Problem Question on the Registration of Pharmacists in Malaysia

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  1. Ms Rose Mah is a recent graduate from an approved pharmacy school in Malaysia. She decides that she wants to work locally as a registered pharmacist. Describe the process and requirements for registration as a pharmacist in Malaysia.
Rose needs to possess a pharmacy qualification recognized by the Pharmacy Board Malaysia. After she checked to have a recognized pharmacy qualification, she shall be eligible to apply for provisional registration as a pharmacist. To apply for provisional registration, Rose needs to submit Form 1 (as in Registration of Pharmacists Regulation (ROPR) 2004 Subregulation 6(1)). Before registering her by the Registrar (Director of Pharmaceutical Services), she may be required to produce a certified true copy of the original degree or an official transcript of degree or other proof of qualification that may be considered satisfactory by the Pharmacy Board and an evidence of identity. The Registrar will then issues a certificate of provisional registration to her after satisfied with her condition.1,2 In order to apply for a full registration, Rose needs to obtain experience through involvement in pharmacy practice. Once she is being provisionally registered, she needs to complete her practice as a pharmacist in any premises listed in Second Schedule of Registration of Pharmacists Act (ROPA) 1951, recognized by the Pharmacy Board Malaysia for a period of not less than a year until the Board satisfies. If her performance is not satisfied by the Board, the Board may extend her employment as a provisionally registered pharmacist for a period of not more than a year. If she failed to engage in the employment as a pharmacist, her state of being provisionally registered will be revoked.2 After gaining experience as required and satisfied by the Board with issuance of certificate of satisfactory experience and a certificate by Minister under Section 6B(3) of ROPA 1951, Rose can proceed to apply for full registration. She needs to submit Form 5 (as in ROPR 2004 Subregulation 8(1)) and the following should be attached: (1) a certificate of satisfactory experience, (2) a certificate issued by Minister, (3) two passport size photographs and (4) pays a hundred ringgit. The Registrar will then issue a certificate of registration to Rose.1,2 After obtaining a full registration, Rose needs to serve as a pharmacist in public service for a period of not more than a year with an issuance of written notice by or on behalf of the Director General of Health as stated under Section 11C(1) and (5) of ROPA 1951.2 Before the end of every year, if she wishes to retain her name on the register, she shall make an application in Form 10 (as in ROPR 2004 Subregulation 12(1)) and pay fifty ringgit, during the ensuing year. After application and payment being made, she shall be entitled with an annual certificate issued by the Registrar.1
  1. After gaining five years of experience, Rose decides that it is time for a change in scenery and would like to practice in Australia. Discuss the process she requires to register in Australia for the first time as well as maintaining her active Australian pharmacist registration thereafter.
Rose needs to apply for initial eligibility assessment through Australian Pharmacy Council (APC) which costs AUD 700.3,4 It is a process which involves a detailed look at her relevant documents, qualification and working experience she possessed. Through this process, APC will determine whether she is eligible to undertake either the Stream A or Stream B pathway. Stream B pathway is usually for candidates from the United Kingdom, United States of America, Canada and Ireland as the educational process and approach to practice are similar between the countries.3,5 In this case, Rose will be in Stream A. After receiving a confirmation letter on her eligibility from APC, she can proceed to the next step to apply for Knowledge Assessment of Pharmaceutical Sciences (KAPS) examination.6 Before that, she will need to fulfil the English language requirement set. She has to take either Occupational English Test (OET) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) academic modules and achieve a score of either ‘A’ or ‘B’ in all four components for OET or an overall band score of at least 7.5 with a minimum score of 7.0 in all four components for IELTS. APC will accept the English test result which is two years from the date of the test.3,4 After fulfilling the requirements, she can apply to sit for KAPS examination at a cost of AUD 1400 at Australian venue or AUD 1600 at overseas venue before 5 January for March sessions and 1 July for September sessions.3,4,5 She has two years to pass both papers after successfully passed one paper. Her results will be valid for four years once she passed both papers.3,4 Upon completion of KAPS, she can apply for provisional registration with the Pharmacy Board of Australia (PBA). Rose needs to practise in Australian hospital or community pharmacy supervised by a registered pharmacist for 1824 hours.3,4,7 Before that, she must hold an appropriate working visa, arrange paid supervised practice by herself and check that her placement is approved by the PBA. Besides supervised practice, she also needs to complete an intern training program which includes attending a series of seminars and workshops and completing assessment tasks. Rose needs to complete at least 30% of her supervised practice hours in order to be able to sit for intern written examination which is conducted by APC on behalf of PBA. She will be assessed on her competence to practice in Australian pharmacy setting, her understanding of laws and ethics governing the pharmacy practice in Australia and also her ability to perform pharmaceutical calculations accurately.3,4 After she passed her written examination and completed 75% of her supervised practice hours, she is eligible to sit for oral examination which is conducted by PBA.3,4,7 Upon satisfactory completion in her supervised practice, intern training program, intern written examination, oral examination and proficiency in English, she is able to apply for general registration. The PBA will consider her application and conducts a criminal history check.3,4 To maintain her active Australian pharmacist registration, Rose will need to renew her registration with the PBA annually by 30 November and latest by 31 December. She will need to meet the registration standards which include criminal history, professional indemnity insurance, recency of practice and continuing professional development (CPD) when renewing her registration.8 Every registered pharmacist is required to do CPD each year.7 Total words: 982 words References
  1. Legal Research Board. Malaysian Laws on Poisons and Sale of Drugs. Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia: International Law Book Services; 2014. Registration of Pharmacists Regulations 2004; p. 275-294.
  2. Legal Research Board. Malaysian Laws on Poisons and Sale of Drugs. Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia: International Law Book Services; 2014. Registration of Pharmacists Act 1951 (Act 371); p. 245-273.
  3. Australian Pharmacy Council. Information for Stream A Candidates [Internet]. Australia: Australia Pharmacy Council; Date Unknown [cited 2015 Apr 25]. Available from: http://pharmacycouncil.org.au/content/index.php?id=10
  4. Australian Pharmacy Council. Examinations Fee Schedule [Internet]. Australia: Australia Pharmacy Council; 2013 Jul 1 [cited 2015 Apr 25]. Available from: http://pharmacycouncil.org.au/content/index.php?id=15
  5. Australian Pharmacy Council. Information Handbook for Stream A Candidates [Internet]. Australia: Australian Pharmacy Council Ltd; 2015 [cited 2015 Apr 25]. 18 p. Available from: http://pharmacycouncil.org.au/content/assets/files/Examination Guides/Candidate's Information Handbook - Stream A - 3.2.15.pdf
  6. Australian Pharmacy Council. Skills Recognition and Examination Process Frequently Asked Questions [Internet]. Australia: Australian Pharmacy Council; Date Unknown [cited 2015 Apr 25]. Available from: http://pharmacycouncil.org.au/content/index.php?id=38
  7. The Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia. How to become a pharmacist [Internet]. Australia: The Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia; Date Unknown [cited 2015 Apr 25]. Available from: http://careers.shpa.org.au/index.php/how-to-become-a-pharmacist/
  8. Pharmacy Board of Australia. Renewal FAQ for Pharmacists [Internet]. Australia: Pharmacy Board of Australia; 2013 Sep 25 [cited 2015 Apr 25]. Available from: http://www.pharmacyboard.gov.au/Codes-Guidelines/FAQ/Renewal.aspx
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