by Mohammad Kandil
Sydney, Australia: Australia has its first “Halal friendly pharmacy” with a retail pharmacy in the Sydney suburb of Lakemba introducing a line of Halal certified medicines.
In what may herald a new niche in the competitive retail pharmacy market, Phramcy 4 Less Lakemba is aiming to change the retail landscape and fulfill a growing demand from a large segment of Muslim consumers requesting medicines that are Halal.
Just like Halal certified food (Halal meaning “permissible”), Halal certified medicines will fulfill the Islamic rulings that they have no ingredients that are alcohol or pork based or derived, and that any animal based ingredients must be derived from an animal killed in accordance with a Halal slaughtering process.
For strict Muslims who are conscious of the Halal status of everything they put into their bodies, a simple trip to the pharmacy to get medicine can sometimes turn into a long and arduous process. Many will ask the pharmacists questions and meticulously read the ingredients listed to try and ascertain the Halal status of the medicine they are purchasing.
Forat Sultan, one of the owners of Pharmacy 4 Less explained the idea behind this new initiative.
“More and more customers kept coming in and asking for Halal Medicines because its important for them to know that what they are consuming does not compromise their beliefs”.
The introduction is the fruit of a new organization, Halal Certified Medicine (HCM), which has undertaken the task of trying to alleviate the dilemma faced by many Australian Muslims by providing a service that identifies which medicines are Halal or Haram (impermissible).
Unlike traditional Halal certifiers that would be engaged at the manufacturing stage and certify that the product is made in accordance with Halal standards, HCM simply checks the ingredients of the currently available medicines and ascertains whether they are Halal or not.
Even if they were not intended to be certified Halal when manufactured, products that are found to be in compliance with Islamic standards are deemed “Halal” and labelled on the shelves with a “HCM” logo sticker.
The intention is to make it easy for Muslim consumers to identify which medicines are Halal and which are not.
“The Halal Certified Medicine initiative is great for me because it means i don’t have to answer all the questions about which Medicine is Halal, its made easy for customers now, they need to just simply look for the HCM logo sticker on the shelves and choose” said Sultan.
“For Australian Muslims who take Halal seriously, there really is no excuse now when purchasing Medicine. We are proud to say that Pharmacy 4 Less in Lakemba is Australia’s 1st Halal Friendly Pharmacy” he added.
Anticipating a success with the “Halal” medicine concept at the Pharmacy 4 Less Lakemba store, HCM is looking to expand its services to other pharmacies.