Materia Medica Malaysiana

April 23, 2008

Patients want their pills from clinics

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 9:27 am

NST: KUALA LUMPUR: The number of patients who visit private clinics may drop if doctors are not allowed to dispense medication, said the Dermatological Society of Malaysia.
Its president, Dr Allan K.C. Yee, said Malaysians usually see a doctor to get medicines.
“Malaysians generally do not believe in paying consultation fee for nothing, if they know they are not going to get medicines from the doctor,” he said.
This is one of the reasons why the 70-plus member society is against the idea of separation of functions of doctors and pharmacists which would also apply to dermatologists, who are medical doctors by profession, said Yee.
He added that dermatologists are more qualified than pharmacists in advising patients in applying topical medicines which is frequently the common treatment for skin problems.
“Dermatologists are better qualified to show the patients how to apply the medicine to the affected skin, how much of the medicine to use and how to store them,” he said.
The patients might also be shy to ask the pharmacists how to use the medicine in a pharmacy, especially if the problem is around the private parts, he said.
Yee admitted that dermatologists’ profits will drop if the separation takes place but said the consultation rate will not change.
He also said the condition of the topical drugs is compromised when drugs are sold in bulk packaging and then repacked by pharmacists.
“Customers are the ones who lose out because they would not be able to keep the medicine for long as it would be either spoilt or become ineffective,” he said.

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