The recent World Halal Expo
( WHE ) is a platform that will create not only awareness but increase business interaction and engagement as the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted the healthcare businesses at large .
Ministry of Health Secretary-General Datuk Sri Dr Chen Chaw Min said the event would also encourage the government and private sectors to partner and offer incentives to develop sound policies with regards to the national healthcare system .
His keynote address titled “ Exploring opportunities for halal in healthcare in Malaysia ” was delivered by the Ministry ’ s Senior Director of International Policy , Fabian Bigar .
He was addressing the World Halal Webinar Series 2 themed “ Future of halal in healthcare in halal and pharmaceutical ” at the WHE on Oct 20 . It was organised by Halal Development Corporation ( HDC ) in collaboration with the International Centre for Islamic Culture & Education ( ICICE ), PPIPBM and the Malaysian Indian Muslim Chamber of Commerce and Industry ( MIMCOIN ),
Halal is a universal concept use to mark any item as permissible to be used or consumed according to Shariah or Islamic law . It is not only for Muslims but also for the whole universal community in general .”
– Wan Amir-Jeffery
hosted by MyEvents International of Nigeria .
The platform was designed as an avenue for Muslim medical tourists , medical tourism providers , institutional investors and halal or medical practitioners to share current updates on medical devices , surgical instruments and vaccination product related to halal , presenting the standards of halal as well as the benefits of halal-certified pharmaceutical products .
One of the issues discussed during the virtual session was the misconceptions about halal pharmaceuticals . A commonly confounded thought on halal was that ‘ halal ’ is only about food , and it is for the Muslims when ‘ halal ’ is not just about food but applied as a standard .
“ Halal is a universal concept use to mark any item as permissible to be used or consumed according to Shariah or Islamic law . It is not only for Muslims but also for the whole universal community in general ,” explained Wan Amir-Jeffery Wan Abdul Majid , the Chief Operating Officer and Chief Commercial Officer of Duopharma Biotech Berhad .
The pharmaceutical sector itself is highly regulated – structured with a complicated system from well-defined materials , maintained manufacturing premises , transparent processes , dedicated equipment , having trained personnel , quality storage and transport , complete record system , to addressing quality defects and complaints .
Therefore , a certified halal pharmaceutical product adds on quality to the next level .
“ Pharmaceutical products certified halal must first fulfil the requirements of the common GMP standards before fulfilling additional prerequisites for halal certification , which sets a higher benchmark for quality ,” said Amir-Jeffry . “ In terms of the halal certification requirements , materials must be clearly defined with evidence complying to Shariah law and national fatwa . Premises and facilities must adhere to the Shariah guidelines .
“ For the products , it must not come into
close contact with any non-halal products . The processing line , on the other hand , shall be for halal pharmaceuticals only and equipment not contaminated with najs .”
Halal certification for a product means it ’ s Shariah-compliant and clean on top of assured quality , safety and efficacy by the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory authority ( NPRA ).
Building the awareness knocks on a collaborative effort by the government , pharmaceutical manufacturers , religious scholars and healthcare professionals to promote the benefits of halal pharmaceuticals in maintaining good health . The consumers need to understand that ‘ Halal ’ is a standard for all .
Malaysian standards relating to halal
“ Everyone shall benefit from halal-certified pharmaceutical products because there is an additional halalan toyyiban aspect to it . The certification mark will give confidence and assurance for consumers to make an informed choice as it is associated with positive perception ,” said Amir-Jeffry .
The Senior Director of Standardisation at the Department of Standards Malaysia , Hussalmizzar Hussain , said during the session , Malaysian standards relating to halal were developed to meet the challenges of the growing demand for halal products and services , complementing the halal ecosystem within Malaysia .
“ The standards were formulated based on the concept of halal built-in and used by existing competent authorities towards halal certification . This ensures continuous compliance to specific halal requirements ,” said the Senior Director .
“ It is a business decision by an organisation whether or not to get halal certification to cater to the demand . As for Malaysia , halal implementation is voluntary and governed by the Trade Descriptions Act 2011 , which includes food , cosmetics , logistics , consumer goods and pharmaceuticals .”
The placement of Malaysian Standards under the Ministry of International Trade and Industry ( MITI ) has helped to strengthen the role of Malaysia further to lead the halal sphere in line with global economic development . — The Health