KUALA LUMPUR — The slash in vaccination budget from RM4.6 billion to RM4 billion for Budget 2017 is a non-issue to the Malaysian Pharmaceutical Society (MPS), as its president said it is merely stipulated spending for next year.
MPS president Amrahi Buang said the trimmed budget allocation for vaccines should be viewed in a broader perspective, saying that the government should be prepared with vaccines according to the needs of the people.
Amrahi said medications are made readily available by the government and as of now, there are cases of medication wastage which should not happen.
“The government needs to be aware of the situation in terms of spreading of diseases, so they must be able to respond and provide vaccines according to public needs for next year,” He said.
Aiming to train over 8,000 pharmacists nationwide in 2018, GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare (GSKCH) and MPS introduced the educational myPharmAssist programme on Friday.
The dynamic educational platform provides content and training that are tailored to engage and educate pharmacy teams in various topics including pain relief, cough, flu and other medical related topics to meet the needs of the community.
GSKCH general manager Stacey Wallace said the the programme will be made available in December this year with its digital assets, including a website which will be rolled out in July 2017.
“Malaysia is the first country to launch the myPharmaAssist global programme, as we share the concern of the increasing prevalence of chronic diseases in this country.
“From our experience, public health education is imperative to reduce chronic diseases, and a community pharmacy is one of the most important touch points to maximise the impact of public empowerment,” Wallace told reporters on Friday.
Amrahi said the launch of the platform was timely in further enhancing the competency of pharmacists, and will continuously advance and update the skills of the practitioners for the benefit of the rakyat.
“We aim to have at least 1,000 pharmacy practitioners trained by the end of 2017 and as new modules are added into the programme, the numbers of pharmacists engaging in the programme will grow to our target of 80% of community pharmacists by 2019,” he said.