Saturday, March 29, 2008

Finally, the hope may come true! Dispensing Separation

Doctors to be disallowed from dispensing medicines
By : Annie Freeda Cruez
Soon only pharmacies will  dispense medicines while  doctors can only prescribe medication.
Soon only pharmacies will dispense medicines while doctors can only prescribe medication.

KUALA LUMPUR: Soon, doctors will not be allowed to dispense medicines. Doctors will only be allowed to prescribe medications but patients will have to get the medicines from pharmacies.

Currently, doctors diagnose the disease, prescribe the medicines and their own clinics dispense them.

For almost 20 years, pharmacists have been fighting for the "return" of their right to dispense medications but had been unsuccessful for various reasons.

A pilot project on the separation of functions between doctors' clinics and pharmacies will be launched by the Ministry of Health.

It is scheduled to be launched at selected major towns with the ministry closely monitoring the strength and weaknesses of the system before implementing it nationwide.
Director-General of Health Tan Sri Dr Ismail Merican said the ministry was not able to implement this system earlier due to logistics problems, especially the shortage of pharmacists and pharmacies in the country.

"We also have to take into consideration the welfare of patients. If we have the separation, then patients must have easy accessibility to pharmacies to get their prescribed medications," he told the New Straits Times.

He said the ministry had conducted a detailed study, "Pharmacy and clinic Mapping" on various issues ranging from welfare of patients, facilities available and capability of pharmacies to meet the demand.

"We found that the logistics problem is still an issue and needs to be resolved as we do not want patients to be running around looking for pharmacies with the doctors' prescriptions," said Dr Ismail.

Furthermore, he said, the pharmacies should be able to provide quality care.

He said the ministry had been doing the study with various stakeholders, focusing on the spread of community pharmacies or pharmacy outlets in major towns, rural and remote areas.

Some 5,000 registered pharmacists are actively practising in some 1,600 pharmacies nationwide.

In 2004, there were only 3,927 registered pharmacists with about 1,540 retail pharmacies or one for every 16,445 persons.

Dr Ismail said the pilot project would be implemented in major towns based on the study where there were pharmacies near clinics.

"If the pilot project is successful, we will have to look into the existing laws to allow for the separation," he added.

India, South Korea and Taiwan have implemented the separation. Malaysian Pharmaceutical Society president John Chang Chiew Pheng said the ministry's move to conduct a pilot project was definitely a positive development which would enhance the level of healthcare delivery.

The separation, he added, would benefit patients as doctors could now focus on their clinical, diagnosing, counselling and prescription, while pharmacists could focus on educating patients on how best to optimise the usage of medicines prescribed.

Furthermore, Chang said, pharmacists could help patients choose between generic and branded drugs based on their financial situation.

"With commitment and determination we can overcome teething problems and patients can understand their medicines," he added.

He said if the government went ahead with the separation, then more pharmacies could be set up near clinics for easy accessibility to patients.

Ask the Pharmacist

1) I hope the health minister (they said the position is cursed) can stay long enough to implement this.
2) It only stated "SOON", but we do not know when. Today is 29/03/2008. Let see when it is going to be implemented and see how long is the "soon" .
3) Does writing to PM work? It seems someone do take note. I am not dreaming.
4) What a happy news....HAHAHA

Friday, March 14, 2008

Loose packing of medicine will be discontinued

Implementation of patient pack size for pharmaceutical products
Patient pack size is finally confirmed to be implemented on a voluntary basis on 1st March, and compulsory on 1st Sep 2008.

This is a good news for pharmacy. All medicine shall be labeled accordingly, which we can rarely see it being labeled when it is dispensed in the clinic.

Problems of unidentified pills will be solved:
Let say, a patient bring this pill and show it to me and said he want to buy, how can i identify the pill? No name, no marking, no label etc. I would say it is impossible to identify .

Of course unless, he bring these, then at least from the marking i know what it is.
So, there should not be any more cases of patients do not know the name of the medicines that they are taking. Unless the practitioner take out the pills from the blister pack and then cut it 2 times into quarters.. Then it will provide the us the challenge again to identify the pill. Ask the pharmacist!
1) Good things about this type of packing are:
a. It can maintain the products integrity – (eg the product can be identify through its name, the manufacturing / expiry date is on the pack)
b. prevent unnecessary exposure of the product to moisture, air, bacteria etc
c. avoid product contamination due to handling in non-GMP premise (dirty packing area)
d. fewer steps in dispensing process hence less opportunity for errors and improvement in efficiency.

2) I started to feel that dispensing separation is near. If all the medicine dispensed in the clinic can be correctly identified and thus patient can buy it outside in the pharmacy at a cheaper price, would the doctor still want to dispense?

3) I hope i will be right this time.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Share investing: BJTOTO

Brokerage Analyst Comments:
1) Citigroup: Sell /Target at RM 4.40
2)MIMB: Neutral /Target at RM 5.25
3) Credit Suisse: Neutral/ Target at RM 4.70
4) RHB: Outperform/ Target at RM 6.10
5) OSK: Buy/ Target at RM 5.60
6)HwangDBS: Hold/ Target at RM 5.30
7)Kenanga: Buy/Target RM 5.60

Buying by director Tan Sri Dato' Seri Vincent Tan Chee Yioun
3/3/2008 at 5.10 x 200,000 shares =RM 1.02 million
26/2/2008 at 5.371 x 50,000 shares = RM 0.268 million
25/2/2008 at 5.284 x 285,077 shares= RM 1.506 million
22/2/2008 at 5.315 x 1,000,000 shares= RM 5.315 million
21/2/2008 at 5.431 x 763,000 shares= RM 4.143 million
20/2/2008 at 5.431 x 1,000,000 shares= RM 5.431 million
19/2/2008 at 5.465 x 549,500 shares= RM 3 million
18/2/2008 at 5.475 x 1,880,500 shares= RM 10.295 million
TOTAL RM SPEND: about RM 30.98million on 5,727k shares

Ask the pharmacist?
1) After seeing Tan Sri Dato Seri Vincent buying at 5.41 for the total of RM 30.98 million, i guess i wont be wrong if i buy at RM 5.00. Furthermore, my total buying cost is not even 0.1% of wat he is buying.
2) Do not follow me. I am not a financial consultant.
3) Am i wrong? Time will tell.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Letter to our Prime Minister

Ask the pharmacist!
If u happen to visit my blog, please click on the link below to write suggestion for dispensing separation in Malaysia.
Pharmacist have been denied their professional right in this country. Can anyone name me a developed countries which does not have dispensing separation? Separations definitely will bring many goodies to the public.
I hope that this time before election, someone will take note of our plight..And i will vote for the party who can promise us dispensing separations... but am i dreaming?