Selangor, 25 September 2017 – “Pharmacists are involved in every aspect of medication management; from the beginning during the formulation period of a drug; right up to the end when the medication is given to the patient.” These were the words uttered by the Malaysian Pharmaceutical Society (MPS) President, Amrahi Buang in conjunction with World Pharmacist Day 2017.
This year, the international theme for World Pharmacist Day is “From research to health care: Your pharmacist is at your service.” Today, Malaysian pharmacists will join pharmacists from all over the world to celebrate the one true day where pharmacists are acknowledged for their roles in the healthcare system.
MPS will be celebrating the event officially at a national level on 7 October 2017 at Aeon
Mall, Bukit Raja, Klang. The event will witness the Health Minister of Malaysia in attendance to officiate the event.
The event on 7 October is a collaboration between MPS, JKN Selangor and the
Pharmaceutical Services Division of Ministry of Health Malaysia. A crowd of 5,000 is
expected to join the various activities that will be held including a coloring contest for children, various exhibitions on the roles of a pharmacist, meet and greet with a pharmacist, health forum, free health screening, games and performances.
Senior Director of the Pharmaceutical Services Division of Ministry of Health Malaysia, Dr Salmah Bahri says the health ministry is targeting to have one pharmacist for every 1,000-1,200 people from the current 1:1,600. It was reported that the nation needs more pharmacists to cater to all the sectors in pharmaceutical care such as pharmacies and hospitals as well as the pharmaceutical industry such as manufacturing, distribution, laboratories as well as the pharmaceutical education sector such as universities.
Amrahi shared that MPS is working hard to be the glue for both public and private sector pharmacist. As the voice of the profession, MPS is in its press release states it is sensitive to the needs of both sectors. The public sector is facing an overflow of PRP’s and the private sector especially the community setting is facing major price wars resulting in many independent pharmacies closing down or selling off their businesses.
Deputy President of MPS, Mr Andrew Tan states that: “Pharmacists are vital contributors in R&D, medication formulation , manufacturing, sales & marketing, warehouse & delivery, regulatory, academy, hospital (clinical and outpatient), community pharmacy, and more. As medication specialists, pharmacists are able to educate the public on the correct use of medicines as well as work synergistically with other healthcare professionals in the maintenance of health-care for patients.”
The turf war between pharmacists and general practitioners has been an increasingly hot topic of late. According to Amrahi, “A study must be done to determine why GP’s are closing down. Blaming one sector for the problems of another will not get us anywhere.” He added that authorities should increase the minimum consultation rate for doctors so that they do not feel the pinch when patients choose to purchase their medication from pharmacies at a cheaper rate.