KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah Pharmaceutical Society (SPS) urges the public to bring their MyKad or equivalent identification documents (passport, army and police card) when purchasing controlled medicines in pharmacies throughout Sabah.
Pharmacists now are required by law to record additional details obtained from MyKad for purchase of special category of controlled medicines on top of the usual name and address.
SPS president Samsudin B Ahmad said in a statement that effective Jan 1, pseudoephedrine-containing medicines falls under this category. Most medications for the treatment of cold and flu symptoms contain pseudoephedrine.
Prior to that, codeine and dextromethorphan also require patients to produce their MyKad.
“Normally, only details such as name and address of patients are required to be recorded into the prescription book. However, some categories of medicines need the MyKad number. Across the board, it’s just easier to produce MyKad for all the required details,” he said.
Samsudin clarified that this requirement is made mandatory by the controlling authorities (Pharmacy Division, Ministry of Health) and should not be construed as a deterrent to rights of access to medicines.
He said some patients were reluctant to produce their identification card to pharmacists when making purchase of controlled medicines. Without proper identification, patients may be denied access to medications of common and basic ailments.
“All we want to do is to comply with this set of law and regulation. This requirement should not be repulsive to our patients, rather they should be seen as a measure to protect their interest in case a cross reference is needed to check on their medication in cases where adverse reaction occurred or when doctors consult with us regarding patients’ medications.
“Patients’ benefits outweigh the minor hassle. We hope the public will cooperate because it takes only 1-2 minutes to safeguard their interest and safety,” Samsudin said.