IPA recommends setting up of pharmaceutical wing in Indian Military

The hospital pharmacy division of the Indian Pharmaceutical Association (IPA) has urged the Union Ministry of Defence to establish a Hospital Pharmacy Services or ‘Pharmacy Corps’ in the 127 defense hospitals in the country.

In a memorandum to the union defence minister, A K Antony, the IPA said for better patient care and rational use of drugs among defence personnel, the services of a separate sect of Pharmacy Corps are inevitable. The missive to the minister also requested the minister to consider the National Human Rights Commission report of 1999 and the Hathi Committee report of 1975 while implementing the drugs dispensing wing in the defense sector.

Dr R N Gupta, the chairman of the hospital pharmacy division of the IPA said it is high time a pharmacy wing created in the defence services as there are services of Army Medical Corps, Army Dental Corps, Veterinary Corps, Military Nursing Service, etc. in the Indian military, but so far a wing of Pharmacy Corps was not created.

“While medicine is the actual component due to its judicious use, only through right handling, right dose and right storage, patients are being cured or are protected from diseases. The pharmacists are the experts of drugs for its proper use and handling. Currently, there are pharmacists with qualifications such as PhD, Pharm D, M Pharm, B Pharm and D Pharm  available to provide hospital pharmacy services. They can be utilized in our military services,” he said over telephone from Chhattisgarh.

Gupta pointed out that the NHRC Report of 1999 suggested for engagement of graduates and post graduates in pharmacy in each hospital, and those suggestions were similar to the recommendations of the Hathi Committee of 1975. On the 28th of June, 2011 the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) issued guidelines on IV Fluid’s storage, distribution and administration to be followed in each hospital. “So, in view of these, we would like to request our union defense minister to implement hospital pharmacy services in all defense hospitals as per NHRC report and Hathi Committee report to utilize the services of qualified pharmacists in the health care of our defense personnel,” Dr Gupta said.

According to him, due to the advancement of Pharmaceutical Technology, the hospital pharmacy services have been upgraded now, which on implementation provide better health care to patients in an economical manner. The medication therapies and their delivery systems are becoming more and more complex day by day due to potent drugs, new drugs, costly drugs and non-conventional advanced drug delivery system. Besides, due to wrong handling of drugs, improper patient counselling, adverse drug reaction, lack of drug information centre, and improper dispensing of medicines by non-pharmacists, there are chances for medication-error, more hospitalization, costly treatments and irrational drug therapy. Only qualified pharmacist can solve all these problems by properly managing a dispensary, he commended.

He opined that a defence military hospital must be attached with a full-fledged pharmacy with qualified pharmacists as their services are not limited to mere dispensing of drugs, but included in drug store inventory management, hospital formulary and drug procurement, indoor and outdoor dispensing, clinical pharmacy, pharmacovigilance, patient counselling and a host of other service.