Attention all patients who have prescriptions scheduled for refill and pick-up at the local hospital or health clinics during the Movement Control Order (MCO), this guide is for you. You need to read this because chances are, 1) you do not have enough medications to get you through the MCO and 2) you want to minimise your risk of infection by staying away from hospitals and clinics as much as possible.
Disclaimer: This is NOT a formal guide issued by Ministry of Health Malaysia.
Step 1: Check out the hospital’s or health clinic’s website
Two weeks before your medication is scheduled for a refill, check out the website of the hospital or health clinic where you normally get your supplies from (if available). You want to look for information about the options that may be available for you to continue receiving your medications during the MCO. Most outpatient clinics in larger hospitals provide Ubat Melalui Pos (medication by mail) or drive-through services.
Step 2: Choose the most suitable option
- Ubat Melalui Pos (UMP)
Make sure Pos Laju services are available in your area and that your medications are NOT psychotropic or sensitive to changes in temperature/ moisture level. Also, note that the service is NOT available for free and charges may vary. If you are unsure whether you fulfil the criteria and would like clarification about the delivery charges (if not already available on the website), call the pharmacy.
- Drive-through pharmacy
You may choose this option if you do not fulfil the criteria for UMP or if you would rather self pick up your medications at the drive-through pharmacy. Drive-through pharmacies in hospitals/ clinics are generally open for pickups during office hours on weekdays. If the operating hours are not clearly stated on the facility’s website, do not hesitate to call the pharmacy to clarify.
Step 3: Register for the services & request for a refill
If you have not registered for UMP or the drive-through pharmacy services prior to the MCO, you need to do so via email/ online registration forms. Again, if not already stated on the facility’s website, call your pharmacists for the links. More often than not, you will be required to provide your identification details, mailing address, contact number(s) and a scanned copy of your prescription slip that needs to be refilled.
Step 4: Make sure you receive acknowledgement of your request
Once you have chosen your preferred option to receive your medications and registered for it, make sure you receive some form of acknowledgement from the pharmacy which notifies the receipt of your request for the medications to be refilled and prepared. Trust me, you don’t want to wait for your medication that never come through the mail or turn up at the drive-through pharmacy only to discover that your medication is not ready.
Step 5: Call the pharmacy if you don’t receive your medications
If by any chance, you do not receive your medications via UMP, or have received incorrect medications/ dosages at the drive-through pharmacy, please call the pharmacy IMMEDIATELY. You mustn’t go on without your medications or use incorrect medications. The key is to stay safe and keep the state of your health at an optimum level, avoiding the need for unnecessary hospitalisation or medical attention during this pandemic.
There you have it. I hope it would be of assistance to you should you need to refill your medications during (and maybe beyond) the MCO. My general advice would be to find out as much about the process as you can through the website of the hospital/ clinic before calling the pharmacy. Call the pharmacy ONLY if the information is not available online or you need further clarification. Above all, stay home and stay safe.