D Pharms are necessarily needed until B Pharms take up community pharmacy services: PCI

A pharmacy student will get a diploma after two years or a degree after four years.


Last Updated on October 30, 2020 by The Health Master

Taking note of the demands and concerns raised by the government sector pharmacists in north India with regard to ER 2020 and the necessity of D Pharm course, the Pharmacy Council of India (PCI) has clarified that diploma pharmacists are necessarily needed until the graduate pharmacists are ready to take up the profession in community pharmacies and hospitals in the length and breadth of the country.

The council finds that even though the country has ample number of pharmacy graduates at present, their services are not adequately available in community pharmacies or hospital setups as the graduates do not take up the profession as lucrative one according to their potential. Besides, their preferred choice is different according to their qualifications and expertise.

They feel that their skill and competence are underutilized and the remuneration and the career progression they can avail from this basic level of pharmacy practice are not equal to their qualifications and expertise. Their focus is on a different career path which will gain for them benefits commensurate with their experiences over the years, said the president of the PCI.

Analyzing the demand of the defence pharmacist association (AIDPA) who sought the intervention of the Union health minister to the D Pharm course, Dr B Suresh, the PCI president said that the present course of D Pharm has been designed by foreseeing the future and all sides of the issues in the professional field. The diploma course is planned in such a way that it can be integrated into the B Pharm (Practice) programme. Thereby a diploma pharmacist can enroll for a degree course with an option to exit the course with a diploma after two years or to continue the course for getting a degree.

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“Until the time when a B Pharm graduate feels that the pharmacy practice in community level and hospitals is conducive for him and the remuneration he gets is adequate, the qualified diploma holders are necessarily needed and the course cannot be abolished. As far as the ER 2020, it makes an attempt to bring more practice based knowledge, skill and attributes required for supporting the physician and the patient in dispensing of medicines. This is in addition to the other responsibilities that are entrusted to them”, president of the PCI informed.

He said the D Pharm course designed in the education regulations 2020 is an advantage of forecast by PCI as it fits to the provisions of the New Education Policy (NEP) 2020 approved by the government of India recently. As per it, a student of pharmacy will register for the four year B Pharm integrated course in future with an option to exit after two years with a diploma or he can continue for the full term for degree. He said pharmacy profession in India is undergoing various stages of development and the process varies from region to region in the light of availability of qualified pharmacists and their roles.

As per the NEP, all the undergraduate level courses will become four year multidisciplinary programmes with multiple exit and entry options for the students. With this, after enrolling the programme, a student can exit the course after one year, or two years or three years or continue to the full term. A pharmacy student will get a diploma after two years or a degree after four years.

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