24 Jun, 2014
PETALING JAYA: The Federation of Private Medical Practitioner’s Association Malaysia (FPMPAM) today came out in support of the call to give patients the option to choose where to buy their medication from.
Its president Dr Steven Chow said that this has been their policy all along as it gives the patients the freedom of choice.
“This choice lies in being able to receive consultation from a doctor and upon receiving the necessary prescriptions; the patient is free to choose if he or she wishes to purchase the medicine from the clinic or from a pharmacy. Patients can currently exercise this right,” he said when commenting on theSun front page story titled “Option to get medication from clinics or pharmacies by next April” published on June 22.
Chow said giving patients the choice is ultimately the most cost-effective and convenient option and avoids monopolies by any party with vested interests.
However, he added, linking this issue with dispensing separation was unfortunate as that is a separate issue which must be studied in great depth as it removes the very option that the federation advocates strongly for – the choice of the patient to choose where to purchase medication.
“Dispensing separations has many ramifications and consequences, and should not be done simply to appease certain individuals with self-interest,” he said, adding that the separation of dispensing will centralise all medicine distribution points at the pharmacy and this will overburden the public if you consider the weather conditions, traffic problems, accessibility of pharmacies and other logistic issues.
The FPMPAM believes that one of the ways forward is to encourage professional partnerships between pharmacists and their neighboring private clinics to provide patients with more choices as opposed to changing the system to one that will be discouraging to the rights and convenience of patients and increase the cost of medical care significantly.