How many of us ask our pharmacist or even our doctors what exactly is in the medicines we take or buy? Did you know as a patient you have the right to ask, and if you are a Muslim you have the right to seek halal medical treatment? You have the right to inquire if your medicine is halal and follows the shariah principle. We have the power to exercise our rights as a Muslim patient.
In Malaysia, your rights as a patient are protected by professional ethics and by statute. The Malaysian Medical Council (MMC) protects a patients’ rights by governing the professional conduct of all doctors from the public, private or those doing voluntary assistance. As for private healthcare facilities and those doing voluntary work, they are governed by law and falls under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Health (MOH).
When prescribing medicine to a Muslim, ideally a Muslim physician who is well versed in Islamic laws should do it. However, to be fair, not all Muslim doctors are well versed in Islamic laws. Therefore the role of the pharmaceutical industry in Malaysia who manufactures halal medicines should provide better information materials to hospitals, pharmacy and clinics where halal pharma is available. By doing so, this will help promote better knowledge of halal pharma medicines and its benefits for doctors to share with their patients.
By achieving this, we develop a better relationship between pharmacists, consumers and healthcare providers on the information concerning ingredients in medicines that might be of concern to the patient and presenting them with other alternatives.