The Malaysian Pharmaceutical Society (MPS), University Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), Taylor’s University and the Blackmores Institute signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to develop programmes on the use of complementary medicine (CM) and provide guidance to both consumers and patients.
“Given their pharmacological expertise and distinct relationship with consumers, pharmacists are in a unique position to undertake this pivotal role,” said Amrahi Bin Buang, president of Malaysian Pharmaceutical Society (MPS).
“Even though many pharmacists have shown interest for additional CM learning, very few have been exposed to formal study on this subject. Therefore, this collaboration will provide pharmacists with quality resources and distinct learning opportunities that ultimately could help guide the Malaysian public to reach the best possible health outcomes.”
The collaboration would create an evidence-based healthcare education programme to develop CM knowledge.
MPS said the programme would be accredited under its Continuing Professional Development (CPD) initiative, where pharmacists undergo regular evaluation processes to broaden knowledge, skill and attitudes.
Meanwhile, UKM and Taylor’s University will provide the programme with “distinctive but complimentary insights and perspectives, which will help to unify the national understanding of CM and bring a holistic learning process for pharmaceutical students in both public and private universities”.
“As part of the collaboration, students who are interested in CM will also be provided with the opportunity to further research in this field through the research grants and internships awarded by Blackmores Institute,” said Professor Dato’ Seri Dr. Noor Azlan Ghazali, vice-chancellor of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia.
Demand for supplements continues to rise in South East Asia, according to Blackmores.
“Increasingly, complementary medicine is being shown to work alongside conventional treatments to help individual manage complex health conditions and improve their quality of life,” said Dr Lesley Braun, director of the Blackmores Institute, the company’s research arm
“Therefore, it is vital that our healthcare professionals can provide the public with clear, evidence-based advice regarding the best way to use these combined methods to improve safety and enhance responsible use of integrative medicine.”