Pharmacy Bill :
Pharmacists and Consumers on the same page, says MPS
for IMMEDIATE RELEASE
27 September 2017, Puchong, Malaysia – Referring to the recent statements from the Health Minister on the Pharmacy Bill, the Malaysian Pharmaceutical Society President, Amrahi Buang said, “Pharmacist and Consumers are on the same page when it comes to the Pharmacy Bill, we want medication and patient safety”.
Recently, the Federation of Malaysian Consumers Association (FOMCA) CEO Paul Selvaraj said that patients, as consumers, have the right to make informed buying decisions and should not be forced to buy medication from private practitioners.
“MPS is on the same page and we are on board with empowering patients by educating them on their rights to a prescription. We have launched an Ask for your Prescription campaign since last year”, Amrahi said.
He added, “However, we have advised to make it mandatory for primary care doctors to provide a complete prescription as it will benefit the patient. It is easier to educate a doctor to provide a complete prescription than to educate a whole nation to ask for a complete prescription".
When asked how the pharmacy community felt about the announcement that both doctors and pharmacists could dispense medication, Amrahi said, “This statement is not news to us as even within the current laws, the doctors are allowed to dispense”.
He added, “If the government chooses to maintain the status quo we can only do our part by voicing out the need for a safety net in the private primary care setting. We are not at war with the doctors, and that must be clear. We are advocating medication and patient safety as well as demanding the right to practice what we have been educated for”.
Lim Kean Ping a community pharmacist shared on social media,” Judges, lawyers and policemen carry out their jobs independently to protect the rights of the citizens. The same should be in the healthcare sector. No one should diagnose, treat, dispense, compound, counsel, and monitor medical progression without anyone to check and balance.Healthcare is never a one man show.
Similar thoughts were shared by other pharmacist on social media, with the majority of them hoping that doctors would provide complete prescriptions to patients who request for one.
“I have received prescriptions that only have the brand name without any dosing instructions and attempts to contact the prescribers sometimes fail, so I have to send the patient back to the clinic”, shared community pharmacist Santhanathan Rajendram.
“Five sectors out of 6 are already carrying out separation of medicine dispensing – the public sector in the primary care, secondary care and tertiary care and the private sector in the secondary and tertiary care.The only sector that did not have the separation system is the private primary health care” Amrahi said agreeing with the sentiments of community pharmacists.
Amrahi encouraged the public to attend the World Pharmacist Day 2017 celebration on 7 October 2017 at Aeon Mall Bukit Raja, Klang as MPS in collaboration with JKN Selangor and the Pharmaceutical Services Division will be showcasing pharmacist and the roles they play in the nations healthcare system as per the theme “From research to health care: Your pharmacist is at your service”.
The Malaysian Pharmaceutical Society Brief
The Malaysian Pharmaceutical Society (The MPS) is the national association for pharmacists formed on 6th Nov 1967 to promote and maintain the honor and interests of the profession of pharmacy in the country.
“Service towards a Healthy Society” is the motto of The MPS.
The MPS plays an important role to further the development of pharmacy and pharmaceutical education and to foster intra-professional relationship among members.
It strives to improve the Science of Pharmacy for the general welfare of the public by fostering the publication of scientific and professional information relating to the practice of pharmacy and aid in the development and stimulation of discovery, invention and research.
The MPS is managed and lead by elected council members and has Area Committees in all the Peninsular Malaysian States with association membership from the Sabah and Sarawak State Pharmaceutical Societies.
The MPS is recognized as the voice of the profession and represents the interests of its members and the general public by having representatives at the Pharmacy Board, the Poisons Board, the Drug Control Authority and the Medicine Advertisement Board.
The MPS is member of and has members representing the society in the National Antimicrobial Resistance Committee, the Malaysian National Medicines Policy (DUNas) working committee, the Traditional and Complementary Medicine Committee, the National Committee on Clinical Research, the MIMS Pharmacy Editorial Advisory Board, the Technical Committee for Halal Pharmaceuticals standards and Halal Medical Devices standard, the mQuit services committee, the Malaysian Council for Tobacco Control (MCTC) and the Malaysian Professional Centre, or Balai Ikhtiasis Malaysia whose patron is the Prime Minister of Malaysia.
The Society's international affiliation includes:
- Commonwealth Pharmacists Association (CPA)
- Federation of Asian Pharmaceutical Association (FAPA
Over the years the MPS has been instrumental in many initiatives which helped the public. The most significant being the
- Signing the patient charter in 1995 with MMA, MDA, and FOMCA because the MPS has always recognised that medication safety and patient safety are the foremost concerns of the health care system.
- Petitioning the government successfully in 2015 to approve zero rated GST for scheduled poisons (Group B & C); to ensure the RAKYAT was not burdened by GST imposed on scheduled poisons.
- Successfully placing the Guidelines for the Good Pharmaceutical Trade Practice (GPTP) under the National Medicines Policy while working hand in hand with the Malaysian Competition Commission (MyCC) and other stakeholders, because the MPS has persistently pushed the agenda of price control in medication and always advocated that medicines are not mere commodities.
- With the launch of the Allied Against Dengue Campaign, the MPS as recruited more than 2000 pharmacist as warriors against dengue. In 2017, we target 5000 health care professionals to be dengue warriors via nationwide dengue education campaigns. It is important to note with all nationwide anti-dengue initiatives by all stakeholders has reduced the number of dengue related deaths from 336 in 2015 to 260 in 2016.
- Accreditation of the mQuit services provider in community pharmacy setting.
- Playing a major and active role in combating Antimicrobial Resistance at community pharmacy setting.
This year, 2017, we celebrate our Golden Jubilee. To commemorate this auspicious occasion, a special logo was created in a nationwide competition with the theme My Society, My Passion. The number 50 and the gold colour signifies the Golden Jubilee. The circle reflects our continuous struggle while maintaining unity within the profession in the country and the world pharmacy community. My Society represents the MPS, as well as the Malaysian community at large for which pharmacists have served with full passion while overcoming challenges along the way, hence My Passion. The "My" is chosen instead of "Our" to show personal commitment of pharmacists as individuals in a collective environment.
Campaigns & Initiatives
The MPS advocates and commits to initiatives that benefit the profession and the rakyat. The MPS is a collaborator with MOH and other stakeholders on the Allied Against Dengue Campaign, MyWeightMyHealth campaign, Anti-Dadah campaign, myPharmAssist program and Complementary Medicine Education (CMEd) program.
The MPS has over the years contributed to social causes such as providing 10.000 face masks to the MOH during the H1N1 outbreak in 2009 as well as providing relief to affected areas during the floods that hit Kelantan in 2016.
Since 2015, the MPS has been celebrating World Pharmacist Day annually on 25 September. At the events organized nationwide The MPS not only promotes understanding of the profession, it also provides free services such as health screening services and counseling services to the members of the public. To educate the public on their health rights, The MPS launched the Prescription Rights campaign at the 2016 celebration.
The Society is actively engaging pharmacists in Continuing Professional Development activities at a central level and at the state level. Throughout the year courses and seminars are being organized to facilitate pharmacists participation. It is also pursuing accreditation of pharmacies for standardization of practice nationwide.
The MPS collaborates with the Malaysian Academy of Pharmacy to provide world class CPD modules for its members and pharmacist nationwide.
The MPS initiated the Certified Smoking Cessation Service Provider (CSCSP) since 2001 and the course is still running to help increase the pharmacists counselling skills in helping smokers quit. The course is now available online for pharmacists nationwide.
The MPS also has the Young Pharmacist Chapter (MPS-YPC), which is also celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. MPS-YPC is focusing on activities of special interest to young pharmacists, like continuing professional development, entrepreneurship, emotional intelligence, healthcare innovation and many other exciting engaging events. MPS-YPC is very active with activities with FAPA Asian Young Pharmacists Group and will host the biennial international summit focusing on pharmacists engaging community for health at International Medical University, Kuala Lumpur from 11th Nov 2017 to 13th Nov 2017.
Membership & Awards
The MPS confers Honorary membership, Fellowship and Awards to deserving pharmacists.
For students, the MPS presents the Annual MPS Gold Medalist Award to deserving graduating students from local pharmacy institutions.
Membership is opened to all registered pharmacists in Malaysia.
There is also a category for student membership. Through this channel students can focus their activities in public health campaigns, personal development, career talks and student exchange programs. Special consideration is also given to students to attend MPS organized activities either through complimentary invitation, or at special student rates.