Scope Of Pharm D In India – Recent Developments

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Here we will explain the present scope of Pharm. D in India, in government jobs as well as private sector. We will discuss some background and recent important developments.

Pharm. D or Doctor Of Pharmacy is a 6 year Pharmacy course which includes 5 years classroom learning and one year internship. Pharm D post baccalaureate is 3 year course including the internship. Pharm. D is essential for clinical pharmacist post in government hospitals.

Background

Pharm. D course was introduced by PCI in 2008. B. Pharm is mostly industry oriented , Pharm D was started as clinical Pharmacy course. In 2011 Pharm D post baccalaureate was started. Until now there was not much scope for Pharm D in India . Pharm. D degree holders were struggling for recognition and job prospects.

Even After a decade the Pharm D prospects were not bright because of several reasons.

  • The status of Pharm D for government Jobs was not clear. There was confusion in mind of applicants and appointing authorities.
  • As Pharm. D is clinical Pharmacy course are not qualified for appointment in most pharmaceutical industry sectors.
  • Even in private hospitals scope was not good because clinical pharmacy is not practiced in India. Pharmacist work as dispenser only, even in dispensing the pharmacist do not function as per pharmacy practice regulations 2015. So there is lack of acknowledgement of Pharmacist’s role.

Recent Developments

Due to active struggle of Pharma D professionals, Pharmacy council of India has taken notice of Pharm. D graduates plight. One example of recent peaceful agitation is hunger strike by Mr Simon Joshua. He was on hunger strike for more than a month on demand of separate cadre for Pharm D professionals. Below are the latest developments which indicate a brighter future.

Pharm D will prefix Doctor: PCI in 2012 had issued communication to universities to prefix Dr. in certificates of pharmacists as per Regulation 18 of the Pharm. D Regulations, 2008. Same is clarified  by PCI for strict compliance in 2019.

Pharmacy Practice Rules 2015: Pharmacy practice regulations enhance the role of pharmacist from just being an distributor to the protector of patients well being. Pharmaceutical care is integral part while dispensing the medicines.

Proposed amendment to Pharmacy Practice rules: Further amendments to pharmacy practice regulations are forwarded to health & family welfare ministry. These amendments create the post of clinical pharmacist in every hospital. Eligibility for clinical pharmacist is Pharm D. It will be a reputed post, possibly of group A.

Eligibility Of pharma D for Government Jobs: PCI has issued clarification that  Pharm. D is eligible for the all government jobs which require, D. Pharm, B. Pharm or M. Pharm as Eligibility. So along with clinical pharmacist posts, pharm D could apply for dispensing pharmacists and drug inspectors jobs also.

Scope of pharma D

In the light of above developments it could be interpreted that Pharma D professionals have better days for career ahead. Let’s examine the scope of Pharma D in government sector and private sector.

Scope Of Pharma D in Government Jobs

Drug Inspector: Pharma D graduates are now eligible for drug inspector jobs. But please note some states requires experience in manufacturing or testing of schedule C and C1 drugs. Pharma D cannot go to pharma manufacturing as they do not have necessary skills and syllabus but can get employed as analyst in company maybe after some certificate course in quality control. This way necessary experience can be obtained.

Dispensing Pharmacist: Pharm D graduates are now eligible for dispensing pharmacist government jobs. They can apply for such posts without experience certificates. Future prospects for dispensing pharmacists are improving with increased pay scales in mid term future.

Clinical Pharmacist: PCI implementation Of Pharmacy practice amendments to create clinical pharmacist post in hospitals,  could be a great opportunity for Pharma D. Pay scales and Job profiles of clinical pharmacists will be respectable.

Besides above jobs Pharm D can also apply for various SSC, PSC and  civil services jobs which require any graduation as eligibility.

Scope Of Pharm D in private Sector

As clinical Pharmacist: Pharm. D can work as clinical pharmacist in hospitals. If clinical pharmacist post is made mandatory then there will be vacancy in each hospital.

Private practice: Like all pharmacists Pharm. D are eligible to setup there pharmacy/medical shop. They can even charge for consultations as provided in PPR 2015.

In pharmaceutical industry: They can work in pharmaceutical companies in the fields of pharmacovigilance and clinical research.

In teaching: Pharm D graduates can work as lecturers , assistant professors etc in pharmacy colleges all over India.

Some concerns

Though it seems that reforms have started there is still a lot to be done for pharmacy practice profession in India.

  • Adverse Drug Reactions centers in hospitals are captured by MBBS and surgeons. In MBBS course pharmacovigilance subject is introduced much after the Pharma D and MS pharm of NIPER.  The intention of that lobby is to keep grip on all relevant departments of healthcare and deny other professionals the good opportunities. This should be corrected by PCI and by amending the drugs Acts.
  • Similarly still in many government organizations medical officers are functioning as pharmacy in-charges with no study background of pharmacy store management.  senior pharmacists and chief pharmacists are denied this role. This practice should be legally stopped.
  • Only pharmacist is qualified enough to test the quality and efficacy of drugs. No such arrangements are made in government organizations for testing drugs quality. There are no pharmacist in drug purchasing committee of government organizations. All decisions are taken by medical officers.
  • Also it is not clear yet if post of clinical pharmacist will be mandatory in private hospitals also.
  • The pay scales of pharmacist are not respectable. Most selected pharmacist now have higher qualifications  like B. Pharm, M. Pharm, Pharm. D and PhD. Still pay are not equal to what other professionals graduates like B. Tech command. Nurses with GNM qualification are getting much higher pay scales. This is in contrast to foreign countries where pharmacists are well paid community.
  • Renting of registered pharmacist certificate by unqualified persons is a rampant practice. Also people are getting pharmacy diploma and degrees without attending classes. This has pharmacy practice a mere medicine selling tool in the hand of unskilled, unfit to provide pharmaceutical care and earn respect for the profession.

As reforms have started we can hope for better future. But this snail’s pace of reforms is not sufficient. Pharmacist community must pressurize the authorities to take prompt and effective actions on ground. proper recognition of pharmacy practice profession is in the interest of pharmacists and patients alike.

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