MAY 15, 2018

Imagine a crowd of over 500 applauding, giving you their utmost respect the moment you step on a stage. You are presented with a prestigious award sought after by many budding pharmacists. However, not everyone knows the sheer grit and determination that ultimately led to the success.

Issac s/o Danker lost his mother to cancer-related diseases when he was younger and that fuelled his interest in the field of pharmacy to learn more about the healthcare system in Malaysia and how he can help contribute to the well being of local communities. His dream of becoming a pharmacist came true when he got accepted to Cyberjaya University College of Medical Science. After years of perseverance and hard work, Issac was named as one of the 19 recipients of the Malaysian Pharmaceutical Society (MPS)-CCM Duopharma Biotech Bhd (CCM Duopharma) 2017 Gold Medal Award.

The annual award, presented by CCM Duopharma and the MPS, recognises exceptional final year pharmacy students in Malaysia who are nominated by their universities for their excellence in academic performances and co-curricular activities. The award consists of an MPS-Duopharma Gold Medal, a certificate and a cheque of RM500 each.

“I was very surprised and astonished when my name was called. I never thought I would win such a prestigious award, presented by MPS and a leading pharmaceutical company like CCM Duopharma. I am thankful for this award and it will definitely motivate me to refine my knowledge to better understand how pharmacists can diversify our roles in more prominent ways, regardless of whether it is pharmaceutical, clinical or community pharmacy,” said Issac, who hails from Seremban and was also the MPS Student Chapter President during his third and fourth year in university.

“I believe that every profession in the healthcare system plays a vital role in improving the quality of patient health in Malaysia. Moving forward, I would like to further explore opportunities to build greater synergy between healthcare professionals and patients in order to increase knowledge and deliver better care for the community,” he added.

CCM Duopharma Group Managing Director, Leonard Ariff Abdul Shatar who was present at the award presentation ceremony said that pharmacists are involved in all facets of healthcare as the medication expert in the healthcare system but they mostly practice behind the scenes and are not obvious to the public eye.

“Pharmacists are the health professionals who have the most detailed and accurate knowledge of medicines and how they work, making them one of the most important professions in the delivery of quality health services. CCM Duopharma is proud and pleased to be collaborating with MPS for the 20th year to showcase our continuous support for young pharmacists across Malaysia and celebrate their talents and achievements.

“The MPS-CCM Duopharma 2017 Gold Medal Award acknowledges the cream of the crop of Malaysia’s young pharmacy students for their hard work and dedication to excellence in acquiring the full breadth of knowledge and expertise to become competent professionals when they enter the workforce. We hope that the award will empower the recipients to undertake a lifelong commitment to helping patients and the society at large to lead healthier lives and further enhance the development of the country’s pharmaceutical industry,” Leonard Ariff added. Another recipient, former International Islamic University Malaysia student, Nor Intan Julaiha Binti Jaaffar from Kedah did not expect to win the MPS-CCM Duopharma 2017 Gold Medal Award but was grateful for the recognition. “It is truly humbling to receive the award and it will definitely motivate me to work harder to furthering my career path and utilising my role to deliver first-class patient healthcare.

“I have always had a passion for healthcare and my elder sister who is a doctor inspired me to take up pharmacy when I entered university. It has been a tough but rewarding journey. I really appreciate my family and friends who have always been my greatest support system in encouraging me to turn challenges into tangible and meaningful accomplishments,” said Nor Intan Julaiha who is currently working at the provisionally registered pharmacy department at Hospital Kulim.

For University of Malaya graduate, Teoh Chi Haur from Perak, the path to receiving the MPS-CCM Duopharma 2017 Gold Medal Award was grueling but plenty of devotion, perseverance and sleepless nights finally paid off. “It was definitely not easy. However, the experience has made me stronger and taught me self-discipline as I had to manage my own time wisely.

“My advice for students out there who are also studying their hardest is that no matter what they are going through right now, it will all be worth it in the end. If you really want something, then you will have to strive for it and things will eventually work out in the end,” said Chi Haur.

Other award recipients who received the award from Leonard Ariff include Soo Zee Ye (AIMST University), Moy Ying Hui (Universiti Sains Malaysia), Yew Kar Meng (Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia), Tan You Qian (International Medical University – M. Pharm), Hong Khai Shien (International Medical University – B. Pharm), Mah Chain Chain (Monash University Malaysia), Por Choo Shiuan (UCSI University), Leong Lai Bui (Asia Metropolitan University), Sherilyn Fenn Karel (Management and Science University), Nurul Afiqah Binti Ahmad (Universiti Teknologi Mara), Ng Kar Weng (Taylor’s University), Irene Wong Xiang Bing (Mahsa University), Lee Qiao Hui (SEGi University), Angela Lim Wen Huey (Lincoln University College), Nur Wahidhah Binti Abdul Kafoor (KPJ Healthcare University College) and Pavitra d/o Sewalinggam (University Kuala Lumpur). The award presentation ceremony was held in Kuala Lumpur recently in conjunction with MPS’s 51st annual dinner.