Pharmacy Leaders of Malaysia: Professor Dr. Mohamed Azmi Ahmad Hassali

Professor Dr. Mohamed Azmi Ahmad Hassali is a professor in social and administrative pharmacy at University Sains Malaysia. He graduated with a Bachelor’s in Pharmacy and a Master’s in Clinical Pharmacy from University Sains Malaysia. In 2006, he was awarded a PhD by the Victorian College of Pharmacy at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. During his time as a researcher, he has published over 500 articles in international peer reviewed journals and authored over 150 conference presentations. He has been recognized by the World Health Organization Pacific Office and WHO Geneva as a leading researcher in the field of generic medicine policy analysis and medication safety. He also made history when his name was recorded in the Malaysia Book of Records (MBR) for ‘Most Number of Medical Research Journals Published’. 

SwipeRx had the opportunity to sit down and have a chat with Prof. Azmi in this exclusive interview.

SwipeRx: You are recognized as the only expert in Malaysia specialized in social and administrative pharmacy research. What drives your passion?

Research has been my passion since completing my PhD. While classmates entered the workforce and opened businesses, I knew my personal calling was to be a researcher. 

We see many studies about medicine, but not enough that focus on the patient’s understanding of and interaction with medicine and the healthcare system, especially in Malaysia. These gaps drive me to use my expertise to help patients live better, healthier lives. 

SwipeRx: Can you tell us about your work researching the impact of pharmacy practice to the Malaysian population?

My current research focuses on country-specific translational research needs. In Malaysia, I explore the extended roles of pharmacists in the public and private sectors. Along with the Malaysian Pharmaceutical Society (MPS) and Consumer Association of Penang (CAP), I work on important issues like the public perspective on dispensing separation. This research is important for policy makers as they make decisions. 

SwipeRx: On top of the Top Research Scientists Malaysia award, you were admitted to the Malaysian Book of Records for most publications in medical research journals. How did you feel? 

Of course I was ecstatic! Starting as a researcher, I paid no attention to the number of the papers I wrote, but rather to cover all possible areas of study. 

In the beginning, it wasn’t a walk in the park. Every researcher reaches points where their work is at a standstill. My first conference would not have been possible without the encouragement and sponsorship from trusted mentors. Since then, hurdles have never prevented me from getting back up and doing what I love. With good intentions, results will follow. 

SwipeRx: What would your advice be to pharmacy professionals out there who are interested in research?

I would tell prospective researchers to be sure their goal is to find solutions and not fame. Always work hard and never half-heartedly. Research never sleeps and requires 24/7 commitment, so be aware of its demands. Above all, the most important thing is to be happy with what you are doing.