Government in no rush to table Pharmacy Bill

Government in no rush to table Pharmacy Bill
Deputy Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Hilmi Yahya

GEORGE TOWN: The Government is in no hurry to table the proposed Pharmacy Bill in Parliament.

Deputy Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Hilmi Yahya said the ministry was presently engaging all parties on how best to implement the system.

"The most important aspect is the patient's welfare. Therefore, the system has to be effective," he told a press conference during the Northern Pharmacists Convention Annual Dinner at Batu Ferringhi on Saturday.

The proposed Dispensing Separation which would have doctors diagnosing and pharmacies dispensing has been an area of contention between general practitioners (GPs) and pharmacists.

Dr Hilmi said while pharmacists were all for the system, GPs had voiced their concerns, citing safety and rising costs if medication is dispensed by pharmacists.

He said there were 12,800 pharmacists and 7,000 GPs with 60 per cent of them in government service.

Dr Hilmi also said that at present, the Government was working on the coding system for medicines which would enhance safety and tracebility and reduce the operation cost in government pharmacies.

He added that a digital forensic unit would be formed to monitor people selling unregistered medical products online.

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