Every halal pharmaceutical product owns a registration number
BY CAMILIA REZALI
THE MARKET opportunity for halal pharmaceuticals today is boundless throughout the globe, especially in Malaysia. Communities become increasingly discerning and demanding that only the purest and finest ingredients are used in the making of pharmaceuticals, more so in the times of Covid-19.
In this context, maintaining an informed choice – informing the status and ingredient of product to consumers – despite their religious background is an essential task and doing so grows into one of the responsibilities of a pharmacist.
Pharmacists essentially provide services at public facilities and either in a community or an industrial setting.
Although having a piece of sufficient knowledge on halal helps in prescribing medicines, more importantly, the presence of a halal logo on a product acts as a closer reference point for pharmacists.
A community pharmacist from D’ansara Pharmashoppe & Healthcare Sdn Bhd, Abdul Aziz Jamaludin said: “The halal logo mainly plays a significant role. No doubt, pharmaceutical products with a halal logo gives more confidence to the patients to choose.
“Most of the pharmacists in Malaysia, especially the community pharmacists are very familiar with the need of a halal certificate for most of the products that we sell in our outlet,” he added.
Every halal pharmaceutical product owns a registration number, and these products generally go through a complete halal certification review process.
Aziz said: “Among pharmacists, we normally keep an eye on the halal logo and also the list of ingredients on pamphlets or packaging of the particular product. In most situations, we will try to request for product details from the manufacturers or sales representatives.”
Sales representatives from drug companies will share supporting documents with the pharmacists to notify on product’s halal status, halal manufacturing processes and ingredients. Pharmacists also use Google to look up on product details.
“Normally, it is easy for us to get information. We can also login into the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA) and Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (JAKIM) websites to know the list of halal pharmaceutical product ingredients,” shared Aziz.
For more in-depth knowledge, pharmacists often times will refer to past research papers on that particular drug.
Additionally, prescribing substitutes or alternative pharmaceutical products to consumers is an unworried matter for pharmacists as they are easy to find.
“With the existence of our modern technology, producers of pharmaceutical products normally have their own list of alternatives for non-halal ingredients and these products are easily reached by consumers.”
He said pharmacists played a vital role in educating the consumer through the Malaysian Pharmaceutical Society (MPS) on how to distinguish a halal product from a non-halal product. He further notified that this issue is always highlighted by the MPS in seminars and conferences.