National Pharmacy Commission Bill 2023: A Critical Examination

The dominance of individuals with an educational background in the leadership positions of the boards is a cause for concern.

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NPC National Pharmacy Commission
NPC

Table of Contents

Dr. Bharatesh R Jagashetty

National Pharmacy Commission

The National Pharmacy Commission Bill 2023, set to replace the Pharmacy Act of 1948, is raising eyebrows for its apparent emphasis on education rather than the broader aspects of the pharmacy profession.

Dr. BR Jagashetty, a prominent figure in the pharmaceutical realm, has expressed concerns regarding the bill, suggesting that it leans more towards prioritizing learning, knowledge, and academic pursuits over the practical and professional dimensions of the field.

Introduction

A. Overview of the National Pharmacy Commission Bill 2023

The bill, designed to overhaul the existing regulatory framework, has caught the attention of industry experts. However, its focus on education has sparked a debate within the pharmaceutical community.

B. Dr. BR Jagashetty’s Perspective on the Focus on Education

Dr. Jagashetty, a former National Adviser (Drugs Control) to the Union health ministry, has voiced his apprehensions, indicating that the bill may be sidelining the practical aspects crucial for the effective functioning of the pharmacy profession.

The Structure of the Bill

A. Search-cum-Selection Committee

The bill introduces a Search-cum-Selection Committee, a pivotal component in the selection process of key positions within the National Pharmacy Commission.

B. Three Boards Under the Bill

  1. Pharmacy Education Board
  2. Pharmacy Assessment and Rating Board
  3. Pharmacy Ethics and Registration Board These boards, however, are primarily led by educationalists and government officials, raising concerns about the representation of qualified pharmacy professionals.

Lack of Representation

A. Educationalists and Government Officials Leading the Boards

The dominance of individuals with an educational background in the leadership positions of the boards is a cause for concern.

B. Absence of Qualified Pharmacy Professionals

  1. Representation from State Chapter of the Commission
  2. Eminent Pharmacist from Each State
  3. Central Drug Laboratory (CDL) The existing Act’s provisions for representation are notably absent, according to Dr. Jagashetty, making the current structure seem impractical.

Discrepancies in State Chapter Commissions

A. Dominance of Educationists

State chapter commissions, too, seem to lean towards educationists, neglecting other crucial roles within the regulatory framework.

B. Ignoring Officers-in-Charge of Drugs Control Organization, Government Analyst, etc.

The bill fails to include important stakeholders, such as officers-in-charge of drugs control organizations and Government Analysts, as provided in the existing Pharmacy Act.

Missed Opportunities

A. Failure to Include State Pharmacy Council Chief or Representative

Despite the importance of State Pharmacy Councils in the pharmacy ecosystem, the bill overlooks their chief or representative.

B. Exclusion of Senior Retail Pharmacy Representatives

The absence of senior retail pharmacy representatives further limits the bill’s real-world applicability.

C. Lack of Mention of Regulatory Workforce

The bill does not acknowledge the regulatory workforce, crucial for effective implementation and enforcement of regulations.

Enforcement and Monitoring Challenges

A. Draft’s Inadequacy in Terms of Enforcing and Monitoring

Dr. Jagashetty points out that the draft lacks provisions for the presence of registered pharmacists in retail outlets, posing challenges in enforcement and monitoring.

B. Absence of Registered Pharmacists in Retail Outlets

The draft fails to mandate the presence of registered pharmacists in retail outlets, a critical aspect addressed in the existing Pharmacy Act.

C. No Provisions for Dispensing Certain Medicines Without a Registered Pharmacist

The absence of guidelines on dispensing certain medicines in the absence of a registered pharmacist raises questions about the draft’s practicality.

Nomination Criteria

A. Committee Chairperson and Pharmacy Experts’ Qualifications and Experience

While the nomination criteria for key positions include qualifications and experience, the bill overlooks the significance of pharmacists in public health.

B. Ignoring the Importance of Pharmacists in Public Health Mainstream

Dr. Jagashetty criticizes the omission of the importance of pharmacists in public health, signaling a gap in the bill’s vision.

Forward-Looking Perspective

A. The Need for the Bill to Invest in New Processes

As India positions itself as the pharmacy of the world, Dr. Jagashetty advocates for a forward-looking bill that invests in new processes and innovations.

B. India as the Pharmacy of the World

The bill, instead of reflecting India’s global leadership in pharmaceuticals, appears to lack the necessary vision and foresight.

Oversight and Regulatory Challenges

A. Dr. Jagashetty’s Critique of the Bill’s Oversight

The bill’s oversight, according to Dr. Jagashetty, raises concerns about its ability to supervise regulations effectively.

B. Importance of Supervising Regulations in a Forward-Looking Manner

To be a truly effective regulatory body, the bill needs to demonstrate a commitment to supervising regulations in a forward-looking manner.

Conclusion

A. Recap of the Key Issues Highlighted by Dr. Jagashetty

The concerns raised by Dr. Jagashetty underscore the need for a comprehensive reevaluation of the National Pharmacy Commission Bill 2023.

B. Emphasis on the Need for Revisions in the National Pharmacy Commission Bill 2023

For the bill to align with the needs of the pharmacy profession, revisions are imperative. Balancing educational pursuits with practical considerations is crucial for the bill’s success.

FAQs

  1. Is the National Pharmacy Commission Bill 2023 solely focused on education, neglecting the profession’s practical aspects?
    The bill has drawn criticism for seemingly prioritizing education over the broader professional dimensions of the pharmacy field. Dr. Jagashetty, among others, has expressed concerns about this imbalance.
  2. What are the key boards established under the National Pharmacy Commission Bill 2023?
    The bill introduces three key boards: the Pharmacy Education Board, Pharmacy Assessment and Rating Board, and Pharmacy Ethics and Registration Board. However, critics argue that these boards lack adequate representation from qualified pharmacy professionals.
  3. Why is the absence of practicing pharmacy professionals in the draft considered a drawback?
    The absence of practicing pharmacy professionals raises concerns about the bill’s ability to enforce and monitor regulations effectively, especially in retail outlets. Dr. Jagashetty emphasizes the importance of involving experienced professionals in regulatory decision-making.
  4. How does the bill address the role of pharmacists in public health?
    Dr. Jagashetty highlights a notable gap in the bill regarding the role of pharmacists in public health. The nomination criteria for key positions do not adequately recognize the significance of pharmacists in public health mainstream.
  5. What is the call for a forward-looking perspective in the National Pharmacy Commission Bill 2023?
    Advocates for a forward-looking perspective argue that the bill should invest in new processes and innovations, considering India’s position as the pharmacy of the world. Dr. Jagashetty suggests that the current draft lacks the necessary vision for the future.

Disclaimer: This article contains information derived from the source mentioned below. Our team utilized an AI language model to rewrite and present the news or article in a unique format.

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