MySejahtera removes Pharma2u as recommended site for Covid-19 self-test kits, says to get them from pharmacies

·6-min read
A pharmacy staff holds up the Gmate Covid-19 rapid antigen self-test kits in Subang Jaya July 28, 2021. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
A pharmacy staff holds up the Gmate Covid-19 rapid antigen self-test kits in Subang Jaya July 28, 2021. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 4 — The MySejahtera app has now stopped directing Malaysians who want to buy Covid-19 self-test kits to a little-known e-commerce platform known as Pharma2u, and is instead asking them to buy them from pharmacies and health facilities.

Before

Last week, the app introduced the “Covid-19 Self Test” in the menu. The feature listed three Covid-19 self-test kits under the names Salixium, Gmate and JusChek, as well as “Bulk & Corporate Orders” with Pharma2u’s logo.

Previously, MySejahtera users who clicked on the three brands would be able to either click on “Update Self Test Result” or “Purchase Online”.

Clicking on either the “Purchase Online” or “Bulk & Corporate Orders” button leads users to Pharma2u’s website.

Previous checks by Malay Mail found that the Pharma2u website did not prominently display details such as company registration number or physical address or contact information, with such information only provided in the less obvious location of the Terms & Conditions section and the Privacy Policy section of the website.

Pharma2u, which had claimed to be a “Malaysian based company”, mentioned in the Terms & Conditions section that it was “owned and operated by Mudah Healthcare Sdn. Bhd. (Company registration No. 1391282-U)”, and also states in its Privacy Policy section the contact details of its customer service (contact@pharma2u.co and telephone number +603 9876 5432).

A check by Malay Mail on August 2 showed that the MySejahtera app was still directing users to Pharma2u’s website, but Malay Mail also found that Pharma2u had put up a notice on its website to notify the public of the temporary suspension of online sales of Covid-19 self-test kits.

“The self-test kits are not available for online sales temporarily. The merchants for these self-test kits, Salixium, Gmate, Juschek, LongSee, All Test and Beright are working with the relevant authorities on ensuring they are available as soon as possible,” Pharma2u had written on its website.

A check using the DomainBigData tool online shows Pharma2u’s website pharma2u.co was created a month ago on July 3, 2021, but with further details on the Selangor-based registrant such as its name or address or contact details having been redacted for privacy.

At the time of writing, Pharma2u lists a Facebook page and Instagram account on its website, with the Facebook page having 88 ‘likes’ and 98 followers and zero postings, while its Instagram page has 42 followers and zero postings.

MySejahtera says no online sales for now

In the latest version of the MySejahtera app with an update carried out today, Malay Mail found that clicking on the “Covid-19 Self Test” button would direct users to three options, namely “Information on Self Test Kits” and “Update Self Test Result” and “Purchase Online”.

This is unlike previous editions of the MySejahtera app where users have to click on the product name of the Covid-19 self-test kits before updating their test results.

The latest updated version as of today does not carry the “Bulk & Corporate Orders” with Pharma2u’s logo.

Clicking on the “Information on Self Test Kits” sends users to (https://portal.mda.gov.my), the website of the Medical Device Authority (MDA), a government agency under the Health Ministry which has the latest official information on Covid-19 self-test kits.

Clicking “Purchase Online” in the updated version of MySejahtera as of today no longer sends users to Pharma2u’s website, but instead sends users to a similar announcement as Pharma2u of the suspension of online sales for Covid-19 self-test kits.

In this new announcement hosted on MySejahtera’s website, the public has been told that they can buy Covid-19 self-test kits at community pharmacies and health facilities instead.

“The self-test kits are not available for online sales temporarily. The merchants for these self-test kits are working with the relevant authorities on ensuring they are available as soon as possible.

“For customers who have successfully purchased, your orders will be shipped as confirmed by the merchant. Please contact your individual self-kit merchant if you have any enquiries.

“For those who need the self-test kits urgently, you can purchase at your community pharmacies and health facilities. Please practice safe distancing and follow the SOPs always at your district. Stay safe and we hope to be of service to you soon.

“For more information on self test kits, please visit https://portal.mda.gov.my,” it said in the notice signed off by the MySejahtera HelpDesk, while also providing an email address (selftestkit@mysejahtera.org).

The removal of directs to or mentions of Pharma2u comes after the Malaysian Pharmacists Society’s (MPS) July 30 complaint to various government agencies and ministries.

The MPS complaint had highlighted that the Health Ministry’s guidelines on Covid-19 management only allows licensed pharmacy premises or MDA-approved health facilities to sell Covid-19 self-test kits.

MPS had also pointed out the risks of allowing direct online sales of Covid-19 self-test kits, instead of making such purchases at valid community pharmacies where pharmacists could provide proper guidance on the usage, handling and disposal of Covid-19 test kits to avoid inaccurate test results from poor handling and environment contamination from non-proper disposals.

Among other things, MPS had also in the July 30 complaint letter claimed that Pharma2u’s use of the word “Pharma” had breached the Registration of Pharmacists Act’s clause 13, as it is allegedly not a company under the control and management of a registered pharmacist.

While the MDA’s official website is now down at the time of writing, Malay Mail’s previous checks found that the website’s latest listing as of July 29 features six Covid-19 self-test kits approved for use in Malaysia through conditional approvals granted by MDA.

The July 29 list had Salixium, Gmate, Beright, ALLTest, JusChek and Longsee listed.

The MDA on July 30 had on its website announced that these Covid-19 self-test kits which had received its conditional approval for use in Malaysia “can only be sold in licensed community pharmacies or approved health facilities”, with the list of such licensed community pharmacies available on https://www.pharmacy.gov.my/v2/ms/maklumat/daftar-lesen.html

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