Pharm D failed to make any impact in north Indian pharmacy colleges yet: Revi Kumar

The lethargic and sluggish attitude showed by Pharmacy Council of India (PCI) in the year 2008 at the time of starting the Pharm D programme is the major reason for the poor acceptance of the programme by the north Indian pharmacy colleges, according to K G Revi Kumar, former HoD of the Clinical Pharmacy Department at the Government Medial College in Thiruvananthapuram.

Dr Revi Kumar, who took initiative to start the programme in Kerala in 1997 but failed due to several reasons, said PCI started the global programme without much homework, thinking and training. He said before starting the programme the PCI should have done some education programmes on the subject for the professionals in the colleges and tried to get them trained in some universities abroad. Unless the pharmacy council changes its attitude, the programme cannot reach its desired goal in the country.

While hailing the programme as the one for India’s golden future, he said only in India the programme was made as a six year course, which is unwanted.

“Universities in Pakistan are conducting the programme very well and the duration of their course is only five years. In US, where the programme originally started  in 1955, it is still running on 2+3 year system. Two years’ pre-professional course and three years Pharm D study. Total the course comes around five years there. In Pakistan and even in Taiwan the programme was started after long period’s home work, study and training. But in India, the PCI did not show that much interest to establish a concrete foundation before starting the course. That is the reason for all the failure,” Dr Revi Kumar said.

He was speaking about the indifferent attitude of managements and principals in north Indian pharmacy colleges towards the programme and their unenthusiastic approach in conducting the course. This lack of concern could be shunned by educating the faculties about the program for which PCI and the state pharmacy councils should take some positive measures, Dr Revi Kumar told.

While slamming the PCI for its weak policies, the former Clinical Pharmacy professor said PCI gave approval to start the course without initiating any fact finding measures among the colleges where the programme was started for the first time in India. It should not have started the three year Pharm D (PB) meant for B Pharm graduates. The programme should have been started by some universities and the pharmacy council could have given some guidelines for it. “Here what they did is wrong. They started the course with a ready made syllabus. But, with gradual changes in the curriculum, PCI can go with six year programme,” he said.

According to the former professor, the PCI started to think of the programme in 2003 when the American National Board refused permission to pharmacy graduates from India to take their eligibility test for US registration. But even before that Pakistan Pharmacy Council started studying about the program to introduce it in their country in future. In India the programme was started without any preparation or homework. That is the reason for the failure for getting acceptance for the programme in India, he said.