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1800 – 88 – 6722

Pusat Panggilan Farmasi Kebangsaan (NPCC)

Waktu operasi: 8 pagi – 5 petang
(Isnin – Jumaat, kecuali Cuti Umum)


Laman web:
Sistem Pengurusan Aduan Awam Kementerian Kesihatan Malaysia




Toll free line:
1800 – 88 – 6722

National Pharmacy Call Centre (NPCC)


Operating hours: 8 am – 5 pm
(Monday – Friday except Public Holiday)


Sistem Pengurusan Aduan Awam Kementerian Kesihatan Malaysia


6 Oktober 2023

The healthcare system of the nation seems to be gradually expanding. One indicator of this good development is the involvement of healthcare professionals from multiple disciplines in the provision of health services. All healthcare personnel work together as a team to ensure patients receive the best possible care. A pharmacist is one of the professionals involved in patient care, along with doctors, nurses, paramedics, physiotherapists, medical laboratory technologists, and others.


Who is a pharmacist?


The English word pharmacy takes its origins from the Ancient Greek word pharmakon, which means medicine. It is evident from this definition that a pharmacist is a health professional with an expertise in medications. In Malaysia, an individual must possess a Bachelor of Pharmacy degree from an institution recognized by the Pharmacy Board of Malaysia (LFM) to become a registered pharmacist.


Pharmacy graduates will study numerous pharmaceutical disciplines, including pharmaceutical chemistry, physiology, pharmacology, pharmaceutical technology, and clinical pharmacy, as part of their degree-level education. They are also exposed to social pharmacy, which includes statistics, communication, pharmacoeconomics, pharmacoepidemiology, pharmacoinformatics, legal ethics, and pharmacy policy. 


After graduating from the university, a pharmacist has to pass a legislative examination and register with the LFM before they are permitted to practice their profession. Next, they must complete training as a Provisionally Registered Pharmacist at an institution approved by the LFM. They will only be registered and recognised as a registered pharmacist once they have completed the training.


The knowledge gained at university and the experience obtained during the required training can assist the pharmacist in performing their job. In general, pharmacists play a role in providing patients with affordable, high-quality medications. On top of that, pharmacists collaborate with other members of the healthcare team to ensure that patients receive safe and effective treatment.


Behind the scenes of medication dispensing: the responsibilities of pharmacists


Pharmacists and the rest of the pharmacy team carry out a sequence of important steps when providing medications to patients. The screening of prescriptions is the initial step in supplying medication to patients. When screening prescriptions received from patients, the pharmacist will review and ensure that the prescription is valid for the supply of medicine. The prescription should also be complete with treatment information such as the treatment date, patient diagnosis, name, dosage, and frequency to be taken, as well as the name and official stamp of the doctor who prescribed the treatment.


Additionally, pharmacists will assess the prescribed medicines to ensure patients receive appropriate and safe treatment. For instance, the pharmacist will ensure that prescribed medications do not pose a risk of interaction or are incompatible with one another. Pharmacists will also identify medications that are known to be contraindicated for the patient. The patient's current health status and past medical history, the conditions of major organs such as the heart, kidneys, and liver, and the status of pregnancy or lactation are some of the factors that pharmacists consider when determining whether a prescribed medication is appropriate for a patient.


If a patient is prescribed a medication that is regarded as inappropriate, the pharmacist will talk to the doctor to discuss it further. This is known as an intervention. The primary objective of the intervention is to prevent patients from experiencing undesirable effects from their treatment. Patients will be recommended alternative medications that are safer and more appropriate. This role requires pharmacists to possess up-to-date medication information, credible references, and excellent communication and negotiation skills.


The subsequent step is to fill the prescription. This task is carried out by a pharmacist with the assistance of a pharmacist assistant. The procedure of filling a prescription entails those involved preparing the medication in the quantities specified on the prescription. These medications will also be completely labeled to facilitate patient administration. On the label of the medication, essential details such as the drug's name and strength, the dosage and frequency of administration, the name of the supplying facility, and the date of dispensing should be included.


After the medications are prepared, the pharmacist will conduct a cross-check before delivering them to the pharmacist at the counter. Cross-checking is an essential measure for preventing medication labeling and filling errors. After cross-checking is complete, the medications will be dispensed to the patient at the counter.


Dispensing refers to the supply of medications to a patient along with an explanation of how to take the medication. In addition to providing information about the dosage and frequency of medication, the pharmacist will also provide the patient with additional instructions. Among them are the proper administration of medicines that are at risk of interfering with each other and the safe storage of medications at home. Additionally, the pharmacist is responsible for addressing the potential adverse effects of certain medications and providing advice on how to minimize them.


In certain circumstances, the patient may also inquire about additional information on the medications received. This is carried out through an individual counseling session with the pharmacist. During this session, the pharmacist will assist the patient in comprehending each prescribed medication, including, if applicable, the use of special devices such as inhalers and insulin pens. The information provided by the pharmacist, either during dispensing or counseling sessions, can enhance the patient's comprehension of the correct medication and aid in adherence to the prescribed treatment.


The profession of pharmacist is expanding in Malaysia.


The responsibilities of pharmacists are no longer restricted to pharmacy counters. Nowadays, pharmacists serve in a variety of areas, such as community pharmacy, the pharmaceutical industry, academia, and the management, enforcement, or regulatory sections of pharmacy. Nonetheless, the fundamental goal of the pharmacist's profession is to become the frontline in providing pharmaceutical care to patients, regardless of the role performed or service sector involved. This aligns with the theme of World Pharmacist’s Day for the year 2023, which is “Pharmacists Strengthening Health Systems”.


This line of work necessitates pharmacists to possess excellent educational qualifications and communication abilities. Additionally, pharmacists ought to promote pharmacy practices that are supported by reliable and credible evidence. All of this indirectly contributes to the improvement of the nation's health by strengthening the health system.


If there are any inquiries regarding pharmacist profession or medicines, please call the National Pharmacy Call Centre (NPCC) at the toll-free number 1-800-88-6722 during weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., except on public holidays.













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