83 Revision of definition of pharmacist in D&C Act could boost profession's image: - Pharmabiz

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I dont call this a blog but a piece of information that I had shared with the reporter of the pharma news tabloid called 'Pharmabiz' and the same had appeared on Oct 5 2013 issue.

I am sharing the same for the benefit of the pharmainfo.net browsers:


Revision of definition of pharmacist in D&C Act could boost profession's image: KSPC Registrar

Nandita Vijay, Bengaluru
Saturday, October 05, 2013, 08:00 Hrs [IST]

Karnataka State Pharmacy Council (KSPC) Registrar perceives that a simple revision in the Drugs & Cosmetics Act along with an increase in remuneration, official dress code and an academic curriculum update would be a shot in arm for the growth of pharmacy profession in India.

"Recent amendment to the Drugs & Cosmetics (D&C) Act did not address the basic requirement for a pharmacy profession. The term 'Chemist & Druggist' is outdated. The pharmacist is issued a license titled 'License to sell or distribute' drugs. But D Pharm syllabus covers 'practice pharmacy' and not to sell drugs. This warrants a simple amendment in the Act to change the pharmacy trade license title and include dispensing of ready-to-use, pre-packed formulations. If this is done, a non- pharmacist cannot practice and automatically professionalism would set in," PS Bhagavan, registrar, KSPC told Pharmabiz.

In the wake of the Schedule H1 notification, listing 46 drugs to be sold only with a doctor's prescription enhances the pharmacists performance at the counter. He will need to need to maintain not just the prescription copy but also have a separate register enlisting the day's sale of the H1 drugs.

"Now from a pharmacist perspective, his presence at the counter calls for a consistent professional image. He will need to be identified at the counter as a qualified pharmacist and which would mandate a dress code with name plate. The new guidelines call for a pharmacist to keep pace with the changing needs of the profession. Further, his presence at the counter escalates to over 12 hours and this would require a minimum pay of Rs.15,000 a month plus provident fund to start with for D Pharm qualified pharmacist along with leave facilities, as against Rs.3000 to Rs.8000 being paid now," he added.

"The demand for quality functions in a pharmacy outlet will only increase with the growing responsibility in drug dispensing and preventing the presence of unqualified pharmacist. A pharmacist would need higher remuneration for his conscientiousness at the counter, playing multiple roles to ensure systematic and catalogued display of medicines on the shelves, accurate drug dispensing and cash accounting capability," said Bhagavan.

Currently, the set back in trade margins under the DPCO 2013 is leading to the closure of many chemist outlets. The remuneration is insufficient and they are unable to meet the rising shop rents among other expenses.

Besides, the present D Pharm curriculum needs to be updated to include social pharmacy, community pharmacy and hospital pharmacy which could include pharmacovigilance and haemovigilance monitoring and reporting apart from the updated drug laws. This need has been fulfilled to some extent by the Syllabus committee of Pharmacy Council of India (PCI) which met recently in Bengaluru to review and revise Education Regulation 1991, said Bhagavan.

A relevant and field oriented syllabus with a reasonable salary would transform the pharmacist image. It would help lead him to a quality growth path of professionalism. It would see the emergence of cross-functional career opportunities for a diploma pharmacy entrant who in a few years could manage a team of pharmacists in a large pharmacy outlet format, noted the KSPC registrar.


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.

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