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By Prajith
#982
Even though one year has passed after the Pharmacy Council of India (PCI) introduced the Pharmacy Practice Regulations (PPR), 2015 to regulate the profession of pharmacy practice as well as to enhance the professional status, and notified it in the official gazette on January 16 last year, no state pharmacy council in the country has implemented the regulations fully as envisaged by the PCI.

Astonishingly, the PCI itself was moving at a slow pace in prevailing upon the state councils for measures to adopt and in approaching respective governments in securing their consent for implementing the set of regulations.

As per information available from various states, only three state pharmacy councils, Karnataka, Kerala and Assam, have taken a few positive steps in implementing the regulations. KSPC appointed pharmacy inspectors in all the districts as part of its speedy implementation, but due to unexpected opposition from the chemists’ community, the move of the Council had to be stopped.

Similarly, ASPC appointed pharmacy inspectors in all the 21 districts, but due to non-cooperation from the state drugs control department, the council could not go ahead with the plan, said Prasanna Sharma, registrar of ASPC.

Karnataka Pharmacy Council has conducted at least some discussions on the subject, whereas no other state in the country has taken any positive step to implement the PPR 2015.

The Pharmacy Practice Regulations are aimed not only to regulate the profession, but also to bring ethics in the career. It is felt that it will transform the community pharmacist's role in the Indian healthcare space. The regulations mandate B Pharm as the minimum qualification for a candidate to be employed as a pharmacist in the pharmacy outlets and even pharmacy counters at hospitals. It establishes that the pharmacists can charge consultation fees for their professional services. Further it says that along with the dispensing services, the pharmacists should provide services like patients counseling, adverse drug reactions (ADR) reporting, primary care to all uncomplicated simple illnesses.

Experts are of the opinion that for enforcing the PPR, the Drugs and Cosmetics Act and Rules must be amended in its favour by the Union government. But, for this move too, no attempt has been made by the PCI other than sending some letters to the state pharmacy councils asking them to raise such demands.

PPR 2015 was the second major reform introduced by the PCI in raising the status of pharmacy profession on par with international standards. The first one was the introduction of Pharm D programme in the year 2008.

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