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Grooming the Pharmacist of the Future with Alpro Academy

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For the past 19 years, Malaysia’s Largest Prescription Pharmacy, Alpro has been actively contributing towards the development of local pharmacists through various training programmes and initiatives under the Alpro Academy.

With the core mission of safeguarding medication safety in the community, Alpro strongly regards the role of a community pharmacist in Malaysia to be crucial as they function as the advocates of proper health and wellness practices.

In producing high quality future pharmacists, the Registration of Pharmacist Act 1951 requires all graduating pharmacists to undergo a one-year training as Provisionally Registered Pharmacists (PRP) at accredited premises under registered preceptors.

Being one of the largest training institutions for Provisionally Registered Pharmacists (PRP) in the country, Alpro has a total of 17 registered preceptors (teachers in a clinical setting) to help aspiring students grow into becoming competent, professional pharmacists.

From increasing patients’ compliance on medication adherence to early detection of potential health problems via primary screening, Alpro believes that the pharmacists of the future must be well-equipped with specialist knowledge and professional body accreditation to contribute better to the community.

“Since 2016, we have successfully groomed over 65 Provisionally Registered Pharmacists (PRP) who have successfully graduated from our uniquely-structured PRP programme. The role of a pharmacist in today’s age expands beyond just dispensing medication as areas such as wound care, skin care, pain management, nutrition, smoking cessation service and elderly care have become common services requested by the public,” said Lim En Ni, Chief Pharmacist of Alpro Pharmacy.

“Pharmacists have played a very important role in the nation’s fight against COVID-19 being at the frontline alongside the medical practitioners to interact directly with the community, providing care for patients with chronic diseases and also giving pharmaceutical care to patients. Their contributions are also essential to the National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme (PICK) in increasing vaccination delivery among the population,” she added.

With the aim of providing life-long continuous learning for the current and future pharmacists, Alpro Academy hopes to leverage on its strong affiliations with international accrediting bodies to develop pharmacists of the highest quality.

“Our active collaboration with PainWise Australia to train our pharmacists in the area of pain management is testament to the level of quality we aim to provide our trainees through international affiliations,” said En Ni.

“Alpro Pharmacy is proudly the first community pharmacy in the country to have over 100 certified Pain Management Pharmacists who have received intensive professional training to serve the community in managing acute and chronic pain.

“Besides, we are also working together with various universities in Malaysia in providing industrial feedback on the pharmacy curriculum as well as provide opportunities for internship for pharmacy students,” she added.

Speaking of Alpro Pharmacy’s impact on her own career, Tee Xin Yi, Alpro’s 2021 Pain Manage-ment Pharmacist of the Year, mentioned that it was important for pharmacists to equip them-selves with advanced knowledge on specific areas to educate the public better.

“Community pharmacists play a very crucial role in helping and educating the community to im-prove their wellbeing. For example, in the area of pain management, many in the community still rely heavily on painkillers for short-term relief to pain, but in the presence of a certified pain man-agement pharmacist, a clear diagnosis and adjuvant treatment can be made possible in pharma-cies,” said Xin Yi.

With over 140 outlets nationwide and a strong presence online through its e-pharmacy, Alpro hopes to continuously serve the country by advocating for the role of the pharmacist in improving health among Malaysians.

According to the Ministry of Health, there are 19,341 pharmacists working in both public and private sectors, with a ratio of one pharmacist for every 1,694 people. Of the total, 11,616 were registered and serving with the MOH.

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