Five years after CAP reported (on 25.10.2010) the sale of an electrically heated “warmness pillow” to the Electricity Commission (EC), it issued a directive prohibiting the import, manufacture, sale, advertising of the product on 23.10.2015. However, there has been no enforcement of this directive. CAP was able to purchase one of these pillows on 26.4.2016.
The healthcare care industry is supported by an array of disciplines each with its own training curriculum, standards and job descriptions – be it nursing, physiotherapy, dietetics, pharmacy or medicine. Each discipline supports the other and it is the seamless integration of the various disciplines that leads to optimal health care support for consumers and patients.
However the universal norm that doctors diagnose and prescribe while pharmacists audit and dispense is amiss in Malaysia and the notion to accord pharmacists their rightful duty to dispense medicines has always been met by contentious objections from the doctors. But what is most bizarre and beyond comprehension is the Ministry of Health’s stand on the issue in that they would not support dispensing separation. On what basis does the Ministry of Health deny a profession of its fundamental role?
Highest loss of productivity from mental health disorders.
A recent report released by the World Health Organisation (WHO) on ‘Depression and Other Common Mental Disorders estimates that in 2015 there were over 1.1 million cases of depressive disorders in Malaysia. The report further states that depression is a major contributor to suicide deaths accounting for 800,000 or 1.5% of all deaths globally. If we extrapolate this estimate locally, in 2015 out of the over 155,000 deaths recorded in Malaysia about 2300 could have been due to suicide. Unfortunately there are no published statistics on suicides in Malaysia.
Depression is ranked by WHO as the single largest contributor to disability. Globally the total number of people with depression was estimated at 322 million in 2015, equivalent to 4.4% of the global population. The total estimated number of people living with depression increased by 18.4% between 2005 and 2015.
A survey conducted by Consumers Association of Penang on oral contraceptive pills showed that they were easily and freely available at pharmacies. These drugs are controlled by the Poisons Act 1952, which requires the seller to record their sales in a register called Poisons Book kept by the pharmacy. The easy availability of these drugs over the counter without the registration of the buyer's details makes a mockery of the Poisons Act. The law is openly flouted by pharmacies in Penang and a grocery shop in Kulim, Kedah. An earlier survey also found such pills being sold in the Chow Kit area in KL and in grocery shops in other rural areas.