The Karnataka government has mandated appointment of pharmacists in mainstream healthcare services in the wake of the shortage of professionals in the space during the C-19 pandemic.
The move follows after Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences (RGHUS) Vice-Chancellor Dr S Sacchindinand’s recommendation to utilize the services of qualified and trained pharmacy professionals to be given graded and supervised responsibility to bolster the human resources required. This is in the wake of the increasing demand in health services.
The state has issued an advertisement to this effect in Mandya district calling for pharmacy professionals armed with qualification of D Pharm, B Pharm, M Pharm and Pharm D. The remaining 29 out the 30 districts in the state are also expected to follow suit soon.
In fact RGHUS proposed to the Karnataka department of medical education subsequent to a communication from Prof R Raveendra, chairman education committee, Karnataka State Pharmacy Council who pressed to hire pharmacy professionals during this pandemic as paucity of such professionals was imminent.
According Prof Raveendra, D Pharm holders can dispense drugs at the pharmacy outlets in the government hospitals, community and primary health centres. They could also provide helpline assistance from the state designated control rooms, trace C-19 infected cases, follow-up on their health status, create awareness and tabulate the dispensing to ascertain the consumption pattern of drugs like azithromycin and paracetamol which is the first line of medication prescribed for those manifesting C-19 like symptoms and not reporting for throat and nose swabs or RT PCR tests. The data is valuable to trace the contacts.
The B Pharm graduates could be engaged in maintaining data at the vaccination centres for those needed to take the second dose, advice on medication availability and new drugs in the market to the doctors.
Those with Pharm D qualification can devise strategies to offset possible adverse drug reactions which are seen to be common during the C-19 treatment protocol. They can suggest on optimum medication and its safe use. They can update on the latest medicines and follow up on the patients getting discharged with appropriate advice. Besides keep a record of the data base on C-19 contaminated traced persons, he said.
Further Prof Raveendra pointed out that qualified candidates of B Pharm, M Pharm are suitably trained and educated to work in the pharma industry too. Their syllabus and curriculum are designed to equip them with enough knowledge to be hired in areas from research to manufacture and marketing. Even in vaccine production facilities can rightly utilize their talent in ramping up manufacture to expand scale of operations.
Commenting on the move to encourage the deployment of pharmacists, Prof Hanumanthachar Joshi, Principal, Sarada Vilas College of Pharmacy, Mysuru and president of ACPI, said it is an excellent initiative by state health university, RGUHS and government of Karnataka to seek the professional services of qualified pharmacists including students.
The involvement and contribution of Pharm. D. Graduate and students will be of great help to C-19 hospitals as they have been receiving training and doing their internships at various hospitals. It would ease the pressure on the medical and healthcare staff, said Prof Joshi.
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