Translating the Vision into Realities
The world has now acknowledged the role of pharmacists in the effective and scientific use of medicines. Pharmacists have emerged as an integral part of the health care system of a country. In the European countries and America, the Pharmacy profession has become one of the leading and respectful professions because of the professional commitment and dedication of the practitioners for the cause of the patient community. But in India, the Pharmacy professionals, who have acquired degree or diploma in pharmacy with the objective of bagging decently paid placement in the pharmaceutical field, are often forced to settle with some low paid jobs, suppressing their frustration, disillusionment and pain. The current scenario in the field of pharmaceutical care of our country does not offer any scope for even imagining any drastic positive change in the sector in the near future. In America the nerve centre of globalization and new economic order, a new course named Pharm-D was developed after six decades of sustained research and it is now accepted as the minimum qualification to practice pharmacy in that country.
India is also engaged in the process of producing a new generation of Pharmacists with international standards by implementing the six year Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm-D) course. The Pharmacy Council of India (PCI) has been deliberating on this topic for long and has initiated several steps for the introduction of new course. It is an indisputable fact that for the overall promotion of medical/pharmaceutical research, effective involvement of academic bodies, scholars, professional associations etc, are essential. There should be a system to encourage a high quality education by fixing standards, to promote research works among the academic community, to encourage and formulate standards for ethical practices for conducting research and offer timely advice to the Government on matters related with the sector. PCI should be vigilant to effectively interfere for the sustained enhancement of the standards in research. It should also assume the responsibility for prescribing standards for the planning and overall development of pharmacy education across the country. For achieving the desirable quality in pharmacy education, there should be quality planning and an organised system for its successful implementation. Monitoring and collecting both positive and negative feed-back for correcting drawbacks and ensure a flawless educational system for producing quality pharmacists for the country. The new regulations are framed with all these matters in mind. Once they are implemented, it won’t take much time to see the result.
Therefore, I regard it as a great privilege to inform that the Pharmacy Council of India has already implemented the new regulations like minimum qualification for teachers regulation, M-Pharm & B-Pharm regulations and Bachelor of Pharmacy (Practice) regulation in the country. I would also like to appraise the fact that in order to acknowledge the true spirit of the profession, the Pharmacists across the country are in a ceaseless effort to update their knowledge to keep themselves abreast of the times. They are lucky to have the Bridge course in Bachelor of Pharmacy Practice in the country to satiate their quest for updating their skill and knowledge. Considering the relevance of such courses, the PCI has decided to devise projects and programmes aimed at elevating the standard of our pharmacists to International level. Coming back to the new regulations I may state that they have been drafted by a competent body comprising scholars and eminent personalities from the field of Pharmaceutical Sciences in India. The regulations will inter-alia, focus on the smooth functioning of pharmacy community in India and their adaptability in the Indian environment. The full-fledged implementation of these regulations will create an ideal atmosphere for the Pharmacists to work and sure they will get an experience nonpareil when they exit themselves from the courses.
The practising Pharmacists of our country are also going to get a golden chance to acquire world class style of functioning through the introduction of new “Pharmacy Practise Regulation 2015” which is specially designed for the practicing of Pharmacy profession in India. PCI is confident that the implementation of this regulation will be beneficial to all the practicing Pharmacists of our Country.