KUALA LUMPUR, June 11 — Community pharmacies must obtain an approval letter from the Ministry of International Trade Industry (MITI) before they are allowed to operate during the lockdown, according to the latest government directive.
The Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (KPDNHEP) today said all community pharmacies registered under the Ministry of Health (MOH) are required to apply for permission to operate through MITI’s Covid-19 intelligent management system (CIMS 3.0) effective June 1.
“KPDNHEP calls on all community pharmacies that have not applied for permission to operate during the Movement Control Order (MCO) period to do so immediately through the CIMS 3.0 system. Applications can be made via https://notification.miti.gov.my,” it said in a statement.
Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Alexander Nanta Linggi, in a statement on May 31, listed community pharmacies as an essential service under the trade distribution sector.
There are a total of 3,274 community pharmacy premises licensed under the Poisons Act 1952 enforced by MOH as of April 2021, according to KPDNHEP.
As of June 10, a total of 2,902 applications (89 per cent) under the Pharmaceutical Sector, Retail/ Distribution/ Wholesale Cluster were received through the CIMS 3.0 system, of which 2,412 applications (74 per cent) were approved.
The latest permission requirement imposed on community pharmacies poses another setback for medical groups who had previously claimed that health care workers were stopped from going to their stations as they do not possess an approval letter from MITI.
Malaysian Pharmacists Society (MPS) president Amrahi Buang said last June 3 he received numerous complaints from pharmacists in Penang, Johor, Perak, Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Terengganu, Pahang, Kedah and Perlis, particularly on errors with MITI’s unstable CIMS 3.0 system to get approval letters.
“MPS urges the government to provide a blanket approval to all health care professionals and their workforce from the private sector. If PDRM (Royal Malaysia Police) requires documentation, they should allow the private sector health care workforce to get their company letters signed at the nearest police station to show at roadblocks.”