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Ramesh Shankar
Wednesday, May 23, 2018, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

Recently, the pharmacists working under various state governments in the country have demanded to all the state governments to emulate the government of Punjab to raise the minimum educational qualification for the appointment of pharmacists from the existing diploma to degree level all over the country. These pharmacists want revision of recruitment norms to make B Pharm the basic qualification for the post of pharmacists in the entire country. Apart from raising the status as well as the increased efficiency in work for providing more quality services to the patients, this will enable the working pharmacists in the healthcare sector to avail more promotional avenues. Currently, D Pharm is the minimum qualification for becoming a pharmacist in government service all over India, except in Punjab. The Punjab government had revised the rules and notified B Pharm as basic qualification for pharmacist way back in November, 2016. In addition to Punjab, the Directorate of Medical Education & Research under the health ministry of Haryana had also mandated B Pharm as the basic qualification for pharmacists in the medical education institutions under the Directorate. To support their case, these pharmacists quote the qualification for practising medical profession and staff nurse. While the basic qualification for medical profession is bachelor in medical science (MBBS) and for a staff nurse it is bachelor in nursing. These pharmacists argue that on similar lines B Pharm should be mandated as the minimum qualification for practising pharmacy profession in the entire country.

Of course, there is some merit in the argument of these pharmacists as in most part of the world basic qualification for pharmacist is bachelor of pharmacy and in some countries it is Pharm D. But even after seven decades since the Pharmacy Act was implemented, the basic qualification for a pharmacist is still Diploma in Pharmacy in the country except in the state of Punjab. It is a fact that D Pharm students get only basic knowledge about the medicines and their use. But, B Pharm qualified candidates are professionally more sound in clinical pharmacology, patho-physiology and drug information. It is very relevant in the wake of the paradigm shift that is witnessing in the duties of a pharmacist in the entire world. And India should not be an exception. From a mere dispenser of medicines, the duties of pharmacist is fast evolving. Checking drug dosage, drug-drug interactions, drug-allergy interactions, drug food interactions, patient counselling, etc are now becoming part of a pharmacist's job. Thus pharmacists have become an important cog in the wheel of healthcare management and prevention of diseases. All these are not possible for the diploma holders as they study only few lessons of pharmaceutical science. If the qualification is raised from diploma to degree, it will help the pharmacists to do his duties more efficiently and in a more commendable manner because he will have better information regarding over-doses, incompatibility and contra-indications than a diploma holder. But, the existing diploma holders should not be left in the lurch. The government should provide the Bridge Course introduced by PCI to upgrade the existing diploma holders.


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pradeep awasthi May 27, 2018 7:57 PM
The most recent argument raised by pharmacist working in different states under the state government to upgrade standard of pharmacy education from D pharm to B pharm in our country for getting employed as pharmacist in government institutions is being rational,As duties of pharmacist has been evolved from traditionoal medicine dispenser to the dignified pharmacist who plays a pivotal role in managament of health care profession and prevention of diseases by better patient assitance.

This is a right tìme to revise recruitment norms for pharmacist across the country,As the D pharma degree holders had limitation of superficial knowledge of pharmacist profession,While B pharma degree holders are more equipped with knowledge clinical pharmacology and pathophysiology as well as drug interactions which makes them important link between health care professionoal and patients.Currently Punjab and haryana are the two states having mandate of B pharma for job of pharmacist.Th
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