KUALA LUMPUR, August 15 — Pfizer Upjohn has signed a memorandum of understanding with seven medical organisations in Malaysia to integrate private health care providers to battle non-communicable diseases (NCDs).
Upjohn, a division of pharmaceutical company Pfizer that is focused on NCDs, partnered with the Malaysian Association for the Study of Pain (MASP), Malaysian Medical Association (MMA), Academy of Family Physicians Malaysia (AFPM), Malaysian Society of Hypertension (MSH), Malaysian Psychiatric Association (MPA), National Heart Association Malaysia (NHAM), and Malaysian Pharmaceutical Society (MPS) for the iMANAGE programme.
iMANAGE is an initiative to produce and provide accredited training, system support, and professional networks among general practitioners (GPs), specialists, and pharmacists.
“The iMANAGE pilot programme will be kicked off in Klang Valley involving 200 GPs and pharmacists, with the objectives of standardising care across the private health care providers, promoting knowledge-sharing through a structured support system and improving the health literacy rate,” said Jeff Bote, general manager of Upjohn Malaysia and Brunei, in a statement.
In Malaysia, NCDs such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, and chronic respiratory infections account for 73 per cent of deaths, half of which are due to cardiovascular disease (usually heart disease and stroke). However, the number of NCD cases that are not diagnosed is high and is increasing every year, according to Pfizer Upjohn, citing Health Ministry data.
Although most NCDs are preventable, they are difficult to control, given the very low health literacy rate in Malaysia at around 7 per cent, said Pfizer Upjohn.
According to Pfizer Upjohn, education for patients on their health status and importance of medication adherence is inadequate. Data shows that 73 per cent of Malaysians do not comply with their prescription, and 70 per cent require further consultation with a pharmacist.
The iMANAGE programme will be implemented under three key pillars, including education, digital networking and mobile application. It will train GPs and pharmacists, connect private health care providers and patients, and provide information to patients in between pharmacist and GP visits.
“The World Health Organisation and our Ministry of Health (MOH) has emphasised that partnerships between the government and society will be key to supporting policy implementation.
“In line with that, we are happy to work with Upjohn and iMANAGE partners to realise the vision of improving the public’s health literacy rates, reducing the number of undiagnosed cases amongst public or patients and standardising care of NCDs,” MMA president Dr N. Ganabaskaran said in a statement.
MPS president Amrahi Buang said: “Pharmacists as the front-line healthcare providers will continue to play an important role in patient education and driving medication adherence through iMANAGE.”