FAQ - Pharmacy Services Division
PHARMACY SERVICES DIVISION
What is Pharmacy Value Added Services (VAS)?
Pharmacy Value Added Services (VAS) is an initiative started by Pharmacy Department to help ease patients on collecting the next partial medications supply without no waiting time for medication or at any nearest government pharmacy facilities.
Pharmacy Value Added Services that available at Labuan Hospital and Labuan Health Clinic are Sistem Pendispensan Ubat Bersepadu (SPUB), Appointment Card System, Call and Collect System, Ubat Melalui Pos 1Malaysia (UMP1M).
How can I get access to Pharmacy Value Added Services?
Kindly ask any Pharmacy Officer who works at Pharmacy counter for further information.
What is Sistem Pendispensan Ubat Bersepadu (SPUB)?
Sistem Pendispensan Ubat Bersepadu (SPUB) is a service provided to patients to collect the next partial medications supply at any government pharmacy facilities listed in the SPUB Directory.
What is Ubat Melalui Pos1Malaysia (UMP1M) Service?
Ubat Melalui Pos 1Malaysia (UMP1M or Medicines by Post 1Malaysia is a service that delivers patient’s monthly medicines supply straight to the location of their choice, with a minimal delivery fee paid by patients. This service is offered for delivery within the PosLaju area coverage in Malaysia.
What is Call and Collect System?
Call and Collect Service enables patients to collect the next partial medications supply without waiting long at the counter. Patient has to register with the respective pharmacy department in order to use the service. After registration, patient just need to call to pharmacy department to inform the date of drug collection and the medications will be prepared beforehand.
What is Appointment Card System?
Appointment Card Service allows patients to collect subsequent medications supply at pharmacy counter that being prepared beforehand on the date provided after registration. Patients do not need to queue in order to collect the medications.
What is Controlled Medicines and Over the Counter (OTC) Medicines?
Medicines can be categorized to 2 types, which are Controlled Medicines and Over the Counter Medicines.
Controlled Medicines are prescription drugs such as anti-hypertension medicine, anti-diabetes medicine with “A” affixed at the end of the drug registration number.
Over the Counter Medicines are non-prescription drugs such as supplement and vitamin with “X”, “T” or “N” affixed at the end of the drug registration number.
What is the difference between innovator/ brand name medicines and generic medicines?
Innovator/ brand name medicinea are drug that initially marketed as new chemical entities. The medicine will be patented by the pharmaceutical company who originally discovered and developed the medicine.
Generic medicines are produced after the original patent expires. Generic medicine has the same active ingredient as innovator medicine, therefore is identical or bioequivalent to innovator medicine in dosage form, safety, strength, route of administration, quality performance characteristics and intended use.
Do generic medicines safe and effective as innovator medicines?
Yes. The National Pharmaceutical Control Bureau (NPCB), functioning as the secretariat to Drug Control Authority (DCA), ensure that all medicines (regardless of whether they are innovators or generic medicines) under the scientific evaluation process to establish their quality, safety and efficacy. Generic medicines must meet the specifications similiar to that of innovators to ensure that they are euqally effective (bio-equivalent)
Why are generic medicines cheaper?
Generic medicines can be sold at a lower price than the innovator medicines because the initial investment for research and development was undertaken by the innovator company. Generic medicines are not required to repeat the costly clinical trials of new drugs. In addition, multiple generic companies are often approved to market a single product; this creates competition in the market place, often resulting in lower prices.
Where to keep your medicines?
Tips on safe storage of medicines are:
- Keep medicine out of reach of children.
- Store at a cool, dry place and protected from light and heat.
- Keep the medicine in its original container with the drug label is affixed. Take the cotton ball out of the medicine bottle as cotton ball pulls moisture into the bottle.
- Do not keep your medicines in bathroom, or near to sink since heat and humidity can damage medicines. .
- Do not store your medicines in refrigerator unless being instructed.
- Do not leave your medicines in car for a long period.
- Do not keep old or unused and expired medicines.
How to dispose medicines properly?
Do not keep old, unused or expired medicines. Do not flush your medicines down the toilet as it is bad for the water supply.
Tips how to dispose medicines properly:
- Check your medicines. Separate out medicines that are out of date, unused medicines, damage medicines (changed colour, texture or smell). .
- Bring those medicines to the nearest government hospital and health clinic’s pharmacy department for proper disposal. .
- Recommend your relatives or friends about this “Drug Give Back” programme for proper disposal of medicines. .
What is an Adverse Drug Reaction (ADR)?
An adverse drug reaction (ADR) is defined as any noxious or unintended response(s) to a drug that is administered in normal doses used in humans by the proper route for the purpose of prophylaxis, diagnosis, or treatment.
What you should do when experienced an adverse drug reaction (ADR)?
Stop taking the medicine that you suspect to cause the reactions (including any health supplement and traditional/ complementary medicine).
See your pharmacist or doctor immediately. Bring along the medicines for ADR verification and reporting.
What is antibiotic resistance?
Antibiotic resistance occurs when an antibiotic has lost its ability to effectively control or kill bacterial growth; in other words, bacteria resist the effects of an antibiotic. The bacteria survive and continue to multiply, causing more harm.
Overuse and misuse of antibiotics can promote the development of antibiotic resistance. Antibiotics are not effective against viral infection like common cold or flu. Widespread use of antibiotics for these illnesses can promote the spread of antibiotic resistance. Do not complete or finish a full antibiotic treatment course also contribute to antibiotic resistance.
Why I only received one (1) month medications supply even though the doctor has prescribed four (4) months medication?
Medications are supplied on monthly basis in order for Pharmacy Officer to monitor patient’s compliance and any adverse drug reactions.
Besides, medications’ quality will be more assured as pharmacy store the medications properly in recommended temperature. There are concerns on medication storage at home when involved bulk medications.
Monthly basis supply also helps to reduce medications wastage when doctor changes the patient’s drug regimen or patient deceased.
PHARMACY ENFORCEMENT BRANCH
What is registered medicines?
Registered medicines are medicines that have been approved by the Drug Control Authority (DCA), Ministry of Health Malaysia. The product was analyzed and tested for its effectiveness and safety. Each registered medicinal product will be given a registration number and must be printed on the label. Example of the registration number of the product is MAL20022544A.
How can I check the registration status of the product before buying health products?
Please visit www.pharmacy.gov.my and select "Product Search". The product registration is valid if the search results appear in the database of Quest 2 or 3.
What types of licenses can be applied from Pharmacy Enforcement Unit?
- Licence Type A for pharmacists
- Licence Type B for companies that import and use / buy and sell by wholesale (wholesale)
- Sodium Hydroxide Permit for companies to buy, store and use the Sodium Hydroxide
- Licence Type E for companies that import and use only Sodium Hydroxide
When the application form for license/permit renewal need to be sent?
For poisons license type A, B, E and NaOH permit, license validity period is until 31 December of the current year. Requests for renewal must be submitted before October 31.
When will the poison license be canceled and what is the process for cancellation of the license?
Cancellation of a license should be made if there is changes in license holder, name and address of the premises or the list of poisons (Licence Type B) and the quantity of NaOH (NaOH Permit ).
Application for cancellation of the license must be made within 14 days before the effective date of revocation of the license and must include the original license, letter for license cancellation and release letter from the company.
If there is no substitute, (Example: for pharmacy premises) licensees must provide a list of poison stock and submit it along with the application for cancellation. An inspection by the Enforcement Officer will be done before the cancellation of the license is done.
What are the examples for poisons that are listed in First Schedule of Poison Act 1952?
- Ammonia (5% and above)
- Chloroform (10% and above)
- Fluorides (3% and above)
- Formaldehyde (5% and above)
- Hydrochloric Acid (9% and above)
- Nitric Acid (9% w / w and up)
- Potassium Hydroxide (12% and above)
- Sodium Hydroxide (12% and above)
- Sulphuric Acid (9% and above)
Can representative collect the license on behalf of the license holder?
Yes but he/she must bring along an authorization letter signed by the license holder.
How cosmetics are being controlled in Malaysia?
All cosmetic products should be notified to the Ministry of Health before being marketed. Example of the notification number is NOT08101562K.
How to avoid buying fake medicines / counterfeit drugs?
- Make sure you buy the medicines that are registered with the DCA, which has the registration number MAL and Meditag hologram
- Check and read the label on the packaging and leaflet attached with the product
- Be cautious with medications that have unclear packaging and labeling
- Avoid buying drugs from unknown store
- Do not buy drugs sold on the streets or day/night market
- The best place to buy / get medicine is from pharmacy, medical clinic, or hospital.
What we have to do if an unregistered products is found in W.P. Labuan?
Complaints can be made to any pharmacy enforcement officers in Pharmacy Enforcement Branch W.P. Labuan.