PCI’s response cannot be taken as bona fide as it misleads pharmacy professionals: AIDPA

Peethaambaran Kunnathoor, ChennaiTuesday, November 3, 2020, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

The All India Defence Pharmacist Association (AIDPA) has alleged that the statement made by the Pharmacy Council of India (PCI) over the association’s demand for upgrading the minimum qualification of pharmacists to degree level is not a bona fide response as it seems to be merely illogical, subversive and intended to mislead the common man and the pharmacy professionals.

The council is always taking an evasive stand on the legitimate demand of the pharmacists working in the government sector citing various reasons. Because of this inhospitable attitude of the council towards the justifiable demands made by government pharmacists, they are losing all options for promotions and increments. This kind of attitude of the PCI is quite unacceptable and groundless to exist, says R Harishankar, president of the AIDPA.
By turning down the remark made by the PCI president that the graduate pharmacists are averse to taking up pharmacy profession at community level due to poor wages, Harishankar said the statement is factually incorrect and cannot be accepted. He said in his state of Telengana and in other parts of the country, degree holders in pharmacy working in community pharmacies for a monthly wage of Rs. 15,000 are aplenty.
He said as long as D Pharm continues to be the basic qualification for pharmacists, graduate pharmacists will not get due recognition in the healthcare sector. The president of the AIDPA, who is working in the Ordnance Factory Medak Hospital in Telengana, said PCI must immediately take steps to do away with the two year diploma course and upgrade the basic qualification with three year diploma or degree.
“It is the moral responsibility of the PCI to uphold the morale of the pharmacy professionals and help them scale up to the level of the global pharmacy workforce by updating the developments in the field of pharmacy. To reach this goal the pharmacy education in the country has to be made on par with international standards and levels. So, it is imperative to stop running the D Pharm course or get it stopped in a phased manner,” said Harishankar in response to the PCI president’s comments.

While talking to Pharmabiz, Harishankar commented that from the views of the PCI president the pharmacy professionals and their supporters may be getting the idea that the council is skillfully shirking from its ethical responsibility to safeguard the professionals and from its statutory obligation to ensure uniform recruitment and service rules throughout the country. Whereas the pharmacy act is applicable to the breadth and length of the country, all the administrative ministries whether they are central or state have to adopt the provisions invariably. He said if the basic qualification criterion for pharmacists is amended to B Pharm or three years diploma and two years experience, pharmacists will get equal pay scale and benefits commensurate with other technical employees having three year diploma.

According to AIDPA, PCI must learn lessons of service rules and employees’ benefits from MCI and NCI.