19 November 2014 – A total of 45 pharmacists and pharmacy students attended a talk Community Pharmacy Professional Services in the United Kingdom: Possible Steps Forward at the International Medical University’s campus in Bukit Jalil. The talk is a collaboration between the Malaysian Pharmaceutical Society – Young Pharmacist Chapter (MPS-YPC) and IMU Alumni. This talk, which was held in conjunction with the BPharm 10th Anniversary, was delivered by Lim Shi Hao, a graduate from University of Nottingham who holds both United Kingdom and Malaysia pharmacist license. Shi Hao worked as a community pharmacist in the UK before returning to Malaysia. Currently, he serves as a pharmacist and IT manager at DF Pharmacy besides being the PR and Communication Officer of the Malaysian Pharmaceutical Society-Young Pharmacist Chapter (MPS-YPC). Furthermore, he is also a teaching practitioner at the University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus and holds firm beliefs in building something bigger than himself for the pharmacy profession and the society.
Shi Hao started his talk by describing the process leading to the opening of a pharmacy in the UK. In order to do this, one would first need to obtain a contract from the NHS and sign up for data services from an assigned service provider. This is to ensure safe and confidential transfer of patient data within a national database.
The types of services usually found in a pharmacy can be divided into three categories: essential, advanced and local. Essential services include dispensing medication, appliances and disposing unwanted medicine. Meanwhile, advanced services refer to Medicines Use Review (MUR), New Medicine Service (NMS) and Appliance Use Review (AUR). In order to provide such services in a pharmacy, one must undergo special training and abide by certain regulations. On the other hand, local services differ by geographical location as these vary according to the needs of the local council and community. Examples of services which fall under this category include syringe and needle exchange programme and Chlamydia screening. At this talk, the differences between the Malaysian and UK community pharmacy setting were clearly described and elaborated. Shi Hao offered answers to some common career myths as well as updates of the latest information from the Federation of Asian Pharmaceutical Associations (FAPA) Congress 2014, which took place in Sabah. Some members of the audience seized this opportunity to ask questions to clarify their doubts about working in the UK and the common challenges faced by pharmacists there. A token of appreciation was then presented to the speaker.