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B Pharm Ayurveda holders unable to become registered pharmacists due to lack of registration councils

Peethaambaran Kunnathoor, Chennai
Monday, December 6, 2021, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

Thousands of students who pass out every year from various universities and medical colleges in the country after completing the four-year degree course in ayurveda pharmacy (B Pharm Ayurveda) are struggling to get their certificates registered with a state pharmacy council to become a registered ayurveda pharmacist and continue in their profession with a registration number.

Unfortunately, either under the central or under any of the state governments, no registration council has been constituted yet for these graduates in ayurvedic pharmaceutical sciences. No specific ayush pharmacy council act has been passed although discussions were held several times, it is learnt.

According to pharmacy graduates of Indian systems, they continue as mere unregistered pharmacists even after 10 and 15 years of completion of their courses and face several serious problems in getting into government services. However, state governments in Gujarat, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Punjab have permitted them to register with respective board of ayurveda and unani systems to become eligible for applying for government jobs. But this registration with state boards of ayurveda and unani systems is not based on any particular pharmacy council act passed by the Indian parliament, and the boards do not have the status of a statutory body.

“We want to be in the register of a council constituted under an act passed by the Indian parliament on the lines of the medical council, nursing council, pharmacy council, paramedical council, homeopathic council, central council of Indian medicine..etc. We need a registration number and continue to be a registered pharmacist”, says M Archana, a 2010 batch ayurveda pharmacist passed out from the MVR Ayurveda Medical College at Parassinikkadavu in Kerala.

S. Arathy, a first batch ayurveda pharmacy graduate in India, who did the course in 1999 from Gujarat Ayurveda Medical University in Jamnagar, said the syllabus of the B Pharm Ayurveda contains almost all the papers of the allopathic B Pharm course and in addition to that they study chapters from Indian systems of medicine. Their syllabus includes modern subjects like pharmaceutics, pharmacognozy, pharmacology, pharmaceutical engineering, pharmaceutical analysis, chemistry of natural medicines and all areas of the alternative medicines. However, the course is not promoted as a pharmacy service program and no job is identified for the degree holders either in government or private sector.

According to Arathy, there are over 450 graduates and 150 post graduates in ayurveda pharmacy in entire India. A native of Kerala, she said, about 130 students have passed the course from the MVR medical college which is the only institution in the state that produces ayurveda pharmacists. She said the situation in Kerala is worse because the government is not permitting the graduates to register with any board or taking any initiative to constitute a council.

Recently the B Pharm Ayurveda graduates in Kerala have formed an association for them and are preparing to approach the government seeking for registration facility. B Kiran, secretary of the association, Kerala B Pharm Ayurveda Pharmacy Graduates Association (KBAPGA), said his association has given memorandum to the government urging formation of a registration council. The association president P Vishnu said demand will be made before the government to identify separate job areas for them including post of drug inspector and pharmacy officer. He said their potential and expertise should be utilized for the benefit of the ayurveda sector.

Dr. Mehul Mehta, who did PhD in ayurveda pharmacy from Gujarat Ayurveda University said the absence of state councils for registration of their certificates paves the way for the graduates in ayurvedic therapy (BAMS) to grab the opportunities to be set apart for the pharmacy graduates who are medicine experts. The posts of drug inspector, pharmacist, pharmacy officer, head of research labs, drug analysts and supervisory officers in manufacturing industry are meant for the graduates in ayurvedic pharmaceutical sciences. Regrettably, B Pharm Ayurveda is not promoted or specific areas of jobs for the degree holders are not identified.

Pharmabiz contacted several people of B Pharm Ayurveda. According to them, the medical professionals in ayush streams, BAMS, BUMS and BSMS, are the hurdles for their opportunities. It is learnt that the ayush medical graduates, who are supposed to do the preventive and curative care services to patients ailing from various diseases, are taking advantage of the situation by holding on all the opportunities leaving zero chances to the pharmacy graduates of Indian systems.

With one voice, the B Pharm Ayurveda graduates urge the union government that a policy should be made as per law that, on the lines of the modern medicine system, drug licence and presence of registered pharmacist should be made mandatory to start drug business of ASU medicines. Similarly, the registered pharmacists only allowed getting drug licences from the regulatory department for running wholesale and retail pharmacies.

 

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