66. Pharmacist Vs other science graduates

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Mr joshipuramanan has thankfully raised certain basic issues in his comment to my 65th blog.

Since the issue involved needs to be widely addressed, I am putting here as my 66th blog as a reply to his comment may not draw the attention of many. But I am addressing Mr Joshipuramanan in this blog. Please pardon me sir.

Well Mr Joshipuramanan, you have raised certain issues and claim it as basic issues:

Are the students knowing their basics right?

You think that an industry would take such guys?

Are the students that serious to do their homework before going for an interview?

Students do not de velop confidence and communication skills.?

Students should select a field which is in boom in India.

Well these are very pertinent question / issues.

But who should address them? Students? their parents? Teachers? policy makers?

I do blame the students if they don't learn inspite of providing the required ambience and facility for learning.

But if the ambience doesn't permit the student to question the teacher till he clears his doubt and if the academy doesn't accept the new ideas other than that is taught / given in the books whats the alternative to the student to pass? No alternative except to fall in line with the teacher, his notes and the book he may refer.

While I was teaching Hospital pharmacy to final year B Pharm and D Pharm students, I used to narrate certain typical issues I had encountered in my hospital service. But I used to take care to to ensure that the matter remains supplementing to the curriculum and do not move afar. Those inofrmation if combined with the curriculum topic and the book information would have made wonderful answers to the questions. The students of course were listening and interacting with interest. But, when the sessional exam date was announced a message reached me advising that I should stick to the book so that students could follow and answer the questions easily.Majority of the students are poor in English and cannot express what they listen and write in their own words. If they fail, institution will not get students in the next year. So I was forced to toe the line and stick to book - even though I was not in agreement with its contents.

I also received another advisory not to encourage the students to speak out freely as it may become difficult to control them latter!

Now, look at the passed students as 'Our products' to be sold in the market.

If there are no takers who is responsible? product or the producer?

Is it not a reflection of the quality of the product on the producer.

(Pardon me) In the market it is called bad product, sub-standard product or useless product.

Is it not the duty of the producer to produce and sell good acceptable and marketable product?

Here, since the producer doesn't incurr any loss, he appears to be not bothered about the product or its quality.

Placement meets are happening and it itself is not the solution.

Now the question that students should study the subject in demand. Yes, he should. But does he have a choice to choose?

Diploma pharmacy which is supposed to teach retail pharmacy and hospital logistic pharmacy is teaching every thing other than these required topics.

What do we teach the B Pharm?

He suites neither to the hospital nor to the industry.

Well I have to answer this question:

Don't we have thousands of D Pharms and B Pharms working in retail pharmacy, hospitals, industry

Yes they are working.

It is not due to the knowledge or skill of the pharmacists.

Thanks to the Drugs and Cosmetics Act and Pharmacy Act 1948.

Pharmacists in retail pharmacy and in hospital are their due to protected employment under Drugs & Cosmetics Act and pharmacy Act.

Graduates emtered the Industry in yester-decades as there was not much of competetion from other graduates. Besides, the working system was more manual and mechanical and industry was requiring more and more of man power.

Now with the digital system not much of pharmacy manpower would be required. there are more spot jobs in the Industry unlike the whole production job.

Spot job is a skill job and person with science background can be trained and he is inexpensive compared to pharmacy graduate.

One or two pharmacy graduates in a heirarchy would manage the whole production process.

Suppose the students are given skill training also in all the spots in the process, definitely industry prefers them as they become more productive manpower.

Eearlier we didn't had BBM, BBA and MBA courses with uptodate updated syllabus and study and skill developping programs.

Can a B Pharm compete them to the marketing posts.

I think I have made my point clear.

I once again appeal:



About the Author

Ph. Bhagavan P S RPh's picture

I am Bhagavan ,Rtd. Dy Dir.(Pharmacy),Govt of Karnataka, India and currently serving as Registrar, KSPC, Bengaluru, India . I love to write on Hospital pharmacy series related topics out of my experience and observations. Check out my Pharmacist in the Hospital.


joshipuramanan's picture

Dear Sir

i do agree with you that there are many flaws in the pharma education today. The most imp thing is not to be industry oriented. The colleges just want the seats to be filled and keep their business going. When i was a student, B Pharm class strenght was 40 or 60 and PG seats were 6-8. This was common for all the colleges. Even PG courses were very limited and only few colleges used to have M Pharm seats. Now the seats of B Pharm has increased to 120 and you will find PG seats as 20+.. This is the main reason for the students not getting the right career path. The commercialisation of Pharm colleges have made Pharmacy equal to a B com or a BBA. And to add to this, students still study the same books and syllabus as it was in the past.

But yes i do not agree with the free speaking enviroment. It all depends on an individual. Professors have to abide to the course line and get it complete in time. I appreciate your efforts to teach something new and revelant. But you as a teacher can just give direction to students. It is then upto them whether they want to walk on it or not. I remember, our principal used to motivate us to attent IPC and IPS and do some poster presentations. Out of the 60 class strength only me and my close friend attended the sessions twice. Why the rest did not even bother to look at the IPC and IPS site?

Yes the present senario is very challenging and competitive. There is no proper enviroment to have industry focused and more practical oriented pharma education. I accept it. But it is all upon you. What you want to achieve and where you want to see yourself. College cannot stop students from using the internet and now with all this blogs and info available, i think that students atleast know about the industry and the happenings in it.

Let me tell you an example. I met one intern in our company, doing his PG project . I asked him what he wants to do after PG. He said that he wants to join DRA. Then i asked him about what is DRA. He just knew only the full form as Drug Regulatory Affairs. Well this is the case with everybody. If you want your career in DRA, know what is in DRA. What is CTD module. Know what are the regulatory norms.

They all are there on internet, but not on facebook !!!

If the system is not supporting, you support yourself.

Ph. Bhagavan P S RPh's picture

Thanks for the comment.

Public facilities and academic mandatory grinds are totally different.

Mandatory necessities cannot be compromized just because public facilities are available.

Field exposure and field study should become mandatory

It helps in availing public facility to grow to a better height.

thank you




Bhagavan P.S. B Pharm

Rtd. Dy Dir.(Pharmacy),Govt of Karnataka, India

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