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P A Francis
Thursday, May 4, 2017, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

In India, Pharm D programme was started by Pharmacy Council of India as a superior degree course in 2008 with intention of producing pharmacy professionals comparable to world standards. Now, there are more than 220 pharmacy colleges have obtained permissions to offer this six years course in different parts of the country. The state of Telangana has as many as 75 pharmacy colleges offering the course followed by Andhra Pradesh with 57 colleges. Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala are the other three states offering the Pharm D course. And around 800 Pharm D students have passed out from these colleges so far. The need for starting this advanced course was felt in the context of new challenges in the healthcare sector and the growing inadequacy of medical practitioners in the country. In most developed countries such as the US, UK, Canada and New Zealand, pharmacists do practice as clinical pharmacists in the hospital settings. In fact, they are an integral part of the healthcare system and work along with physicians and nurses efficiently. In these countries, clinical pharmacists are permitted to immunize, reissue prescriptions for long-term treatment. Pharmacists also work as clinical research associates playing an important role in monitoring and overseeing clinical trials conducted on healthy human volunteers. In India, however, role of pharmacists in hospitals is limited having only a few positions as clinical pharmacists and exist only in a few private hospitals in the country.

A serious problem faced by the students passing out with a Pharm D course is placement as pharmacy professionals in the right healthcare establishments. Not many students passed out with the Pharm D course so far in the country have been able to find jobs yet. Several hundreds of pharmacy professionals holding D Pharm and B Pharm qualifications are already without jobs as right job opportunities are not available for them and at the same time pharmacy colleges are too many. Now in the coming years, the number of Pharm D holders is also going to be in thousands when all the sanctioned colleges start the new course. According to senior pharmacy professionals, poor standards of syllabus of Pharm D programme and training the students get during the course is the main reason for this unfortunate situation. There has been no attempt to upgrade the syllabus or modify it even after nine years of starting the course. Majority of the pharmacy colleges offering Pharm D course have not yet adopted best practices of training and teaching and that is affecting students' efficiency in rendering their services as community pharmacists and clinical pharmacists. Considering the latest trends in medicinal use and medical practices, the syllabus must contain emerging branches of the pharmacy practice such as pharmacoeconomics, pharmacoepidemiology, pharmacokinetics, pharmacovigilance etc. Pharmacy colleges also need to put in place a pharmacy and therapeutic committee in hospitals, drug information and patient counseling centres to develop students' patient counseling skills. That may help the students to attain ability to practice rational use of drugs and personalized drug therapy. PCI is the only agency which can take up this matter and introduce necessary modification in the syllabus and teaching practices to keep up the high standards of this advanced course.


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Paluchuri Anand Kumar Aug 2, 2017 10:25 AM
What is use for doing this course when comparing with B.Pharmacy and D.Pharmacy students its all wasting of time and money
Prajith pharmd May 8, 2017 8:18 PM
The acts passed by PCI should be made strict and vigilant.All pharmacy colleges possessing PharmD should have pharmacy, therapeutic community.Many colleges in Tamil Nadu are not providing ward rounds in a clinical setup to 2nd and 3rd year pharmD students,so PCI should make a step that would provide the essential clinical rounds unequally.
Sudhanshu Neware May 5, 2017 10:45 AM
Parma D course teaching in medical which is attached by hospital and make act compulsory PharmaD Pharmacist in clinical setup.

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