PCI to conduct awareness programme on Pharm D course in Central states: Dr B Suresh

Pharmacy Council of India (PCI) will introduce a slew of measures to create awareness on Pharm D programme among faculties and students in the pharmacy colleges in north India. As a first step in this regard, a workshop will be conducted in June in Raipur in Chhattisgarh, said Dr B Suresh, president, Pharmacy Council of India.

The president of PCI was responding to a news item appeared on April 12 which said that pharmacy colleges in the central India, especially in Chhattisgarh, were averse to Pharm D programme as the managements and faculties were feeling that the programme was not at all suitable for Indian scenario.

He said, apart from infrastructure facilities, lack of means and resources to comply with the specified preconditions in the rules and regulations for starting the program may be the major reason for the colleges in Chhattisgarh and in Madhya Pradesh to stand indisposed towards the six year doctor of pharmacy course. The mandatory conditions for starting the Pharm D program elucidate that the college should be approved under section 12 of the Pharmacy Act for conduct of B. Pharm programme. It should have tied up with a 300 bed general hospital. The faculties of the college should include minimum two teachers with pharmacy practice qualification. Besides, the hospital facility should contain a space of at least 1000 sq.ft inside.

To the comment by a college principal in Chhattisgarh that the program is not adequate to manage a clinical pharmacy in the western countries, Dr Suresh replied that the programme was designed by involving experts from India and abroad, and the needs of India and of global expectations were considered while the curriculum was framed.

“We are continuously receiving feedback on the curriculum and the council has appointed a committee to look into all these aspects and suggest changes and modifications if any. The first batch of Pharm D will be passing out in 2013 and we are looking at amendments if any to be incorporated then”, he said.

Agreeing that there is a need to create awareness about the programme amongst the students and faculties to avoid all sorts of confusions, he maintained that PCI would do all efforts towards clarifying every ambiguity. So, PCI is planning to organize an awareness programme in June in Raipur, and is ready to address any kind of difficulty  faced by students at the institutional level or university level, Dr Suresh pointed out.

Regarding shortage of facilities for industrial training for students in the central Indian states, the president commented that the institutions and universities should plan industry-academia interactions to strengthen its activity. PCI and IPA are always supportive to any move by the state governments towards attracting industry into the states, he said adding that the northern part of India is always industry oriented and the southern side is health oriented.

When asked whether PCI would initiate any action against those colleges and their principals for openly making remarks about Pharm D programme, Dr Suresh said PCI is acting as guardian of the profession, not a regulator. “We are open to receive suggestions, criticisms substantiated with reason and even allegations with proof. It is the voluntary decision of the colleges whether to start the programme or not. It is not being mandated or forced by the PCI on the institutions, the PCI president told.