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The Pharmacy Council of India (PCI) is now eagerly waiting for the Union government approval for the Education Regulation 2015 (ER-2015) as this will see a total change in syllabus of Diploma in Pharmacy (D Pharm).

The last update of ER 91 is outdated and has no relevance to the current times. In the case of ER-2015, we have now submitted the same to the government. A favourable consent is expected by June 2016, and we would be ready to implement the same,” PCI president Dr. B Suresh told Pharmabiz. The ER-2015 will see a major modification in terms of subjects and lab equipment requirements, besides it has provided specifications on classroom area and teacher-student ratio.

“There is a gap of over 24 years between ER-91 and ER-15. We will see introduction of subjects like social pharmacy, study of epidemic diseases and pharmacy management among others. The need of the hour is to ensure pharmacists who are D Pharma to not just dispense drugs but also advise on preventive healthcare regimes,” said Dr. D A Gundu Rao, president, Karnataka Pharmacy Council and member PCI.
Further, there is also a need to share ample information about vaccines and promote inoculation to keep infectious diseases at bay. In addition, the qualified D Pharm personnel will also require to have an understanding about the adverse drug reactions and interactions. Therefore, all this mandates the art of patient counselling to ensure right medication is given at the right time, said Dr. Rao.

ER-2015 and Pharmacy Practice Regulation 2015 are game changers for the community pharmacists. In the case of B Pharm and M Pharm regulations the ‘single syllabus’ format will be introduced in January 2016. However the new syllabus is recommendatory to begin with. We will need to ensure some adjustments for a few months because there could be clash of subjects for some colleges. However, PCI is looking at 2018 to make it uniform. We are giving a 20 per cent leverage to some course addition. For instance, if some universities are strong in chemical engineering and want to add a subject like process chemistry, then we would permit it. However, there should be no drastic change in the structure of the syllabus because it will impact the overall quality, said Dr. Suresh, who is also the Vice chancellor, JSS University, Mysuru, and chairman, local organising committee, 67th IPC.
In the case of change in syllabus for D Pharm, it will ensure this programme of study is maintained for 4 to 5 years as PCI has given itself a time-frame to completely exclude D Pharm course by 2020.
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