AUSTRALIAN-based Blackmores Institute (BI) is set to work with leading Malaysian institutions to further improve knowledge on complementary medicine (CM) through the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU).
BI, which is the academic and professional arm of Blackmores Ltd, signed the MoU with the Malaysian Pharmaceutical Society (MPS), Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) and Taylor’s University at Aloft Hotel Kuala Lumpur.
Signing on behalf of BI was its director Dr Lesley Braun while MPS was represented by its president Amrahi Buang.
UKM Pharmacy Faculty dean Assoc Prof Dr Jamia Azdina Jamal and Taylor’s University vice-chancellor and president Prof Michael Driscoll signed on behalf of their institutions.
CM refers to standardised products used to prevent and manage health conditions and encompasses herbal medicine as well as vitamin and mineral supplements.
In her speech, Dr Braun noted more Malaysians were purchasing over-the-counter CMs.
“However, without professional medical knowledge or advice on the responsible use of CM, it may result in side effects, negative drug interactions or nutritional deficiencies.
“Therefore, it is vital that healthcare professionals provide the public with clear, evidence-based advice regarding the best way to use these combined methods to improve public health and safety,” said Dr Braun.
He added they were looking to conduct research to unlock the therapeutic potential of natural medicine further.
“This collaboration shows the level of commitment we all have to improve public health through quality research and education,” added Dr Braun.
Amrahi said the collaboration was vital as many pharmacists do not have formal knowledge on CM.
“This collaboration will futher enhance pharmacists’ knowledge on the subject,” he added.
Through the programme, UKM and Taylor’s University pharmacy students will be provided internship placements.