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Ramesh Shankar, Mumbai
Tuesday, April 10, 2018, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

A news report published last week in Pharmabiz has brought out the extremely pathetic condition prevailing in the field of pharmacy education in the third-largest state of the country Bihar. The report reveals that access to pharmacy education for the aspiring students in Bihar is as good as zero as neither the state government starts new pharmacy colleges, nor it gives permission to private institutions to open pharmacy colleges. It is very strange that for a state with more than 11 crore population, there are only two pharmacy colleges namely Government Pharmacy Institute in Patna (GPIP) and Bihar College of Pharmacy (BCP) in Patna. There is one special department for pharmacy at Muzaffarpur Institute of Technology (MIT) which conducts B Pharm course with an intake of 15 students every year. But, reports say that MIT is likely to close down the department of pharmacy from next academic year due to lack of support from the government. Due to this poor prevailing situation in pharmacy education, the aspiring pharmacy students in Bihar have no other choice but to depend on institutions in the neighbouring states like West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh for doing diploma and degree courses in pharmacy. Beside, some students seek admission in south Indian states like Karnataka and Telangana where pharmacy education institutions are many. The lackadaisical attitude of the state government can be gauged from the fact that even though several private managements show interest in starting pharmacy colleges in different parts of the state, the major hurdle that prevents them from going ahead is nothing but the indifferent attitude of the state government. As per the report, the government is not giving NoCs for the educational institutions to introduce pharmacy courses or start new pharmacy colleges.

But, the most worrying point in the report is the fact that with only a little more 5000 registered pharmacists available in the state, the field of community pharmacy that comprises more than 65,000 medical stores in the state has become a playground for unqualified dispensers. As per the report, only 5000-plus registered pharmacists have renewed their certificates with the state pharmacy council. The result is quite understandable as 90 per cent of the community medical stores in Bihar are lacking qualified pharmacists to dispense drugs. The story is not different in hospital pharmacies too as most of them lack qualified pharmacists. What is prevailing in the pharmacy field in Bihar is flagrant violation of provisions of Pharmacy Act and Drugs & Cosmetics Act which stipulate presence of a qualified pharmacist to dispense medicines in a retail shop.  At a time when other states are taking measures to implement Pharmacy Practice Regulations to enhance the practice of pharmacy profession, Bihar government's attitude on this issue is totally undesirable as patient safety should be one of the top priorities for any government. It should address the issue on an urgent basis as allowing unqualified persons to dispense medicines in retail outlets is tantamount to gambling with the health of the people.


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pradeep awasthi Apr 15, 2018 6:39 PM
The most recent study conducted by pharmabiz,with respect to Pharmacy education in Bihar has brought some red signals for the union ministry to take a corrective steps for Interventions to improve pharmacy education in a state of Bihar.Its not surprise to see that Bihar state is retrograded in terms of pharmacy profession and non compliance of pharmacy practice regulations.The state has less number of pharmacist compared to chemist and pharmacist are negligent to renew their license,as per the prescribed guide lines.

It seems to be a gloomy outlook of pharmacy education in Bihar,as the state government is reluctant to bring reforms for creating either new infrastructure or expanding pharmacy courses in other educational entities.This has lead to migration of students from parent state to neighbouring states for grooming their future as pharmacist.This is the high time,the need of hour for union government is to sanctioned a good budget for Bihar to create new infrastr
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