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Knowledge in Healthcare Leads Alumnus to His Own Business

11 Jan 2017

Alvin Yuan started his pharmacy studies at IMU, Malaysia in 2006 and later transferred to University of Strathclyde for the completion of his degree. Upon his graduation from University of Strathclyde, Alvin decided to use his knowledge in the healthcare profession as an added advantage to pursue business areas involving healthcare. He joined a managed care organisation (MCO) as a Business Development Executive (BDE).

What made you decide not to take up your PRP?
To be honest, I have always had interests in venturing into a position that puts me in a black coat more than a white coat even when I first took up Pharmacy. Working in a managed care organisation (MCO) as a Business Development Executive, Alvin started picking up on business management and also other skills. Over the next few years, he self-studied subjects such as accounting, economics, taxation and insurance etc to hone his skills.
Was being a BDE challenging? What were some of the shortcomings that you feel you had to face in comparison to other business degree holders?
Yes, it was challenging in a good way. The biggest disadvantage was probably the lack of knowledge in accounting, finance and economics. I had to pick up these individual topics by taking courses on the internet and reading those materials for about a year and asking relevant questions to the right people as well. In that, I also realised that the pharmacy course wasn’t a walk in the park and maybe due to that, I was able to pick up finance and economics fairly easily.

1924167_41279355134_5254_n26763_494064825513_2775804_n “My job then required me to develop preventive, wellness and curative programmes for corporate clients, which gave me the exposure and opportunity to network with different players of the healthcare industry (Hospitals, Insurance providers, Third Party Administrators, Pharmaceutical Companies , etc). I was later promoted to Business Development Manager and subsequently managed a team to create new business opportunities for the company. In my tenure with the company, I have also gained experience in private nursing care for the elderly and have developed multiple projects to launch nursing homes.” photo_2016-11-23_14-51-16 “At the end of 2015, I decided to start off on a new venture that is now known as HealthMetrics. During the 6-year tenure with the Managed Care Organisation, I amassed a huge amount of knowledge and insight in terms of corporate healthcare; the processes of how corporate companies manage their employee health benefits. I have identified common areas and issues of corporate companies that have remained unsolved such as uncontrolled medical expenditure by employees, employee tracking issues, poor compilation of healthcare data, false sick claims by employees and restricted access to healthcare by employers. HealthMetrics was designed to solve all those problems for corporate companies. In short, HealthMetrics is a B2B solution that assists corporate companies manage their outpatient employee benefits efficiently and cost effectively, for free.” “HealthMetrics was launched in May 2016 and I am currently the Managing Director of HealthMetrics. Currently, we work with 750 panel clinics across the country as our service providers and along with 50 corporate clients. Our clientele includes insurance companies, public listed companies (both local & foreign), international design firms, F&B chain outlets, luxury automotive dealers and many others. HealthMetrics has also received support and endorsement from Cradle, which is a division of the Ministry of Finance, by awarding us with a RM500,000 grant.”

Has there been any regrets so far about not pursing further into pharmacy?
Not at all. In a way, pharmacy was the stepping stone for me to get into the healthcare industry. From there, I found that it is all connected. I have been into corporate healthcare for the past few years and now I am applying myself once more and venturing into corporate pharmaceutical supply; how we can help corporates save costs in medical expenditure and provide the convenience of delivery to employees. I am also trying to set the course of how healthcare should be delivered by linking prescriptions by doctors to pharmacies where drugs will be dispensed and delivered directly to corporate employees.


Alvin believes that being a pharmacy graduate helped in his career even though he has not practiced in this field. Particularly in the healthcare industry, having a pharmacy degree carries a lot of weight as others would consider his opinions seriously when a particular point of view on any healthcare related matters is given. In Alvin’s case, clients tend to accept his general views and it has also made it relatively easy for him to connect with other professionals in the medical field (Doctors, Specialists, Professors, etc.). “Working together with both corporates and primary care providers have generated a lot of useful data. I intend to shape the healthcare delivery system of Malaysia using healthcare analytics, and drive the industry forward through the use of technology. Corporate companies in Malaysia is currently one of the biggest contributors in bearing the nation’s healthcare costs. Creating better platforms to connect the right players (hospitals, clinics, insurance companies, dentists, pharmacies, etc) with better cost saving measures and more accessible healthcare treatment options will shape how private healthcare in Malaysia will be delivered.”

Alvin’s advice to those intending to pursue their studies in pharmacy and those who are currently in a pharmacy programme, “Pharmacists are versatile. Never give up or tell yourself mid-way that being a pharmacist is not something you want to do. When you graduate, it opens up more doors that you can possibly imagine. It is not going to be an easy journey but once you finish, the trip is well worth it.”

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