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Pharmacy associations chalk out plans to empower pharmacists

Joseph Alexander, New Delhi
Tuesday, December 24, 2013, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

Associations representing the pharmacy practice and trade have decided to initiate a number of steps to empower the pharmacist community, even as they vowed to continue with the efforts to bring in necessary amendments to the laws and press the government to implement the existing laws effectively.

With a view to fill the gap between the pharmacy education and the industry needs, the Indian Pharmacy Graduates Association (IPGA) is planning to launch an orientation course for the fresh graduates, association leader P P Sharma disclosed, while taking part at a panel discussion in the just-concluded Indian Pharmaceutical Congress (IPC) which had the central theme “Pharma Vision 2020: Empowering pharmacists.”

“Pharmacists should be empowered through legislation and can also earn empowerment through deeds. There is some representation of pharmacists in the manufacturing sector, but in the distribution sector enough opportunities are not there. We are pressing the government to make necessary rules to make sure that the basic qualification for wholesalers should be pharmacy, instead of the current norm of matriculation,” he said.

“We will take up with the government the issue of having a registered pharmacist in a drug store mandatory. Maharashtra has made an initiative and it has made good impact also,” said Indian Pharmaceutical Association (IPA) president J A S Giri.

All India Drug Control Officers’ Association (AIDCOC) president Dhilipkumar said the organisation would approach the labour ministry to implement minimum wages rules for the pharmacists, especially working in the drug stores. “We are also trying to take the Maharashtra model across the country with the help of the officials in the drug administration,” he added.

Association of Pharmaceutical Teachers of India (APTI) president Dr M D Burande urged the government and the Pharmacy Council of India (PCI) to amend the rules to make sure that each hospital should have a pharmacy post-graduate or D.Pharm holder to work as director of pharmacy, instead of leaving this job to the medical doctor.

“We can also empower ourselves through the commitment to the profession,” he reminded the pharmacists community, while calling for symbols, dress code and technical skills to empower the pharmacists.

Dr S L Nasa, president of Indian Hospital Pharmacists Association (IHPA), lamented that the hospital pharmacy in the country was yet to emerge. “We have been pressing the Medical Council of India (MCI) to make laws for appointing pharmacists as head of the hospital pharmacies. But nothing has happened so far,” he said.

PCI president Dr B Suresh asked the pharmacists to reach out to the community to make them aware of the significance of pharmacists in the health management.

 

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