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Doctor of Pharmacy Association has now put a forth representations to the state governments of Punjab and Maharashtra to provide the much-needed recognition to the Pharm D professionals. The move comes in the wake of providing safe, convenient and cost effective solutions to address India’s healthcare needs.

In a communication to the governments of Punjab and Maharashtra, the Association has called for the creation of posts of clinical pharmacist for Pharm D holders in each hospital as per patient ratio. It has also insisted to recognise a qualified Pharm D candidate as a key healthcare provider to provide drug information, treat basic illness, create public awareness, engage in the administration of preventive health and immunisation programmes.

Pharm D or Doctor of Pharmacy which is six years course was specifically designed to produce clinically competent pharmacists to improve the patient care in India.

The Association equated Pharm D to the well reputed course in many countries including the US, UK, Canada, New Zealand, Portugal and Ireland. It pointed out that in these countries, clinical pharmacists are an integral part of the healthcare system and worked along with physicians and nurses efficiently, stated the Association in its communication to the governments of Punjab and Maharashtra.

“In the developed countries, clinical pharmacists are allowed to immunize, reissue prescriptions for long-term treatment. The doctors diagnose, initiate the treatment protocol and the patient care plan is shared with the pharmacist. Now India which is recognised for its capability in pharmaceuticals cannot be left behind in area of clinical pharmacy, Sai Kumar Katam National President Doctor of Pharmacy Association told Pharmabiz.

“ It is high time the state governments of Punjab and Maharashtra establish Drug Information Centre & Pharmacovigilance Centres for the public to have easy access to information on drug interaction, side effects and toxicity,” he added.

“We need to ensure strict implementation of Pharmacy Practice Regulations-2015, Drugs & Cosmetic Act & Rules & Pharmacy Act, 1948. These regulations mandate drug dispensing is the prerogative of pharmacists only. Its strict adherence would also stall sale of Schedule H drugs without prescription. Therefore, it is critical for the state governments to create posts in primary and community health centres besides district hospitals or even fill up all the vacant posts,” said Kadam.

Stating that India accounts for a whopping 5.2 million injuries annually with medication errors and adverse drug reactions. The need of the hour is to detect and manage adverse drug reactions, assist physicians in individualizing the drug dosage regimen, provide patient counselling. All these efforts will result in improve and reduce healthcare cost in the country.

Currently India has 1,500 qualified Pharm D candidates but the number of clinical pharmacist openings are inadequate in the government sector. Only the Indian Pharmacopoeia Commission and CDSCO are giving job opportunities to these candidates. But there is ample scope for the government to provide promising employment opportunities to these professionals, said Kadam.
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