We have moved to new location, Please click on contact us  
Home  >  Editorial
you can get e-magazine links on WhatsApp. Click here
+ Font Resize -


Ramesh Shankar
Wednesday, January 18, 2023, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

Recently, Pharmacy Council of India (PCI) president Dr Montu Patel had called upon the pharmacist community in the country to take up patient counseling too as part of their job as it is their area of expertise. With their detailed knowledge of medicine, pharmacists have the ability to relate unexpected symptoms experienced by patients to possible adverse drug reaction and food-drug interaction. As the pharmacists are the only professionals in the healthcare milieu to chip in with this expertise, Dr Patel tried to drive home the point that it will provide the pharmacist community another opportunity for remuneration. Pharmacy curriculum focuses on carbohydrates, amino acids and fatty acids which are the key macro nutrients among others present in the body. Their interaction with the medicines are best understood by a pharmacist alone, Dr Patel pointed out as chief guest at the inaugural of the 4th International Conference Krupacon Pharma 2022 hosted by Krupanidhi College of Pharmacy in Bengaluru. That the PCI is working on it seriously is clear from the statement of Dr Patel who said that to ensure pharmacists are compensated monetarily for patient counseling, the PCI is proposing to the Union government to approve a professional fee format. The PCI’s plan is to focus on the affordable patients who suffer from chronic conditions and could encounter food-drug interactions which are widely prevalent. Also just like the qualified doctor’s signature, pharmacists too need to certify patient counseling among other services rendered in patient care. This could be among key efforts from PCI to garner professional recognition for pharmacists. Without mincing words, Dr Patel regretted that the recognition of professional capability of a pharmacist is found lacking in India unlike in developed countries, where the physicians and patients acknowledge the pharmacists expertise on medicines.

Dr Patel has got it right. Even though the pharmaceutical industry in India has witnessed phenomenal growth over the last four decades, the pharmacist continues to be a salesman in a retail pharmacy in the country. Pharmacists are mostly seen by the public in the country as salesmen handing over medicines at the retail shops prescribed by physicians. But the fact is that there is a paradigm shift that is witnessing in the duties of a pharmacist in the entire world. It was especially manifest in these times of Covid-19 pandemic. Braving all the risks associated with this highly infectious disease, the pharmacist community also provided a yeoman’s service to the Covid-19 patients. In the international level, the duty of a pharmacist is fast evolving from a mere dispenser of medicines in a retail medical store. Checking drug dosage, drug-drug interactions, drug-allergy interactions, drug food interactions, patient counseling, etc are all now becoming part and parcel of a pharmacist's job. Pharmacists of today are expected to interact with patients, doctors and nurses in a collaborative model as is the case with the developed countries. In countries like US, UK, Canada, New Zealand, Portugal, Ireland and even Ethiopia, clinical pharmacists are an integral part of the healthcare system and work along with physicians and nurses efficiently. The focus of pharmacy practice in developed countries has shifted from product centric to patient centric with the implementation of modified pharmacy practice regulations favouring patient safety. But in India, the situation is entirely different as the pharmacy professionals are yet to get the kind of respect actually they deserve. It is true that the government has come out with the right kind of regulation, but it has not taken steps to implement it in letter and spirit. The Pharmacy Practice Regulations, 2015 is a case in point. It is high time to bring in sweeping changes to change the image of pharmacists as mere dispensers. And the PCI should take the lead role in it.


Post Your commentsPOST YOUR COMMENT
* Name :     
* Email :    
  Website :  
India Lab Expo
Copyright © 2016 Saffron Media Pvt. Ltd |