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​​Wasteserv launches medical waste scheme

As from 1st October 2019, expired or unwanted medicines are to be deposited in specialised disposing bins located in pharmacies across Malta and Gozo. This was announced by the Minister for Environment, Sustainable Development and Climate Change José Herrera during a press conference to launch the next phase of the nationwide 'Sort It Out' campaign which will highlight how the correct disposal of dated or redundant medicine is the next step forward for a better and safer environment.

Medical waste is generated when the medicinal item expires or is no longer needed by the consumer. This type of waste can be dangerous, not only for the persons who handle this waste but also for the environment and therefore this type of waste should be diverted from landfills.

Minister José Herrera said, "With over 60% of Malta's pharmacies participating, depositing medicinal waste at local pharmacies is a convenient solution which aims to encourage people to do the right thing. It is an effort that benefits everyone and goes a long way to making the waste management process easier, more efficient and less detrimental to the environment."

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Health Chris Fearne said he was very happy with the project because it reflects a wide participation, not just on an inter-ministerial level, but also with government and non-government entities.

"Till now 163 private pharmacies are participating in this project, and I am convinced that there will be more, making the project a success. This is an important system not just with regards the disposal of expired medicines, but also health wise and from the environmentalism point of view," said the Deputy Prime Minister. He said that antibiotics resistance is currently one big global problem. Irresponsible disposal of expired medicines enhances such problem.

The Deputy Prime Minister concluded by calling for patients to not take more medicine than what is needed, a technological system is being introduced to make sure of this. He said that it is a bad practice to store medicine 'just in case the need arises' because once the medicine is being used its validity is limited. He encouraged buyers to make use of this project now that is available in private pharmacies.

Parliamentary Secretary for Consumer Rights, Public Cleansing and Support for the Capital City Deo Debattista spoke about the role of the Malta Medicines Authority in innovative science better known as green chemistry. Among various topics it also evaluates the element of how consumers dispose of waste that can be harmful to our health and surroundings, an example of this is medicine. Parliamentary Secretary Debattista explained that the Medicines Authority together with Wasteserv have introduced an advanced, free-of-charge but more secure way of how unused medicines are disposed of. "Consumers will find specialized containers in every pharmacy which are to be used by people who want to dispose of any medications. In this way, to dispose of such waste will be simple just like putting a letter in the mailbox," he added. He concluded by encouraging the public to cooperate and dispose of medications in these specially designed bins to protect both the environment as well as the community we live in.

Parliamentary Secretary for European Funds and Social Dialogue Aaron Farrugia said that this initiative is part of a much larger project which benefitted from around €7 million from the Cohesion Fund. This, along with other projects which are being implemented by Wasteserv is a clear sign of a government which is utilising EU funds to make the environment a priority and to overcome the challenge of waste.

Chairman of Wasteserv , David Borg said, "By correctly separating waste at source, one will be making a tangible and positive contribution not only to the environment but also safeguarding public health."

As from Tuesday, Wasteserv will be rolling out an educational campaign aimed at explaining what medicinal items can be recycled and which are to be disposed of in pharmacies. Common items that should be disposed of in the medicinal waste bins located in pharmacies include loose or packaged tablets and capsules, bottled medicines, inhalers and medicinal cream tubes. With regards to cardboard packaging, information leaflets and any plastic caps, cups or spoons included with medicines need to be placed into the grey or green recycling bag. Plastic inhaler casings are to be separated from the canister and recycled, while empty glass medicine bottles should be disposed of with glass waste. On the other hand, empty tablets and capsules packaging, and cosmetic items should go in the black bag. Biohazardous items such as syringes and epipens need to be disposed of in a special sharps container and taken to a Civic Amenity site.

The newly launched Medical Waste Scheme forms part of the project – 'Encouraging sustainable waste practices in households and beyond'. More information is available at www.Wasteserv or by calling the freephone number 8007 2200.​


500,000 prescriptions done digitally so far this year

500,000 prescriptions have been issued using the computerised platform for POYC prescriptions, which was first rolled out two and a half years ago, Deputy Prime Minister and Health Minister Chris Fearne announced on Friday.

Speaking at the Pharmacy of Your Choice (POYC) Offices at St. Luke’s Hospital, Dr Fearne said that the system which had originally been launched in Health Centres,  was extended to private family doctors last October.  

Since then, the total number of doctors using the system has risen to 284.  Medical Practitioners are being encouraged to use this system rather than handwritten prescriptions as it leads to better patient safety and is more secure and efficient.

The system removes any possible risk related to pharmacists being unable to read hand written prescriptions.  Moreover the digital record forms part of the patient’s online health record  – which patients can access directly through the myHealth system.  Doctors who need to know what medication their patient is on, especially in emergency situations, also have access to this information leading to safer and improved patient care. 

The system is also cost effective as it reduces waste in terms of over dispensing of medicine, whilst avoiding doctors having to write out new prescriptions when the patient’s treatment does not change.

Currently 30% of POYC prescriptions are being issued electronically.  The next phase in this project is to integrate the prescribing system with the POYC dispensing system used by pharmacies, thereby completely eliminating the need for a printed prescription.  Once this phase is complete, the aim is for the absolute majority of POYC prescriptions to be issued using this system.


Patients with rare medical conditions may now collect medicines from their pharmacy of choice

As from this week patients with rare medical conditions will no longer have to collect their medicines from Mater Dei Hospital but will be able to collect them from a pharmacy of their choice within their community. About 70 medicines specifically for rare conditions will be available in their chosen pharmacy for the 120 patients needing them and are entitled to them.

During a medi
a conference in a Paola dispensary, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Health, Chris Fearne, said the 70 different medicines are specifically obtained for those that need them.

Minister Fearne said these are financed by €2.5 million paid for by the Government. He said rare medical conditions occur at intervals and it is senseless to keep stocks of medicines of this nature; thus when a condition occurs these are brought specifically according to need.

He said such rare conditions may affect babies but also the elderly and these are provided with appropriate medicines as well as necessary apparatus such as tubes as well as nutritionally related items.

Dr Fearne said that in all 140,000 persons obtain a service from 220 pharmacies within the community which are involved in the Pharmacy of Your Choice (POYC) Scheme, a scheme that distributes 250 million medicinal products annually against a Government expenditure of €28 million.​​


Validity of Schedule V extended to ten years and the Inception of “CARE”

143,000 patients benefiting from Pharmacy of Your Choice Scheme will now be benefiting from 2 initiatives to further improve the national service related to free medical treatment.

As from May 2019, Schedule V documents which previously had a validity period of 5 years, will be automatically extended for a further 5 years, bringing their validity period to 10 years.

This will benefit up to 3000 patients each month, as these will not need to have their Schedule V document renewed, unless they need to change their entitlement.

This Complements other simplification and patient-centric measures that have been introduced by POYC including the Delivery to the Home Scheme for persons aged 70 and over and for persons with disability, the Coeliac Voucher Scheme, where vouchers are now being mailed to entitled persons, and the One Stop Shop service offered through the Gwardamangia, Mater Dei, Paola and Gozo offices of POYC.

In addition, in March 2019, POYC launched “CARE”, an ICT system which provides comprehensive information on patient entitlements and related POYC services to medical practitioners in real time.  This system is being rolled out to medical practitioners enabling these to apply for Schedule V entitlements electronically, with all the necessary patient information being available at the touch of a button.  This facility should help improve patient safety and reduce waste.​



POYC 10th Anniversary

POYC celebrated its 10th Anniversary​. An event was held on Monday at Villa Arrigo, Naxxar to mark the occasion.

The staff, colleagues and stakeholders present were addressed by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Health, the Honorable Chris Fearne, the POYC Chief Executive Officer, Celia Falzon, the President, GRTU – Malta Chamber of SMEs, Pharmacy Section and Mary Ann Sant Fournier, President, Malta Chamber of Pharmacists.

A big thank you to all those present for joining us to mark our 10th year of operation.

Thank you to all staff past and present, all stakeholders including pharmacists, pharmacy owners, the constituted bodies, the Central Procurement and Supplies Unit, the Department for Pharmaceutical Affairs and the Malta Medicines Authority, and many others who were instrumental in making the POYC service and the Department a success.

We promise to continue striv​ing to provide the 153,000 patients who make use of the POYC scheme and the other schemes operated by the POYC with the best service possible.



Stqarrija mill-Uffiċċju tad-Deputat Prim Ministru u mill-Ministeru ghas-Saħħa€142 miljun f’mediċini mill-POYC f’għaxar snin

Bħalissa qed jiġi mfakkar l-għaxar anniversarju tal-Ispiżerija tal-Għażla Tiegħek (POYC). Matul is-snin in-numru ta’ klijenti u n-numru ta’ mediċini li jiġu mqassma minn din is-sistema qiegħed kulma jmur dejjem jikber.

Fuq medda ta’ għaxar snin l-ispejjeż f’mediċini għall-POYC kien ta’ madwar €142 miljun. In-numru, kemm bħala flus f’mediċini, kif ukoll bħala numru ta’ klijenti tal-POYC, dejjem baqa’ jikber u jiżdied ma’ kull sena li tgħaddi.

F’kelmtejn tal-okkażjoni waqt riċeviment li sar biex jikkomemora dan l-avveniment, id-Deputat Prim Ministru u Ministru għas-Saħħa Chris Fearne qal li l-POYC hija waħda mill-istejjer ta’ suċċess fil-qasam tas-saħħa.

“Fl-2008, il-POYC beda b’28,827 klijent; illum għandna 153,367 persuna li kull xahrejn jiġbru l-mediċini tagħhom mill-POYC. Bil-POYC spiċċaw darba għal dejjem il-queues ma jaqtgħu xejn mill-ispiżeriji tal-Gvern. Kien hemm żmien qabel il-POYC fejn il-kwistjoni kienet jekk għandiex tinbena tinda biex in-nies jistkennu mill-elementi huma u jistennew f’dan il-queue ma’ jaqta’ xejn. Illum din hi storja li ntesiet. Fl-aħħar snin ukoll għelibna waħda mill-akbar problemi li kienet għadha qed tiffaċċja l-POYC—dik tal-mediċini out of stock”, qal Chris Fearne.

Huwa tkellem ukoll dwar id-diversi servizzi oħra li fl-aħħar snin ukoll bdew jiġu offruti mill-POYC, fosthom, il-one-stop-shop, l-iskema tas-coeliac, it-tqassim ta’ mediċini fid-djar lil dawk li għandhom ’il fuq minn 70 sena, it-twassil id-dar ta’ mediċini u prodotti tqal, u anke l-istrateġija tad-dijabete.


18/09/2017 New Chief Executive Officer Appointed

Ms. Celia Falzon has been appointed Chief Executive Officer of the Pharmacy of Your Choice scheme within the Ministry for Health.

Ms. Celia Falzon has been working for the Ministry for Health since 2014. She has been entrusted with change management at Mater Dei Hospital and within the whole health department.

Prior to her engagement at the Ministry for Health, Ms. Falzon was the Chief External Relations Officer at the Malta Communications Authority where she was responsible for EU Affairs, Consumer Relations, eCommerce, Communications and the Information Society functions of the Authority. She started her career with the Public Sector at the Management Systems Unit and later the Management Efficiency Unit where she worked on various health reform projects.

Ms. Falzon holds a Masters degree in Business Administration specialising in strategic management.

28/04/2017 ​President's Visit ​

"Truly inspiring to see POYC helping the communities of Malta and Gozo! In the process they are making a @UN #SDGs 1 and 3, a reality!"  - -

H.E. The President of Malta Marie Louise Coleiro Preca - 28th April 2017



Stqarrija mill-Ministeru għas-Saħħa: Sticks b'xejn għad-dijabetiċi fuq l-insulina​

Mr Fearne 1.png


Stqarrija maħruġa mill-Ministeru għas-Saħħa: Riċetti kompjuterizzati: effiċjenza u sigurta'​

cgp 2.jpg
 TVM Online Article - Daqshekk riċetti tat-tabib bil-kitba


In October 2014, the MCCAA conducted the annual audit, and the ISO 9001:2008 International Certification was extended for another period of one year. The Areas covered by the ISO Certification include: 

  • Management Review
  • Changes in the Management System
  • Records and Control
  • Quality Control
  • Continual Improvement, Internal Audit
  • Corrective Action, Preventive Action and System Planning
  • Customer Satisfaction and Customer Communication
  • Training
  • Use of SMI Communication Logo
The intent behind this strategy is to create an organisational cultural environment wherein excellence is never enough; and to promote the ethos amongst the workforce that continuous benchmarking and subsequent improvement will facilitate the Unit to timely meet the ever changing demands of the health care market.
This manifests the high standard in the POYC Unit’s operational processes. 


In April 2014 the POYC Unit participated in the European Public Sector Award [EPSA]. This competition is held every 2 years, and in 2014 there were 203 projects submitted from 26 European countries and EU institutions, including Malta. The overarching theme was ‘Weathering the Storm: Creative Solution in time of Crisis’. 

The POYC Unit was the only participant from Malta and our ‘experience’ is going to be one of the European Projects to be included in the EPSA eknowledge Platform to serve as a showcase of good practices.


Link to the POYC Stock Position Related Information 


HE President George Abela's Visit to the POYC Unit


Training Seminars to Participating Pharmacies

The POYC Unit organises seminars for the community pharmacies participating in the POYC Scheme. The intent of these seminars is to inform and align the pharmacies with Government's dispensing guidelines, protocols and procedures, and the modus operandi of the Scheme.


Ġbir u Mili ta' Formoli ta' Reġistrazzjoni għall-Ispiżerija ta' l-Għażla Tiegħek [Valletta - Ħamrun - Qormi - Żebbuġ - Siġġiewi - Żabbar - Xgħajra - M'Skala - B'Buġia - Żejtun - M'Xlokk] ​


ISO Standard 9001:2008 Certification
On the 27th December 2012 the Pharmacy Of Your Choice Unit was awarded the ISO Standard 9001:2008certification.
This certificate manfiests the high standard in the POYC Unit's operational processes and shows the Unit's commitment towards continuous improvement to meet the ever changing demands of the health care market.


FHRD - Malta People Awards 2012
In December 2012, the POYC Unit secured the three top awards of the Malta People Awards 2012 organised by the Foundation of Human Resources.

Development [FHRD]. The Awards include the:
  •  1st Place in the 'Excellence Through Innovation' Award
  •  Runner-Up Position for the 'Equal Opportunities' Award
  •  'Certificate of Recognition for Good HR Practice'
  •  Overall Achievement Category Award​


A Press Article has appeared in Page 50 and Page 51​ of the Malta Independent newspaper on the 18th December 2012.

In May 2012, the National Audit Office, in its observations following a one year audit performance review outlined that:

‘… the POYC Unit clearly emerged as a professionally managed entity, suitably equipped to administer a Scheme of this magnitude and importance. NAO concluded that the system of Standard Operating Procedures employed by the Unit was commendable, ensuring high levels of consistency thereby contributing towards the reduction of errors. In addition, NAO concluded that the manner by which stock was handled and managed during all the internal and delivery processes was rigorous and very proficient, which ensured high quality service levels.’ (



FHRD – Malta People Awards 2011
In December 2011, the POYC Unit successfully secured the top two awards of the Malta People Awards 2011 organised by the Foundation for Human Resources Development [FHRD].
The Awards include the: 

‘People Management Impact on Business Success’ Award which is intended to reward businesses that are transforming the way they manage and develop their people in order to build sustainable organisation performance.

‘Employee Engagement’ which is intended to acknowledge the HR initiatives or system that have made a marked contribution to a culture of employee engagement, good communication flows, accountability and space for personal initiatives that can have a positive impact on an organisation.
This was the first time that the Pharmacy Of Your Choice Unit participated in this national event. Besides the two Award trophies, the POYC Unit was also awarded the FHRD Malta People Award 2011 Achiever logo.

A Press Article has appeared in Page 6 and Page 7 of the Malta Independent newspaper on the 2nd January 2012.

Equality Mark - 2nd June 2011
In June 2011, the POYC Unit was awarded the Equality Mark Certificate and granted permission to use the Equality Mark Logo. To-day, the POYC Unit is proud to be one of the very first Government organisations to be honoured with this Certificate.

This Certification manifests the true commitment undertaken by the Unit to create and incorporate gender equality values and opportunities within its organisational strategic objectives, and to introduce a management structure that facilitates this ethos. 




u Mili ta' Formoli ta' Reġistrazzjoni għall-Ispiżerija ta' l- Għażla Tiegħek [Għawdex]​​

zzjoni għat-Tabib/a tal-Familja u l-Ispiżjar/a Inkarigat/a [Ghawdex] 

Estenzjoni għall-Ġbir u Mili ta' Formoli ta' Reġistrazzjoni [Għawdex]​ 

Estenzjoni tal-POYC fil-lokalitajiet ta' tas-Sliema u l-

Gbir u Mili ta' Formoli tar-Registrazzjoni [Sliema-Iklin]​

ghal-Pazjenti Ghawdxin li ghadhom mar-Registrawx mal- Iskema tal-Ispizerija tal-Ghazla Tieghek​

Informazzjoni ghat-Tabib/a tal-Familja u l-Ispizjar/a Inkarigat/a [B'Kara

Gbir u Mili ta' Formoli tar-Registrazzjoni [B'Kara]


ta' Formoli ta' Registrazzjoni għall-Ispizerija ta' l-Għażla Tiegħek [Rabat/Gżira]​



bir u Mili ta' Formoli ta' Reġistrazzjoni għall-Ispizerija ta' l-Għazla Tiegħek [Mosta]​ 

zjoni għall-Ispiżerija ta' l-Għażla Tieghek [Estenzjoni]​  ​