Stakeholders’ Views on Patient Access Schemes in Malaysia



The healthcare system aspires to ensure improved access to treatment while working within the existing financial constraints and increasing demands. Patient access schemes (PASs) are initiated to improve access. This study seeks the stakeholders’ views on the PAS in the public healthcare sector in Malaysia.


This is an exploratory qualitative study using a web-based online survey and semistructured interviews. The participants were recruited by purposive sampling, where the Ministry of Health of Malaysia staff, pharmaceutical organization personnel, and patient advocacy organization personnel with experience in PAS were invited to participate. A total of 42 consenting participants answered the survey, whereas the face-to-face interview had 8 participants. Interviews were thematically analyzed using the qualitative data analysis software NVivo V.12. The Medical Research and Ethics Committee, Ministry of Health of Malaysia, approved the study.


Only finance-based PAS was reportedly implemented, and it covered drugs for antineoplastic or immunomodulating therapy, alimentary tract and metabolism, sensory organs, and systemic hormonal preparations. A total of 3 major themes were identified. High upfront cost and high budget impact are a major concern leading to the need for PAS. Identifying the treatment needs was a major concern as well. The readiness of the health system to implement PAS will determine whether the PAS can be successfully implemented. Challenges similar to other jurisdictions were observed in Malaysia, concerns on data availability, the responsibility of the stakeholders, and the need for a legal framework.


Most stakeholders responded positively that the PAS would grow. Trust among stakeholders and a structured access plan would enhance the implementation and ensure its success.


Subramaniam Thanimalai Wai Yee Choon Kenneth Kwing-Chin Lee

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