Perception of Halal Pharmaceuticals among State Hospital Outpatients in Perlis, Malaysia
Halal pharmaceuticals is an essential element in Shari’ah compliance hospitals. With the emergence of COVID-19 vaccines, Halal status has become a debate. The study aimed to explore the perception of halal pharmaceuticals among hospital outpatients. A qualitative in-depth interviews were conducted among adult Muslim outpatients collecting their medications. A Malay semi-structured interview guide was prepared and underwent content trustworthiness by experts. Subjects were recruited in the waiting area of outpatient pharmacy. Interview sessions were audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim. The transcripts were back translated in English and analysed using thematic content analysis. Ten outpatients were interviewed in which data saturation was reached. Overall, the patients were proactive in observing the label to ensure they received the correct medications. However, all patients were unfamiliar and not curious on the concepts of ‘halal pharmaceuticals’ and ‘Shari’ah-compliant hospital’. The patients also trusted that the government would provide only the safest and halal medicines. Most patients did not prioritise halal status while choosing their medicines. However, if options were available, most would choose halal medication regardless of its price and effectiveness. They still would consent to receive non-halal treatments for life-saving conditions. There was a good perception despite non-familiarity with halal pharmaceuticals.
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