Eleven years ago, in 2008, the government of India introduced a professional doctorate degree in Pharmacy, Pharma D. In 2012, the six-year professional course was officially recognized as a graduate degree in the country and those with completed Pharma D degree were made eligible to enroll for Ph.D.

One of the major reason the course was introduced in the country to improve the clinical pharmacy services. Also it is the only pharmacy service which is in direct contact with patient health care system. 

Apparently, when we look at developed countries like United States and others the practice that goes into the healthcare system of their country is that a patient is only diagnosed by a doctor or physician and they are then referred to pharmacist with the diagnosis report who prescribe the medicine to the patients.

On the contrary, in India, doctors who are not qualified and knowledgeable enough to prescribe medicine, not only diagnose the patient but also prescribe the required medicine, thus leaving a loophole in the healthcare system of the country. Going by the practices of countries like US and after getting their Pharma D graduation after studying for six long years, it should be the pharmacists who should prescribe patients the medicine after initial diagnosis by the doctors and physicians.

On what can be touted as the injustice being done with the Pharma D students and graduates, the whole six-year course is brought down to only reading prescription and giving prescribed medicine at their medical shops. One of the major questions that arises here is whether one has to undergo six years of studies, tedious course, several practical and theoretical examinations to only sit in a shop and read prescription?

Another question that needs to be addressed is whether this is a part of bigger conspiracy wherein the corporate drug making companies are using Doctors to prescribe medicine of their respective brand? If so then is it not another loophole in the country’s healthcare system that needs to be immediately and ethically addressed?

I would surely not argue on the syllabus being covered in both the courses – MBBS and Pharma D, but would certainly argue on the recognition being given to the time and effort put in by a Pharma D student. It is for the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, the Pharmacy Council of India and the All India Council for Technical Education, to discuss and come up with a practical solution for this injustice being done to students.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position http://english.varthabharati.in

Author Asim Jawad can be reached on his e-mail address: asimjawad@hotmail.com 

Story edited by Vartha Bharati English sub-editor: Ismail Zaorez

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New Delhi: India's COVID-19 tally increased to 18,55,745 with 52,050 people testing positive for coronavirus infection in a day, while the recoveries crossed the 12-lakh mark on Tuesday, according to the Union Health Ministry data.

The death toll due to COVID-19 climbed to 38,938 with 803 fresh fatalities being reported in 24-hours, the data updated at 8 am showed.

A total of 12,30,509 people have recovered, while there are 5,86,298 active cases of coronavirus infection in the country presently.

The recovery rate among COVID-19 patients has risen to 66.31 per cent, while the fatality rate has further dropped to 2.10 pc, the data stated.

The total number of confirmed cases also includes foreigners. This is the sixth consecutive day that COVID-19 cases have increased by more than 50,000

According to the ICMR, a cumulative total of 2,08,64,750 samples have been tested up to August 2 with 6,61,892 samples being tested on Monday, the highest done in a day so far, Scientist and media coordinator at ICMR, Dr Lokesh Sharma, said.

"A total of 1,05,32,074 tests for detection of coronavirus infection have been performed with per day average of 3,39,744 tests in July, the highest number of tests conducted in a month so far," Sharma said.

There are 917 labs in the government sector and 439 labs in the private sector for conducting COVID-19 tests.