Monday, January 11, 2010

PUBLIC FORUM IN PENANG ON "DANGERS OF SELF MEDICATION"

On Sunday morning, I was in Penang to speak at a public forum on " The Dangers of Self Medication ". I was on of 5 speakers. This event was organised by the Private Medical Practitioners Society of Penang, CAP and also the Malaysian Pharmaceutical society. Interesting meeting. I thought that I will share the lecture with you in the form of the slides. Looks like I can't. The powerpoint slides just cannot be uploaded into this blog.
Anyway, we all know that there are dangers with self medication, but yet many of us do in. In a survey in Sri Lanka ( WHO ), in 1997, 37% of Sri Lankans, self medicate. I think Malaysia is about the same or maybe more if you include traditional and herbal medicines. I spoke of the dangeres of wrong dosing and side-effects, and adverse reactions. Sometimes, self medication masks the underlying disease and so when the patient ultimately sees a medical practitioner, the diagnosis is delayed, or even missed. There is always the danger of drug drug interaction and food-drug interaction that the lay public does not realise. Of course we know that one of the main reasons for self-medication is the cost of seeing doctors, and maybe the fear of knowing the diagnosis.
Some of the other topics discussed included " The role of the Pharmacist in Healthcare Delivery ", " Antibiotics and elf medication ". A very interesting morning.
The Penang folks ( and I am talking about the public), came in good numbers. About 60-70 in the room at Dewan Sri Pinang. Question time was very lively, with arguments about drug labelling, expiry dates, legal rights, generic drugs and branded drugs and the like. The Forum, scheduled to last till 12noon, lasted till about 1.30pm, mainly because of a very lively question time. Penang people are quite well informed and dare to speak up.
I thought that we had a good time sharing views on self medication and patient's right. We could do with more of such forums, so that our public will be better empowered to know more about how to take care of themselves in health and disease.
( If I can, I will try and learn how to upload my slides, so that you can have a flavour of the talk).

1 comment:

healthtec said...

Because medicine and treatment is a very individualistic issue any medicine that suited someone else or generally suits others can not be a basis for deciding upon it.There are a lot of these side effects which are very harmful and dangerous.

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