KUALA LUMPUR (July 15): Prescription pharmacy chain Alpro Pharmacy has cautioned the public over the consumption of controlled medicines purchased from online marketplaces.
In a statement on Thursday (July 14), Alpro Pharmacy group chief pharmacist and director of engagement Lim En Ni said such medicines could be fatal.
Lim stressed that currently, no online marketplace or social media platforms have the approval from the Ministry of Health to sell controlled medicines in Malaysia, as they require prescriptions from doctors.
She said most controlled medicines sold online are from illegal sources, such as parallel imports.
“The general public should understand the different classifications of controlled medicines and their laws,” she said.
Lim said controlled medicines are regulated through the Poisons Act 1952.
She said these medicines are categorised into Group B and Group C under the Act.
Group B medicines, such as those for hypertension, infectious control and other chronic diseases, can only be sold or supplied for treatment by a registered medical practitioner, registered dentist or veterinary officer for their patients.
Sale or supply by a licensed pharmacist can only be done with a prescription. Meanwhile, Group C medicines such as antacids and decongestants can only be sold or supplied by a licensed pharmacist on the premises specified in the licence or other licensed personnel.
“The consumption of chronic illness medicines purchased online without consultation and prescription from certified medical doctors can prove to be fatal.
“We would strongly advise the public to always only buy from verified medicine providers, such as Alpro’s e-pharmacy, which allow the public to seek doctors' or pharmacists’ consultation, and purchase prescribed medications online.
“We recommend users to keep in mind the ‘6R concept’ (right medication, right route, right dose, right time, right patient, and right source) to ensure that the end-to-end process from consultation to receiving the medicine is fully safe and fool-proof,” she said.
Lim urged the public to seek the professional advice of a pharmacist or a medical practitioner when dealing with any form of medication for chronic disease or common illness.