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Upcoming pharmacy symposium to focus on unconventional fields

Rachel Soon
Medical Writer
16 Nov 2019
Participants of PIPI 2018, held in Kuala Lumpur.

The third Pharmaceutical Industry Pharmacists Insight (PIPI 3.0) symposium will highlight areas of the pharmaceutical industry often overlooked by those entering the pharmacy profession.

Organized by the Malaysian Pharmaceutical Society Young Pharmacists’ Chapter (MPS-YPC), PIPI is a one-day series of seminars and panel discussions which will take place on 21 December at Taylor’s University Lakeside Campus in Petaling Jaya.

PIPI is a special initiative by the MPS-YPC geared towards promoting deep insights into the landscape of the pharmaceutical industry and the diverse professional roles that pharmacists can play within it, apart from the more traditional options of serving in a community or hospital setting.

“This year, PIPI 3.0 is set to spill the beans on the featured theme of ‘Beyond “A”normous’; which is to say, the value of pharmacists beyond just being Poison A license holders,” said the organizers. “We want to highlight the various career advancements pharmacists have in other fields such as clinical research, radiopharmaceutical business, and regulations.”

The organizers added that while the liberalisation of provisionally registered pharmacist (PRP) training programmes in the pharmaceutical industry had produced a significant boost to the number of pharmacists in the present day, there were concerns about what professions were available for them in the market, given the limited number of posts in the government as well as conventional industrial pharmacy positions.

On the other hand, areas such as clinical research could provide more long-term avenues for professional development. “Launching a new drug requires approximately 5 to 10 years [in the field of clinical research] after a molecule has been developed,” said the organizers. “Hence, it would be a different landscape to be explored with a pharmacy background.”

Speakers at PIPI 3.0 include A’tia Hashim, director, Pharmacy Board Malaysia, Pharmaceutical Services Programme, MOH; Ewe Kheng Huat, executive director, Pharmaceutical Association of Malaysia (PhAMA); Lim Teng Chyuan, president, Malaysian Association for Pharmaceutical Suppliers (MAPS); Grace Yap, vice president, Malaysian Organisation of Pharmaceutical Industries (MOPI); Loke Jee Chung, Duopharma international business manager; and Soo Li Ping, Roche regulatory affairs lead.

“Pharmacy is a great profession in the healthcare industry, yet it is not fully appreciated and valued in Malaysia,” said MPS-YPC representatives. “With the extension of pharmacy professions into the pharmaceutical industry, appreciation and professional endorsement, pharmacists may be empowered to stay strong and be recognized as healthcare system collaborators, industry players, and, most importantly, as game changers.”

In 2018, the inaugural PIPI symposium touched on topics such as general intellectual property and the essential requirements for pharmacists to engage as collaborators in commercial business.

More details and registration information for PIPI 3.0 can be found at www.facebook.com/YPCPIPI2019.

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