Dispensation Policy

Introduction

In our mission to provide affordable and convenient healthcare, proper medication and patient safety remains our top priority. Our policy follows the directive of our Pharmaceutical Compliance Board and is subject to their review and recommendations. We aim to be more stringent than any guidelines set out by the Ministry of Health Malaysia. We carry out good governance practices to emphasise our focus on the organisation’s purpose and to deliver ethical outcomes from our services (Ministry of Health, Framework for Good Governance, 2009). We carry out good dispensing practices by counselling patients on proper use of medications where necessary, counselling patient who may take multiple medications and maintaining digital and secure records of patient consultations (Guide to Good Dispensing Practice, 2016). We are constantly improving our policy to improve our services and safeguard our patients.

Types of Medication Available from DoctorOnCall

Group B: Prescription Only Medicine

Drug requires a valid prescription certified by an MMC-registered physician in order to be dispensed

A valid prescription includes
  • Signature, address & dated by prescriber
  • Name, identification number & address of patient
  • Dose, quantity & instruction of taking medication

(Laws of Malaysia Poison Act 1952 Regulation 21, 2006)

Example of Medicines:

Atorvastatin (Cholesterol medication)

Amlodipine (Hypertension medication)

Sitagliptin (Diabetic medication)

Group C: Pharmacy Medicine

Drug requires customer personal information to be recorded in order to be dispensed

These includes
  • Name & address of patient
  • Name, dose, quantity & date drug is being purchased

(Laws of Malaysia Poison Act 1952 Regulation 24, 2006)

Example of Medicines:

Metformin (Diabetes medication)

Trimetazidine (Heart medication)

Over-the-counter drug (OTC): General Sales List

Drug that does not require a prescription and can be sold over the counter.

(Drug Registration Guidance Document by NPRA, 2016)

Example of Medicines:

Paracetamol (Pain relief medication)

Activated charcoal (Gastro related medication)

The DoctorOnCall Drug Classification Method

We have a class of “specialist-only” drugs that are made available which can be dispensed given a valid prescription from a specialist doctor. Notably, we do not supply medications that require close and frequent monitoring from a specialist doctor, due to its high risks to a patient when subjected to improper use. Some drugs may have addictive elements and are subject to abuse and should be appropriately managed (Malaysia P. B., Code of Conduct for Pharmacists and Bodies Corporate, 2009). Our abuseclass of drugs are sold within limited quantities in each order and tracked closely by our Operations team assisted by in-built analytics features. DoctorOnCall reserves the right to refuse a service and refund any purchases if a patient attempts to order an amount of abuse-class drugs that is deemed inappropriate. The classification of abuse-class drugs and the enforced limits are guided by our Pharmaceutical Compliance Board. In addition to this, we do not offer the sale of drugs that require cold supply chain, that require administration by a healthcare professional (i.e., IM/IV/SC/Depot injections), that are unregistered or have been banned in the country. Such products that are listed on our site are for general information purposes only and have been restricted from purchase.

The DoctorOnCall Dispensation Method

Medicines that are ordered from us go through three layers of checks – Patient Qualification, Independent Doctor’s Consult and Partner Pharmacy Approval If a patient makes a request to purchase a “specialist-only” or “abusable-class” drug, they will be subject to additional checks which may include furnishing us with a valid prescription, speaking to a doctor/pharmacist and/or providing personal information.

Patient Qualification

Patients that purchase Group C medications (which do not require a prescription) are screened for the following two criterions and prompted to speak to a doctor where appropriate.

Patient falls into one or more of the following “at-risk” categories

Patient orders a Group C medication that may put a patient at risk (based on the body system that is affected by the medication) if not consulted by a medical professional.

Independent Doctor’s Consult

Where a customer does not yet have a valid prescription for medications, DoctorOnCall may provide prescriptions where our medical professionals are comfortable to prescribe over a teleconsult. The doctors working with DoctorOnCall are not under the direct payroll of DoctorOnCall. They undergo background checks and training to use DoctorOnCall teleconsultation platform and teleconsult methods. The doctors operate independently have full discretion to refuse medication or medical certificate to a patient if they believe it could negatively affect a patient or if they believe a patient is abusing the DoctorOnCall system. Any Group B medication that is dispensed must be furnished with a valid prescription that has been prescribed by a registered doctor with a valid MMC certificate. Our standard prescription validity is 90 days (3 months) in accordance with the guidelines set in Poisons Regulation 1989 Regulation 11, 1989. An uploaded prescription may be refused if it does not meet our strict standards of requirements which includes clear information on the medication, dosage, dosage instructions, prescribing date, prescriber and patient details.

Partner Pharmacy Approval

Our medications are supplied by independent partner pharmacies, staffed with pharmacists that hold registered Type A Poison Licences where we are able to import, store and deal generally by wholesale or retail (Laws of Malaysia Poison Act 1952 Regulation 26, 1952). All pharmacists we work with have the discretion to reject a patients’ request if they feel compelled as their medical duty. The system of independent fulfilment acts as a check and balance for our service. In accordance with (Laws of Malaysia Poison Act 1952 Regulation 24, 2006), our medications will not be sold to any person under eighteen years of age, otherwise than for purposes of the medical treatment of such person. At all times, DoctorOnCall reserves the right to refuse any medication or prescription provided by a patient to protect a patient from potential negative effects of a medication.

Pharmaceutical Compliance Board

At DoctorOnCall, we want to bring a better way for you to get the healthcare you need. Each member of our diverse team of medical and pharmaceutical experts brings experience from public and private sectors as well as their knowledge from international practices. The board ensures that the effectiveness of our policy is monitored and constantly improved to better serve you.

Stephanie Hiew

Pharmaceutical Advisor
M.Pharm, University of Nottingham

Cecilia Pappu

Pharmaceutical Advisor
B.Pharm, Universiti Sains Malaysia

References

  1. Ministry of Health, M. (2009). Framework for Good Governance.
  2. Guide to Good Dispensing Practice. (2016).
  3. Laws of Malaysia (Poison Act 1952). (1952).
  4. Drug Registration Guidance Document by NPRA. (September, 2016).
  5. Malaysia, P. B. (2009). Code of Conduct for Pharmacists and Bodies Corporate.
  6. Poisons Regulation 1989. (1989).
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