PCI wants amendment to D&C rules to address unemployment among pharmacists

Pharmacy Council of India (PCI) may soon approach the Government, demanding key amendments to the Drugs & Cosmetics (D&C) Rules 1945 for addressing the serious problem of unemployment among pharmacy graduates in the country. The pharmacy profession has been facing the problem of oversupply of pharmacy graduates with no corresponding number of jobs in the country for some years now.

The issue of unemployment among pharmacy graduates was raised during the PCI's council meeting held in Jaipur on April 1 and 2. As the newly elected executive committee (EC) member of the PCI, Dr Hemant Koshia raised this issue with the PCI members highlighting the plight of the many pharmacy graduates in the country. Understanding the urgency of this issue, PCI has taken note of it and has expressed its interest in representing the cause for the betterment of the pharmacy education.

Expressing his concern, Dr Koshia pointed out that India produces around one lakh pharmacists with D. Pharm, B. Pharm and M. Pharm degrees in a year with very few getting suitable job openings. He said, “Lack of suitable job opportunities among the pharmacy graduates is a serious issue that needs to be addressed urgently if we want to ensure proper recognition of this profession and raise its standard. If we see the statistics it shows a disturbing figure wherein there are more many more pharmacy graduates in the country than the jobs available. To change this scenario the Government should take some hard steps to ensure proper recognition of the talents in this field.”

Dr Koshia suggested that the only way to overcome the issue of surplus pharmacists in the country is by creating job opportunities for them in the present system. “With good efforts from the government, enough job opportunities can be created for a pharmacists which can help in addressing at least some issue relating to surplus pharmacists. Today there are many speciality area which requires the expertise of a qualified pharmacists to deliver that particular work which unfortunately is not exploited to the fullest.”

Under the current provisions of the Drugs & Cosmetics (D&C) Rules of 1945 either a B. Pharm or a B.Sc graduate can apply for the post of quality control (QC) chemists and manufacturing chemists. However Dr Koshia suggested that to ensure job opportunities for pharmacy graduates the government should make amendments to the rules by removing BSc as a criterion for this post as only a pharmacists is trained well enough to perform this duty properly.

“A pharmacist is well trained and educated for this position unlike a B.Sc graduate whose curriculum does not deal much on this subject thus it is only natural to consider only a suitable degree holder to fill the post. Government should consider this demand on an urgent basis by amending the rules by removing BSc from its qualification criterion,” he pointed out.

Giving suggestion on ways to curtail random growth of too many pharmacy graduates, he expressed that the government should take steps to control the mushrooming growth of pharmacy colleges in the country by restricting the number of seats for pharmacy. He further stressed that requisite steps should be taken to bring strict implementation of quality standards in the pharmacy educational system in the existing colleges to improve the quality of the pharmacy education in the country.

Koshia also stressed that he will also be highlighting this issue at the next drug consultative committee (DCC) meeting wherein he urged his fellow drug controller's who are also the members of PCI to push this matter at the DCC so that they can take necessary steps. DCC deals with the issues relating to implementation, enforcements and amendments of the provisions of the D&C Acts and Rules.