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Bridging pharmaceutical industry to the classroom

26th January, 2018

In efforts to better meet the training needs of a new generation of healthcare professionals, simulation-based education is growing and evolving rapidly. Often, pharmacy school’s access to authentic pharmaceutical industry training is limited. Simulation thus offers junior students preliminary insights into pharmaceutical production processes and challenges, and helps prepare them to undertake workplace learning in their later semesters.

The IMU Bachelor of Pharmacy Model Industry Concept (MIC) was introduced in 2008 for just this purpose. This MIC simulation also adds value to learning by enabling students to undertake collaborative learning with a high degree of autonomy, to develop and demonstrate leadership and team-working traits such as assertiveness, effective communications, responsibility, accountability, mutual trust and respect.

Since its inception, the MIC has continued to evolve, and includes students from the BSc in Pharmaceutical Chemistry. The 2017 MIC Students acquire knowledge through talks from industry experts, through videos and virtual learning, on pharmaceutical production, quality control and assurance processes. Knowledge acquired from the MIC helps pharmacy students fill the gap between classroom learning and workplace learning.

The simulation provides a good mental picture of what to expect when the students undertake their industrial placement in Year 4. Teams of students then showcased their learning by describing principles of Current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP) and their applicability to the production and quality assurance of pharmaceuticals.

Ethical considerations relevant to the evaluation of drug products in humans were also discussed. The final part of the Module familiarises students with pharmaceutical industrial practice.

The closing MIC event on 29 September 2017 was an open exhibition of the student team posters at the Bukit Jalil campus. Visitors, including faculty and students of all Schools in the University, were able to gain insight regarding pharmaceutical industry processes. The posters were assessed collaboratively by Pharmaceutical Technology faculty together with pharmaceutical industry experts and the students themselves, using a process of peer evaluation.

Pharmaceutical Industry experts provided valuable, real-world feedback on the posters. The experts agreed that the MIC is a good platform for students to understand industrial processes and regulatory control, helping prepare students for workplace learning in pharmaceutical industry.

Commenting on the experience, Melissa Teng Li Quinn said, “The Model Industry Concept (MIC) sparked my interest to explore in industrial pharmacy, especially the area related to bioequivalence study, for the formulation of generic products. This implies that medications can be made more affordable for patients. I am glad that our perseverance and hard work paid off by winning the Best MIC Poster Award.”

Another student, Wong Xin Yun commented, “We feel such pleasure in getting the first runner up prize in the MIC poster presentation. Thanks to my colleagues for their effort and our collaboration. Also thanks to IMU for giving us a chance to showcase our ideas on the poster. This competition should be held for our juniors too.”

IMU’s Bachelor of Pharmacy (Hons) students have the option to transfer credits in their first 2 years’ curriculum to the pharmacy programme in the University of Otago, New Zealand or University of Tasmania, Australia. These international partnerships are a clear testament of the alignment of IMU’s innovative education to global standards. Students also could complete the entire 4 year pharmacy degree in IMU.

The commencement for the Bachelor of Pharmacy (Hons) programme is in July and September 2018. If you are inspired on a diverse career that is involved with the safe and effective use of medicines, make an online application today to study our pharmacy programme.

If you have just completed your SPM and do not have pre-university qualification, consider enrolling in the one-year IMU Foundation in Science, the preferred foundation and direct route for entry into any of the University’s degree programmes. The next intake for the Foundation in Science is in April 2018.

For more information, please refer to www.imu.edu.my or email: start@imu.edu.my or call IMU at 03 – 2731 7272.

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