of purchasing metformin for those who have insurance coverage.

Generic Substitution

In Malaysia, generic substitution is encouraged as a cost-saving measure. Pharmacists are allowed to substitute branded metformin with generic versions of the medication, which are usually more affordable. This helps to lower the cost of metformin and improve access to the medication for patients.

Importation Restrictions

There may be restrictions on the importation of metformin into Malaysia, as the government aims to promote the use of locally manufactured medications. However, if a specific brand or formulation of metformin is not available locally, healthcare providers may apply for special approvals to import the medication.


Government regulations play a crucial role in determining the cost and availability of metformin in Malaysia. Price controls, pharmaceutical regulations, subsidized programs, insurance coverage, generic substitution, and importation restrictions all contribute to ensuring that metformin remains accessible and affordable for the Malaysian population.


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What is the cost of metformin in Malaysia?

The cost of metformin in Malaysia can vary depending on the brand and dosage. On average, the price for a 500mg tablet ranges from RM0.50 to RM1.50.

Is metformin available over the counter in Malaysia?

No, metformin is a prescription medication in Malaysia and cannot be purchased over the counter. You will need a doctor’s prescription to buy metformin.

Are there any generic alternatives to metformin in Malaysia?

Yes, there are generic alternatives to metformin available in Malaysia. These generic versions contain the same active ingredient as the branded metformin but are usually cheaper in price.

Can I get metformin for free in Malaysia?

There are some government healthcare programs in Malaysia that provide free or subsidized medications, including metformin, to eligible individuals. You may need to meet certain criteria to qualify for these programs.

Do private health insurance plans cover the cost of metformin in Malaysia?

Private health insurance plans in Malaysia may cover the cost of metformin, but it depends on the specific policy and coverage. It is recommended to check with your insurance provider to see if metformin is included in your plan.

Are there any discounts or promotions available for metformin in Malaysia?

Some pharmacies in Malaysia may offer discounts or promotions on metformin from time to time. It is advisable to check with different pharmacies or ask your doctor if they are aware of any ongoing promotions.

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