GSK - MPS ON A MISSION TO ENSURE SAFE AND EFFECTIVE MEDICINES FOR ALL
12 DEC, 2019 @ 7.45PM
GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare Sdn Bhd (“GSK”) together with the Malaysian Pharmaceutical Society (“MPS”) have reaffirmed their commitment to uphold high standards of ensuring consumer safety in their products and supply chain.
Such reaffirmation of commitment will see close to 1,000 pharmacists from the MPS joining GSK through pledges made in the form of displaying their commitment stickers placed at their individual pharmacists’ premises. The pledges serve as a reminder to both patients and pharmacists that patient safety, through proactive and clear communication on adherence to the correct use of medicine, must be prioritised.
Pharmacists are key members within the healthcare community/system as they are the most easily available and accessible healthcare professionals for the community. According to the 2015 National Survey on the Use of Medicines (NSUM) by Malaysian Consumers, up to 70% of patients on regular medication are turning to pharmacists for consultation and information on medicines. The survey also revealed more than 90% of the respondents perceived medicine labels as adequate and did not report any difficulties in reading the labels.
Integrity in operations
This immense trust placed by patients on pharmacists and their products brings to mind that pharmacists must demonstrate integrity in their operations by only dispensing medication that has been approved by the Ministry of Health while simultaneously ensuring all communication with patients emphasise adherence to their appropriate use and dosage.
According to Amrahi Buang, president of the MPS, a pharmacist’s role revolves around patient safety, especially now that more and more people are consulting pharmacists for their medical needs.
“It is now more important than ever for us to place patients’ safety first in everything that we do. Traditionally, pharmacists served as the bridge between patient and doctor by checking the prescriptions from physicians before dispensing the medication to the patients. That role has not changed, where pharmacists are now also responsible for helping patients to manage minor ailments with medicines in responding to their symptoms and even offering health advice on their diet and lifestyle.
"But in order to effectively discharge our role as pharmacists to the community, we need patients to be open in their communication with us to enable pharmacists to prescribe the right medication for them.
Proper adherence to medication
“An ongoing issue that affects patient safety is compliance. Through this pledge with GSK, we want to show that we, the pharmacists’ community, are committed to initiate conversations with our patients to encourage proper adherence to their medication and to discuss what is best for them. For various reasons, some patients may not be able to adhere to our instructions, thus affecting their safety. We want patients to voice out their concerns about their medication, so that we can advise on the right course of action.
“At GSK, we have extensive safety controls throughout our production and supply chain, and these are enforced throughout all the markets we operate. Furthermore, our research focuses on the needs of our consumers by tackling the health issues that affect them and leading to products that meet those needs. All these measures are part of our responsibility as a global pharmaceutical company to ensure that the health of our consumers is not compromised in any way,” said Bryan Wong, general manager of GSK Consumer Healthcare.
“Due to our policies on patient safety, our products, for example, Panadol, have become recognisable and indeed, major trusted household brands. Our pledge with the MPS also serves to remind consumers that they have a role to play in medicinal safety. They should not be shy about asking their pharmacists about the right medication for them, alternative options, and what to do in cases where they are unable to adhere completely. These are important topics for discussion, especially now that pharmacists are taking a greater role, not just as dispensers of medication, but as the frontline health care providers,” he concluded.”
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