New regulations for upgrading pharmacy education.

With an aim to bring in strategic changes in the way pharmacy education is being imparted in the country, the Pharmacy Council of India (PCI) is soon planning to upgrade and bring in new set of reforms to the present system. The Council informed that it has already submitted the draft regulations to the Health Ministry for their approval which is expected to be passed soon after the winter session in the parliament.
Sources inform that, there is a delay in the passing the amendments due to the stalemate over the the National Commission for Human Resources in Health (NCHRH) Bill-2011 which was introduced in Parliament recently. If the bill is passed by the parliament during this session, then the new regulation will be implemented under this bill, otherwise it will be enacted under the Pharmacy Act of 1948 by the PCI.

According to Dr Suresh Bhojraj, president of the PCI, “We are ready to adopt the proposed regulations at the latest, which was drafted with an aim to address the issues hindering the quality of pharmacy eduction in the country. The proposed regulations aims at bringing in more methodical and competitive culture in the present system, focusing on practical and science based training. Right now, we are awaiting the health ministry's nod, which we are sure will be given soon, either under NCHRH or PCI.”
Among the proposed regulations, PCI has given special focus on adopting regulations specifically for teachers. The aim behind this is to create better awareness among faculty members and administrators on their shared responsibility in imparting quality education to pharmacy student. Through this regulation, PCI has tried to highlight the importance of adopting ethical responsibilities by the teachers while delivering their duties.
Dr Bhojraj pointed out, “Due to lack of regulatory authorities governing the actions of teachers in pharmacy colleges there have been many instances of lacklustre attitude from them  affecting the quality of education rendered to students. Through this regulation we want to bring in a system that will ensure adoption of corporate culture in the system.”
With a view to strengthen and upgrade the pharmacy curriculum to produce competent pharmacist workforce in the country, PCI has further proposed to adopt 'Pharmacy Practice Regulations' for the first time in the country. Along with this, PCI has also recommended to bring in and adopt new diploma courses in pharmacy education that gives more importance to science and practice intensive training programmes.

The PCI was established in the year 1949 and the first education regulations (ER) was framed in 1953, which were subsequently amended in 1972, 1981 and 1991.