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The Karnataka government is now exploring all possibilities to introduce clinical pharmacy departments in all its 30 state-run hospitals. The move follows the proposal put forth by the Indian American Pharmacists (IAP), a not-for-profit organisation which is keen to strengthen Indian healthcare infrastructure with clinical pharmacy services to support patient care.

According to IAP, the clinical pharmacy services at the government hospitals should be manned by the qualified Pharm D candidates. The new talent pool is armed with a six-year rigorous degree course: Doctor of Pharmacy. While the corporate hospitals have already gone ahead to create dedicated teams of Pharm D to support the medical experts in evidence based practices and promote medication safety, in the government sector SDS TB Research Centre & Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Chest Diseases (RGICD), Bengaluru has taken lead in this space.

The 470-bed SDS TB Research Centre and RGICD only focuses on pulmonary medicine and thoracic surgery and has now recognised the importance of medication management to monitor the interactions and adverse drug reactions of tuberculosis drug regime.

At the inauguration of the Indian American Pharmacist Clinical Pharmacy Library for the benefit of professionals and the pharmacy students in the state, Dr. Sharan Prakash Patil, minister for medical education said the government would examine the proposal to set up medication management centres across its 30 government healthcare centres. This would also provide the 540 Pharm D candidates passing out annually with a promising career opening.

The lack of trained personnel to handle medication errors is a concern and in this regard a qualified team of Pharm D candidates would give a fillip to patient care in the government sector, noted Dr. Patil adding that the state would be keen to consider supporting this initiative.

According to Basavaraj Banapur, president & CEO, Indian American Pharmacist, India also needed a digital medication record (DMR) that includes patient-family history, current laboratory results, diagnosis and the treatment plan. As a pilot initiative, we maintain the health-medication database of the entire population of Haligeri village, Ranibennur taluk, Haveri district in Karnataka.

The US healthcare space revolves around 3 Ps: patient, physician and pharmacist. In India it is only the patient and physician. The presence of pharmacist is critical in the Indian healthcare space. We need more education than medication and our hospital staff needs to be aware on the important role of a pharmacist in medication management, pointed out Banapur.

Despite the growth of mobile phones in India, the people here have no access to a single page DMR which provides their disease prevalence and basic treatment protocols in an easy-to-view and retrieve format via mail or what’s app. Now only a pharmacist can enable a DMR at a faster pace in India. Going by the paucity of medication management centres, there are considerable opportunities in clinical pharmacy in the country. We intend to make RGICD as the centre for training doctors, nurses and pharmacists via this maiden platform.

Dr. DA Gundu Rao, president, Karnataka State Pharmacy Council urged the state government to permit conducting Pharm D courses at the Government Pharmacy College in Bengaluru and the second centre coming up at Kalburgi.
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