Producing industrial pharmaceutical technologists
UNIVERSITI Kuala Lumpur Royal College of Medicine (UniKL RCMP) continues to forge ahead with the introduction of the Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Pharmaceutical Technology programme for the coming September intake.
This programme takes three and a half years to complete and is open to candidates with the Higher School or Matriculation certificate, and to graduates from the Diploma in Pharmacy or Diploma in Science programmes who fulfil the entry requirements.
UniKL RCMP’s Faculty of Pharmacy and Health Sciences dean Prof Dr Ahmad Fuad Shamsuddin stressed that unlike the Bachelor of Pharmacy (Hons) programme, which produces pharmacists, the new programme has no clinical component and instead emphasises the pharmaceutical and technical aspects of the pharmaceutical industry.
“Malaysia has around 100 companies registered with the Malaysian Organisation of Pharmaceutical Industries (MOPI) and the Pharmaceutical Association of Malaysia (PhAMA),” said Prof Dr Ahmad.
“This does not include small and medium enterprises (SMEs) which produce and manufacture numerous cosmetics and health products.
“With the introduction of this programme, we hope to produce technologists who will contribute towards the development of the local pharmaceutical industry and this is in line with the country’s aspiration to achieve a developed nation status,” he pointed out.
The BSc (Hons) in Pharmaceutical Technology programme has been approved by the Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA) this year and will equip students with basic knowledge in the science discipline pertinent for the pharmaceutical industry.
Successful completion of this programme will open up career opportunities to graduates in various fields related to the pharmaceutical industry, such as drug discovery and development, standards evaluation, drug production and manufacturing as well as marketing of pharmaceutical products (including herbal products), cosmetics and health foods.
Graduates can also pursue careers in areas such as quality control of products, preclinical investigations, marketing and sales services, including research and development.
Prof Dr Ahmad also said the unique UniKL delivery methods in teaching include the utilisation of teaching factories, which will expose students to real industrial settings during the first year of the programme.
He said UniKL RCMP is equipped with pharmaceutical technology labs, which provides students the necessary exposure to the latest instruments and machinery used in manufacturing of pharmaceutical formulations, such as tablets, creams and other complex drug dosage forms.
The programme module was developed by UniKL RCMP faculty members, comprising local and foreign (contract) academicians and professionals who have vast experience in the pharmaceutical industry.
“The introduction of the new programme will add another health-related programme to the ones being offered by UniKL RCMP, which include the MBBS and BPharm (Hons) degree programmes, as well as diploma programmes in Pharmacy, Nursing, Medical Imaging (Radiography) and Physiotherapy,” he added.
“Students will need to complete an industrial attachment with various pharmaceutical and related companies in semester seven (the final year) of studies in addition to being exposed to entrepreneurial skills development.”
Among the specialty subjects that students need to enrol include pharmaceutical engineering, pharmaceutical technology, pharmacology and toxicology, medicinal chemistry, pharmaceutical analysis, novel drug delivery systems (such as nanotechnology), biopharmaceutical and pharmacokinetics.
Besides studying management in production and verification of pharmaceutical products, the students are required to complete a research project and register for two elective subjects.
The elective subjects offered are pharmaceutical marketing, computer-aided drug design, herbal drug development technology, pharmaceutical packaging and Islamic manufacturing practice.
Diploma in Pharmacy and Science graduates from respective universities and university colleges will have the chance for credit transfers and course exemptions of one semester (minimum) if they fulfil the requirements stipulated by UniKL RCMP.
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UniKL RCMP’s Faculty of Pharmacy and Health Sciences’ new programme emphasises pharmaceutical and technical aspects of the pharmaceutical industry.