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By Prajith
The Pharmacy Council of India (PCI) has proposed ‘Vision 2025’ to promote pharmacist as an expert in medicine and representative of disease management, wherein a pharmacist will be empowered to prescribe a set of listed medicines and can also suggest patients to go for generic substitutes of branded drugs suggested by a physician.

Delivering a presentation on the future development of pharmacy profession in India at the Indian Pharmaceutical Congress (IPC) in Vishakhapatnam, Dr. B. Suresh, president of PCI, said that there are lot of changes that pharmacy professionals will witness in the coming days. “Today the clinical pharmacy is emerging trend and the pharmacists will not just be confined to selling and dispensing the drugs but he will also play vital role as a point of care representative in hospitals,” said the PCI president.

The PCI president felt that, with more clinical pharmacists brought into the fold of healthcare, it will help resolve two important issues facing the Indian healthcare sector. One is the shortage of qualified doctors and two is availability of adequate number of qualified healthcare workers in the rural areas. He said that the 6-year Pharm D course is aptly designed for this purpose.

Referring to the rising healthcare costs in the country, the PCI president said, “If a man suffering from small ailment like diarrhea, it could be cured with a simple table, however to get that Rs.1 tablet he has to visit a doctor to get his prescription, which will cost him anyway from Rs.100 to 200. This is unnecessary spending for a patient. Instead the patient could approach a pharmacy store and get the tablet, but it is illegal. Therefore all these aspects must be deeply studied and there is a need to bring new changes in our laws to empower the pharmacist. India has already earned a name as the low cost high quality generic drug manufacturer in the world. However, with the clinical pharmacists joining the healthcare stream, the days are not far when the healthcare costs will also fall drastically and India will become one of the world’s first country to provide high quality healthcare with least cost.”

When asked about the initiatives taken up by the PCI to ensure the state councils implementing the PPR 2015, Dr B. Suresh said that the PCI has written to the health secretaries of all the states to take immediate steps to implement the PPR 2015 and appoint pharmacy inspectors. “Not only Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, there are also many other states in India which are not implementing the PPR 2015. We have already written letters to all the state health secretaries and we are expecting by next 6 months things will settle down,” informed the PCI president.
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