PCI clears proposal to make degree as basic qualification for registering with pharmacy councils

The Pharmacy Council of India (PCI) plans to make degree as the minimum qualification for pharmacists getting registered with state pharmacy councils and to practice as a working pharmacist.

The PCI will start a two year bridge course for uplifting the diploma holders into bachelors’ level and the draft proposal in this regard was approved by the central council meeting (CCM) of the PCI, last week.

The course will be known as ‘Bachelor Degree in Pharmacy Practice’. Colleges offering pharmacy degree courses can apply for sanction from PCI to start the course about which the Council will shortly notify the details. The course is designed to start either as evening course or as parallel course with classes to be conducted on Saturdays and Sundays, without affecting their working times.

The working pharmacists in the government services, private hospitals, medical stores and other areas can enroll for the course. The duration of the course is two years and a minimum of 150 hours of classes should be attended by the candidates.

According to sources, the existing diploma holders can join the course to enhance their qualification, but their registration with the council will not be cancelled though they are reluctant to join the bridge course. But for new registration, only degree holders alone can apply. Pharmacy Council of India has sent the proposal to all the state governments for their remarks. No deadline has been set for the conversion of the course.

The central council meeting of the PCI has also approved the draft proposal for redrafting the education regulation 1991 (ER 91) in order to bring ER 2014 by the end of this year.

Currently, majority of the practising pharmacists are diploma holders
But there are persons working as pharmacists after acquiring certificates from drug control officials stating as ‘qualified persons’ (QP).