Tuesday, 16 February 2016

SOP in Retail Community Pharmacy (Malaysia)

STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURE (SOP) in Retail Community pharmacy, Malaysia.

We can hardly find the standardized Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) in Malaysia for private sectors especially in the retail community pharmacy industry. Below is a sketch of what i think should be able to cover most of the essential parts in retail pharmacy set up.

Supply of Prescribed Medicines:

Upon receive of the prescription, check the following:

*Patient's details (verification).

*Prescription is legally valid.

*Dosage form.

*Route of administration is appropriate.

*Appropriate for patient's condition.

*Dosage within the therapeutic range.

*Drug interactions.

*Possible side-effects.

*Risk of adverse drug reactions.


Processing the Prescription:

·       Pharmacy staff may receive the prescription and assess the prescription first before passing it over for filling by other staff.

·       The pharmacist should be consulted immediately if there are any doubts or discrepancies.

·       Counter-checking procedure should be established so that the final checking of the prescription by a pharmacist would be conducted before dispensing the medicines to the patient/ customer by the pharmacist.

·       Procedures for intervention and problem solving should be specified, e.g. clarify details with prescriber or liaise with other health professionals or the patient.

·       All interventions should be recorded in appropriate forms/ records books or enter into the computer.

·       Information from various sources may enable the pharmacist to assess the prescription, e.g. information obtained from the patient or representative, the patient medication record (PMR).

Labeling of Dispensed Medicines:

·       Labels should be appropriately printed, if possible. If hand-written, it should be neat and legible.

·       Do not clutter the label. Include only the most relevant and important information such as:

1.      *Patient's name.

2.      *Name of medicine (generic name, plus trade name if possible).

3.      *Strength and quantity per unit dosage form (such as mg/ml for liquid, mg/g for semi-solid preparations).

4.      *Dosage form.

5.      *Direction for use: dose, frequency and duration.

6.      *Special precautions or cautionary labels.

7.      *Date of supply.

8.      *Name, address and contact number of the pharmacy.

9.      *The word 'controlled medicine' or 'ubat terkawal' should be used for all the dispensed medicines.

·       Check that the name of the medication matches the prescription.

·       Appropriate records should be made and kept for a minimum of 2 years or as required by legislations.

·       Health, hygiene and safety procedures are observed at all times.

·       Use of child resistant containers should be considered except for cardiac medicines and certain conditions.

·       Appropriate packaging: consider the stability of the medicines.

·       Include patient information leaflet, if appropriate.

·       Extemporaneous dispensing--refer to SOP on this service. 

Checking Procedures:

·       The final check should be done by a second person who is a pharmacist.

·       Self-checking is not recommended.

·       The medicines and label should be checked against the stock bottle and the prescription.

Transfer of Dispensed Medicines to the Patient:

·       Ensure that the completed prescription is received by the correct person--check via name and address and the number given when the prescription was received by the pharmacy staff.

·       Appropriate medication counseling should be provided verbally and in written form to the patient or the patient's representative.

·       Ensure that the recipient of the information understands the information/ instructions provided --eg obtain recipient's feedback.

·       Compliance aids, such as measuring spoons or syringes, should be provided for the appropriate dose required.


·       Necessary documentation should be completed by pharmacy staff:

1.      *Enter the prescription details into Record book(s)/ computer.

2.      *Keep patient medication record (PMR), if possible using pharmacy information system.

·       Legal and professional requirements for record keeping and record management should be adhered to at all times --confidentiality and security of patient data should be considered.


  1. Thanks for posting. Any where we can get the full SOP including complaints etc. Is it a must to have SOP in place for pharmacy in Malaysia?

  2. In for private sectors there is no standardized Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) in Malaysia especially when we talk about in the retail community pharmacy industry. It is compulsory that companies should have SOP in place for pharmacy even in countries like Malaysia.


Best Savings For Kids' Edu