Pharmacists Population

As of 22 February 2016, there are 20 local universities (with 26 programmes) approved by the Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE) and recognised by the Malaysian Pharmacy Board (MPB) to offer Pharmacy Degrees.

With 1200 graduates annually, there are currently 13,549 registered pharmacists and this figure contributes to the ratio of 1:2306 pharmacists to population. It is expected that Malaysia will reach the ratio of 1:2000 by the end of year 2016 as recommended by the WHO.

From the overall total, 55% are currently in the public sector.

Based on the capacity of the local universities, MPB has set the ratio of lecturer to student and clinical lecturer to student at 1:10 and 1:8 respectively. Hence, the student intake of 1,200 yearly for the pharmacy degree programme.

In view of the limited training facilities in the public sector and rising need in the private sector, policy on liberalisation of Provisionally Registered Pharmacist (PRP) Training in private sector was introduced in 2012.

Pharmacy graduates are allowed to carry out the one year PRP training at any of the following private facilities approved by MPB viz 149 community pharmacies, 10 private hospitals, 16 pharmaceutical manufacturing factories, one university facility and seven R&D facilities under Pharmaceutical Association of Malaysia (PhAMA). 

Even though liberalisation of PRP training has been implemented, pharmacy graduates still prefer to undergo PRP training in the public facilities. This is mainly due to more attractive salary being offered, with better career pathway and more intensive clinical training in the public sector.

Therefore, PRP training in the public facilities are more popular while there are less pharmacy graduates who opted to undergo PRP training in the private facilities.

As a result, it is perceived that there is an oversupply of pharmacy graduates from both local and overseas higher learning institutions. 

However, if the intake of pharmacy student is not controlled with a suitable quota, there may be an oversupply of pharmacists in the near future.

Moratorium on pharmacy undergraduate program is now being considered to prevent too many universities from offering the pharmacy programs locally.

The number of pharmacy students who intend to complete their pharmacy programmes overseas are to be monitored and must fulfil the minimum entry requirement as stipulated by MPB. This is to ensure the quality of all registered pharmacists in Malaysia.

/MPB 24-02-2016

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