Last Updated on October 10, 2021 by The Health Master
Faculty experts in pharmaceutical sciences and regulatory officers are of the view that study of medical devices should be made a mandatory discipline for all pharmacy courses approved by the Pharmacy Council of India (PCI) because, like medicines and other health technologies, these devices are also necessary for patient care.
The subject has now become a point of discussion not only among the academic community, but also among the members of the Drug Control Department Retired Officers Association (DCDROA) with conversations started on innovations, technology advancement and the pharmacists’ skill to help patients for optimum results from their medication uses.
Both the academic and the regulatory experts find that a dedicated chapter on medical devices should be included into the syllabus of B Pharm and a larger space should be found in the PG curriculum.
Dr. G Selvaraj, national secretary of the DCDROA and former director of TN drugs control department, is of the view that the students of degree in pharmacy and also the diploma students must know the use of medical devices as several medical devices are sold through pharmacies only.
Besides, the pharmacists are often required to deliver highly technical language to patients for their understanding and it may apply to medicines as well as devices. So, medical devices have to be made an integral part of the pharmacy curriculum.
Three years ago, he wrote letters to the Union health ministry, Pharmacy Council of India and to the Indian Pharmacy Graduates Association (IPGA) on this proposal. But, he said, either the PCI or any other organisation, responded positively to his suggestion. Instead of taking it positively, the PCI referred the suggestion to the syllabus committee. Even after three years, there is no progress in the proposal, he told.
According to Dr Gopal Veni, principal of the Mother Theresa Institute of Pharmacy in Pondicherry, the role of medical devices in the curriculum of pharmacy education will definitely make the new generation graduates full-fledged pharmacists in the present day technologically advanced era.
He said the PCI’s syllabus committee is seriously considering it and hopefully the new syllabus will have a chapter on medical devices as part of the soon-to-be released revised B Pharm education regulations.
Academic expert and senior professor in pharmacology, Dr R N Gupta from Birla Institute of Pharmacy in Ranchi, said he has been making proposals for inclusion of medical devices into the curriculum for several years. He expressed the hope that PCI will take the proposal for the future of the degree pharmacists.
Dr Mihir Kumar Kar, president of the Odisha branch of the Association of Pharmacy Teachers of India (APTI), said it is necessary that there should be a dedicated chapter on medical devices in the degree course of pharmacy.
“We don’t have a dedicated chapter on medical devices like that of microbiology and biotechnology. We learn so many unnecessary subjects other than our core subjects of pharmaceutical and scientific papers.
Today the focus of B Pharm is more on drugs. It is absolutely necessary to include some chapters of medical devices into the syllabus of B Pharm and M Pharm. Suppose a degree holder does not get a job in the pharma industry, he has to go to a medical devices manufacturing industry for a job. The government and the PCI should agree with this suggestion,” Dr Mihir opined.