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TNCDA opens Academy of Professional Excellence for grooming pharmacists

Peethaambaran Kunnathoor, Chennai
Saturday, March 5, 2011, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

As part of its retail chain plan, the Tamil Nadu Chemists and Allied Distributors Alliance Ltd, a company formed by the Tamil Nadu Chemists and Druggists Association, will, from early next month, commence its plan of educating the member pharmacists to make them on par with international standards.

TNCDA, an e affiliated body of AIOCD, has drawn up the plan with the help of the parent organization and subsequently launched an Academy for Professional Excellence which will conduct the training courses to enhance the professional competence of the drug dispensers.

The course is expected to enable the pharmacists to make them confident professionals at the counter as is the case with doctors in the healthcare system. A leading figure in the pharmacy profession and pharmaceutical trade, R Srinivasan of ‘EssenCorp’, has been made the director of the Academy.

The courses, which will have five modules covering 12 days altogether, will be run based on a syllabus in which portions of other state syllabuses are also included besides a set of chapters framed by the Academy. Faculty members will be ranging from trade, manufacturing sector, regulatory bodies and doctors community. The course will enable to change the mindset of the pharmacists from a mere vendor to a true professional. The course will end with a written test and a viva-voce, and on its successful completion, the participant pharmacists will be given accreditation and a certificate, said R Srinivasan.

Sharing the details, M Arulkumar, managing director of the company, said “the chemists are now fragmented and they lack a common set of professional norms. We want them to bring into one chain and equip them professionally competent not only to become a successful trader but also to develop managerial skills of each person. Discussions are on now with the community pharmacy division of the IPA to co-ordinate the education programme.”

Vivek D Chaudhari, deputy registrar of Maharashtra state pharmacy council who has been identified by AIOCD as the master-trainer of the programme, while speaking to Pharmabiz said this is a continued education programme and in the beginning (Module A) there will have 5 days refresher classes which will help raise the confidence of the pharmacists and impart knowledge of storage conditions of medicines, general awareness about common diseases and how to handle the pharmacy with modern practices.

The second Module (Patient counselling) will involve 3 days classes, but it may not be in close continuity with the first, covering five segments focusing on clinical aspects. Hypertension, angina, hyperlipidemia, asthma and diabetes are the core areas the second semester will concentrate on. The third and the fourth modules, which will cover one day each, are dedicated to specialized areas such as dermatology and gynaecology for which competent doctors will be recruited as resource persons.

The fifth module involves one day class on orthopaedics and the latest medical technologies involved in treating accidents and trauma. A general awareness on various kinds of drugs used in ortho treatment will also be part of the training.

Chaudhari said everybody knows the minimum requirement for starting a pharmacy, but nobody knows about the highest standards for maintaining a pharmacy, which will be imparted through this course.

According to TNCDA Ltd, only the shareholders of the company or the members of TNCDA can become the participant for the educational program of professional excellence and a token fee for the course will be collected from the trainees. Business development, personality development, communication skill development, pharmacy development and changes in consumers’ behaviour are the areas based on which the courses are designed.

Arul Kumar said all the registered owner-cum-pharmacists in the state will be encouraged to join the course. However, entry will be given to the non-registered pharmacists, if they are the owners of the pharmacy and having years of experience in the trade. He feels that the course will provide them some inputs for improving the professional standards. The members of TNCDA Ltd will retain the brand name ‘Allianz’ with their upgraded shop.

In the first phase, classes will be conducted in Chennai, Madurai and Coimbatore starting with 50 participants each.


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