SEASON'S GREETINGS FROM THE PRESIDENT'S DESK
On behalf of the Malaysian Pharmaceutical Society, I would like to wish all Christians a Merry Christmas and all MPS members a Happy New Year.
It is customary to reflect on how the current year went by when we are nearing the end of a year.
This 2016, our greatest achievement and best accomplishment is the increase in members who have taken up leadership within MPS via the Council, Area Committees, Chapters, Committees and Task Force. MPS is an organization where serving members work purely out of love and passion for the Society on a volunteer basis without seeking personal glory. I am extremely grateful for the dedication of these pharmacists who are focused as a unit towards the betterment of MPS and the pharmacy profession. Bravo!
The first half of 2016 was great a challenge to the profession in terms of the New Pharmacy Bill issue (RUUF). However, the silver lining was that this challenge has unite the pharmacists across the nation. The petition against the contentious issues in the RUUF, the Prescription Rights Campaign and numerous opinion pieces in the media had made our stand very clear on these issues. MPS took a very vocal and firm stand for the sake of the profession with the mandate from its members.
2016 also gave us a great year in pharmacist participation in MPS activities and campaigns such as the World Antibiotic Awareness Week, World Pharmacists Day, Allied Against Dengue Campaigns and many others.
In a nutshell, in 2016 MPS has elevated itself because it received tremendous support and encouragement from its members and related stakeholders.
"The new year stands before us, like a chapter in a book, waiting to be written. We can help write that story by setting goals." Melody Beattie
MPS has set its goals for 2017 as we want to write an equally beautifully chapter for next year. We are focused towards ensuring the MyPharmAssist program reaches the pharmacy practitioner in the community, we aim to make our 50th Anniversary celebrations a year-long event that will be remembered for years to come and finally, we are committed to ensuring that MPS remains a strong and relevant voice in the journey of the historic RUUF.
In conclusion, Christmas is the season of giving and love and the New Year is about new beginnings; I therefore take this opportunity to remind all members to renew your memberships, encourage more pharmacists to join us and let us all continuously give back to the rakyat by being the best health care provider in the nation.
My Society, My Passion
Malaysian Pharmaceutical Society
PHARMACIST RETENTION CERTIFICATE 201 7 ? APPLY NOW BEFORE 31ST DEC 2016
By now most if not all pharmacists should have already apply for their Annual Retention Certificate 2017 through the BLESS.
If you have not, please do so as by 1st Jan 2017 you will have to pay a fine of RM100 on top of the RM50 fees for the 2017 Certificate.
The BLESS is having some difficulty in their payment system in that once you have made the payment you cannot return back to the system to record the payment. In fact the system log out. If you face this situation, just give them a call (1300-88-1020) or email to them at firstname.lastname@example.org with a copy of your receipt and they will respond. If you don't succeed to speak to the officer (auto-answering routing) try again (and again). In any case they will respond to your email.
BLESS is intented to improve the efficiency of licences application through the use of IT, and in this instance the Ministry of Health is working with PEMUDAH and the Implementation Coordination Unit of the Prime Minister Department. However to date, it is noted that there still persists similar problems related to its usage from its first introduction to the application of Pharmacists Annual Retention three years ago, though it is understood that BLESS was launched earlier in 2008 in other sectors.
The system do offer a certain degree of convenience in not needing to fill up the same form yearly and there is now no need to take a trip to the Pos office to purchase the wang pos. If one remember it was until two years ago that MPS do offer to help members renew their licence with the Wang Pos.
In any case MPS received complaints of the BLESS mainly in these areas:-
- System down (server not found), though the new web address is used.
- Non user friendly navigation of functions within the system.
- System 'hangs' after making payment and could not carry on with further entries at the BLESS site.
- Difficulty in getting through to help line for assistance - caller has to listen to a continuous loop of recorded instructions about calling back or waiting for assistance
MPS had tried its best to help members who contacted us in guiding them through their application or they even come to MPS for personal guidance. But when their system is down there is nothing we can do.
The implication of these setbacks is that some pharmacists need the Retention Certificate to apply for another licence ( for example: Caffeine licence) by a certain month and the delay has caused considerable inconvenience.
Considering these, the MPS had written to the Director-General of Health, as the Chairman of the Pharmacy Board on this matter and hope that for next year there are improvements.
NEWS FROM NPRA
1) Allopurinol: Reminder on Steps to Minimise the Risk of Serious Adverse Cutaneous Reactions
The NPRA continues to receive ADR reports of serious skin reactions (e.g. SJS, TEN, DRESS) suspected to be related to allopurinol use, including the use in asymptomatic hyperuricaemia, which is outside the approved indication.
We would like to remind all healthcare professionals/ facilities to practice the following risk minimisation steps:
a) Please do not display uric acid levels in routine renal profile results
Uric acid levels should not be displayed routinely, but ordered separately only for symptomatic patients. This is to reduce the inappropriate prescribing of allopurinol for asymptomatic hyperuricaemia.
b) Please attach the auxiliary warning label when dispensing allopurinol
The following label should be attached and patients counselled on the early signs of serious skin reactions, each time allopurinol is dispensed.
>>> Circular Allopurinol
2) Codeine: Contraindicated in Children Aged Below 12 years for the Treatment of Colds and in Breastfeeding Women
Due to the risk of serious and life-threatening adverse reactions, including respiratory depression, the use of codeine-containing medicines is now contraindicated in the following patient groups:
- children below the age of 12 years for the symptomatic treatment of colds;
- all paediatric patients (0-18 years of age) who undergo tonsillectomy and/or adenoidectomy for obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome;
- women during breastfeeding;
- patients who are known CYP2D6 ultra-rapid metabolisers.
>>> Circular Codeine
DRUG SAFETY UPDATES & REAKSI SEPT 2016
Medication safety updates brought to you by the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA).
>>> Live Attenuated Vaccines: Reminder to Avoid Use In Immunosuppressed Individuals
The NPRA would like to remind healthcare professionals that live attenuated vaccines (LAV) should not be given to clinically immunosuppressed individuals, including:
- infants who have been exposed to immunosuppressive treatment from the mother in utero or via breastfeeding (e.g. TNFα antagonists or other biologics);
- immunosuppressed elderly (due to drugs e.g. transplant medication, high-dose corticosterioids; or underlying illness e.g. lymphoproliferative disorders).
The use of LAV is also generally contraindicated in those with a history of severe allergic reaction to a vaccine component or following a prior dose, and pregnant women.
>>> Reaksi September
FEDERATION OF ASIAN PHARMACEUTICAL ASSOCIATIONS
STATEMENT ON NON-COMMUNICABLE DISEASES (NCDS)
The Federation of Asian Pharmaceutical Associations (FAPA) recognizes the multiple and negative health and socio-economic impact of non-communicable diseases on the Asian populations. It acknowledges that conditions such as high blood pressure, obesity, high blood glucose and hyperlipidemia are consequences of unhealthy diets, sedentary lifestyle, exposure to or use of tobacco, and alcohol intake, amongst a myriad of behavioral risk factors which are preventable and controllable.
In addition, inequality in the access to, and responsible and rational use of medicines for non-communicable diseases must be given due attention to halt the progression of these diseases among diagnosed patients. Through a comprehensive and multidisciplinary approach, reduction of risk factors and proper management of these diseases could be achieved.
The pharmacist is trusted and viewed by FAPA as one important health professional who could make substantial contribution to the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases such as hypertension and diabetes. The pharmacists' training and expertise together with their strategic practice settings in the community, government and private health institutions, research and academic institutions, and health policy-making bodies in Asia, are positioned to create, initiate, sustain, and be actively involved in programs and activities on health promotion, risk assessment, and treatment adherence in their respective countries together with all health professionals, patients, administrators, government agencies, and other stakeholders.
As a federation of 21 pharmaceutical associations in Asia with a mission of improving lives of people through good pharmacy practice, FAPA believes that its member associations can support the nine (9) global strategies advocated by the World Health Organization (WHO) which are:
- A 25% relative reduction in the overall mortality from cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes, or chronic respiratory diseases;
- At least 10% relative reduction in the harmful use of alcohol, as appropriate, within the national context;
- A 10% relative reduction in prevalence of insufficient physical activity;
- A 30% relative reduction in mean population intake of salt/sodium;
- A 30% relative reduction in prevalence of current tobacco use;
- A 25% relative reduction in the prevalence of raised blood pressure or contain the prevalence of raised blood pressure, according to national circumstances;
- Halt the rise in diabetes and obesity;
- At least 50% of eligible people receive drug therapy and counselling (including glycemic control) to prevent heart attacks and strokes; and
- An 80% availability of the affordable basic technologies and essential medicines, including generics, required to treat major non-communicable diseases in both public and private facilities.
To achieve the above goals, FAPA through its member associations, had defined nine (9) possible interventions by which Asian pharmacists can provide pharmaceutical care and encourage healthy lifestyle, namely:
- Wellness promotion and healthy lifestyle advocacy
- Smoking cessation programs
- Public awareness campaigns on the health effects of alcohol and smoking
- Physical fitness programs
- Risk screening programs for hypertension and diabetes and other NCDs
- Programs on responsible and rational use of medicines for various NCDs with focus on hypertension and diabetes
- Promotion of treatment adherence through patient-centered counseling
- Active participation in multidisciplinary and government-initiated programs on NCDs including access to medicines
FAPA takes the responsibility of encouraging the adoption of the abovementioned programs and in gathering all evidences of the positive health and socio-economic outcomes of the different approaches adopted by member associations. It will constantly provide a venue for country member associations to exchange expertise and experiences on NCD prevention and management and recognize resulting practice models which countries in the Region may adopt and implement. FAPA should also assist member associations in designing and implementing programs on: building capacity of pharmacy human resource; improving relationship with other healthcare professionals, clients and public; increasing influence in public health policy making; and, in ensuring sustainable financing for NCD-related pharmacy initiatives and services.
Lastly, FAPA will continuously work with various stakeholders to contribute significantly to the attainment of the global goals on non-communicable diseases. Together, as one family with a common mission, FAPA envisions better health for all Asians.
PHARMACY MALACCA - MALAYSIA ENFORCEMENT BLACKLIST
>>> View to see complete list
MAKLUMAN TERKINI ISU KESELAMATAN SODIUM VALPROATE: MEMPERKUKUHKAN AMARAN DAN MENGEHADKAN PENGGUNAAN DALAM KALANGAN PEREMPUAN SUSULAN RISIKO ABNORMAL PREGNANCY OUTCOMES
'TASK FORCE TWO BILLION' TO GO AFTER TAX DEFAULTERS ? MALAY MAIL ONLINE, DECEMBER 16, 2016
KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 16 - The Inland Revenue Board (IRB) has set up a special enforcement team called, Task Force Two Billion, for the coming taxation year.
The team will focus on goldsmiths, licensed moneylenders, lawyers, sportsmen and the medical sector, including pharmacies, nurses and doctors, the board's new chief executive officer, Datuk Sabin Samitah, said at launch yesterday.
"Based on our investigations, we have found that many of these people do not fully declare their taxes.
"We call the operation Task Force Two Billion because we intend to collect RM2 billion taxes from them."
Sabin said 272 investigators and tax officers had been trained for the operation.
"We have a system which will be able to detect how much an individual is making and will use it to track the amount they are supposed to pay," he said.
He said the IRB decided to create the task force as the current auditing system took longer to identify tax defaulters.
"This task force will help us identify defaulters in a much shorter time as we have a specialised investigative team," he said.
Sabin said the board planned to collect about RM127 billion in taxes for 2016, which is about RM6 billion more than in 2015.
The board had also caught 1,063 tax evaders this year who owed RM755.44 million.
He said defaulters could pay their taxes in instalments if the amounts were too big to pay in one lump sum.
Sabin also revealed the board was in discussion with Bank Negara to automatically list tax defaulters under the Central Credit Reference Information System (CCRIS).
"It is still at the initial stage of discussion but we hope to see this through," he said, adding that this was not a harsh punishment.
Reacting to the formation of the task force, former Malaysian Bar president K. Ragunath disagreed that many lawyers evaded paying taxes.
He believed that lawyers registered under the Malaysian Bar regularly paid their taxes.
"This is an obligation of income earners to declare their income and pay taxes. I believe there are not many lawyers who do not pay their taxes," he said.
However, he said it was a good move to set up the task force as it would be able to collect taxes from defaulters more efficiently.
Malaysian Medical Association president Dr John Chew disagreed with IRB's plan to list defaulters under CCRIS.
"As long as people are not proven guilty in court, their names should not be listed under that system as it will hold them back from leading a normal life," he said.
"If their names are blacklisted, they will not be able to take loans. This is brutal punishment. IRB cannot be judge, jury and executioner."
GOODS AND SERVICES TAX ON PHARMACEUTICALS IN MALAYSIA
In Malaysia, the goods and services tax (GST) was implemented in 2015. Within this context, medicines are subjected to GST.
However, essential medicines are exempted. In fact, exempting essential medicines from tax is in line with the Malaysian National Medicines Policy which aims to promote equitable access to affordable essential medicines of good quality to improve health outcomes of the people. The implementation of GST on medicines can generate a stable source of revenue for the nation. However, there are some ways/actions that could be considered to ensure the affordability and accessibility of all medicines post implementation of GST in Malaysia.
Authors: Zhi Yen Wong, Alian A. Alrasheedy, Mohamed Azmi Hassali, and Fahad Saleem, Therapeutic Innovation & Regulatory Science
>>> FULL ARTICLE
REQUEST FOR IMU ALUMNI INFO
Message from IMU Alumni :
IMU will be celebrating its 25th Anniversary next year 2017. As one of the key celebrations, we want to stay in touch with the alumni from the School of Pharmacy. We are keen to foster an active alumni community and need your participation to achieve that. Please email to: email@example.com or Dinesh_Kumar@imu.edu.my
>>> OFFICIAL LETTER
>>> ALUMNI FORM
- Pharmacist / Jom Pharmacy (Kuching)/ Email to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Retail Pharmacist - Farmasi C S Sdn. Bhd. / Ipoh / Ms. Kee mobile at 012-5050186 or email to email@example.com
- Production Pharmacist/ Fortune Laboratories Sdn Bhd/ Selangor/ Ms Alia at 03-5526 8004 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Retail Pharmacist/ Howe Cheang Medical Supply Sdn Bhd/ Penang/ Email to email@example.com or okingkong@gmail .com or call/whatsapp/ sms to Jane mobile no 012-3919118 or Ling 012 4079748 for interview