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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