National pharmacy convention set for October, virtual options open
The National Pharmacists Convention 2020 (NPC 2020) will officially take place on 23 and 24 October, with concurrent proceedings to be accessible online.
Originally scheduled for mid-April 2020, like many conferences and events, the NPC was postponed indefinitely due to the risks of mass gatherings during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, with local patient case numbers relatively under control, and some restrictions of the Movement Control Order (MCO) lifted, organizers have confirmed that a physical conference will be organized at the Hotel Istana in Kuala Lumpur, the original conference venue.
According to the Malaysian Pharmaceutical Society (MPS), due to physical distancing measures, there will be limited seating at the event. However, for the first time in the history of the NPC, it will also be streamed live on online videoconferencing platform Zoom.
Virtual participants will be eligible for continuing professional development (CPD) points. CPD points earned from the event will also be eligible for use in applications for annual certificates in 2022. [https://www.mps.org.my/newsmaster.cfm?menuid=37&action=view&retrieveid=7866]
“I am very excited for [the NPC] to be held again due to [its] being pushed back by COVID-19. My hope is that more pharmacists will come together for this event to update their knowledge and to reconnect,” said Tan Zhi Shan, MPS honorary assistant secretary.
“Since this is the first time [the conference is] going virtual, we hope that more pharmacists outside of the Klang Valley can attend it. We are also opening the conference to overseas pharmacists, so we are curious to see the [level of] participation from there,” he added.
The NPC has been reorganized as a 2-day event instead of the original 3-day conference, with registration fees reduced to RM380 for the whole conference, and similar adjustments for day fees. A total of 22 lectures covering various topics such as geriatric pharmacy, allergy, non-communicable diseases (NCDs), women’s health, and vaccinations have been scheduled across the 2-day period.
In addition, a half-day pre-convention refresher course on compounding pharmacy will take place on 22 October, jointly organized by the MPS and UCSI University. However, registration will be separate from the main convention.
While originally planned as part of NPC 2020, the MPS Annual General Meeting (AGM) is not likely to take place together with the rescheduled conference.
“We are still planning the AGM, but most likely it will not be held concurrently,” said Tan. “In the event of another outbreak, things may get cancelled, so we are trying to prevent that.”
More information and updates on the programme and registration can be found on the MPS homepage or the MPS Facebook page. [https://www.facebook.com/MalaysianPharmaceuticalSociety]
Adapting to the new normal
Apart from NPC 2020, many other seminars and forums have since moved online to continue offering professional development options for pharmacists during a period of restricted movement and mass gatherings. To stay up-to-date on upcoming events, you can track the following social media pages:
MPS Young Pharmacist Chapter: https://www.facebook.com/mpsypc
Malaysian Clinical Pharmacy Symposium: https://www.facebook.com/mpsypc.mcps
Asian Young Pharmacist Group (AYPG): https://www.facebook.com/AsianYPG