Pharm D started in India not to produce graduates for foreign countries like US or UK: Dr Pawar
Lack of knowledge about the standard and the scope of employment opportunities of the international course on pharmacy practice, Pharm D, have contributed significantly to the rising concerns of certain academicians about the programme, said Dr. Atmaram Pawar, member of the Pharm D committee of the Pharmacy Council of India (PCI).
The Pune-based academician in a telephonic interview with Pharmabiz clarified that Pharm D has started in India not to produce graduates for foreign countries, especially for US or UK or Australia or Canada, but it is aimed to reform and promote the profession of pharmacy practice in India. He said the Pharm D professionals can go abroad for seeking better benefits in the field like anything, but the purpose of the programme is not to develop foreign countries’ pharmacy professions, but it is for our country’s future.
“There is no need of concern or confusion about the course and the future of the passed-outs. India needs internationally qualified and competitive personnel to meet all the challenges of the profession, and the programme of Pharm D is a major attempt in this respect in the field of pharmacy practice in our country”, he told Pharmabiz.
According to him, the experts who find glitches or defects in the programme are not directly involved in the Pharm D education. Once they understand the real facts, they will convince themselves and stop their allegations. Presently, the negative remarks are affecting negatively on the growth side of the potential course.
Regarding pharmacy career, he pointed out that a well trained and educated set of personnel is required exclusively for the pharmacy practice profession. As far as B Pharm and M Pharm courses are concerned, they are merely technical programmes and industry oriented. Whereas, Pharm D is practice oriented. It will replace MBA in scientific services. Those academicians, who are hesitant to admit the good intention of the course, must understand this difference, and do not try to spoil the good future of the pharmacy graduates.
To a question he said, Bharati Vidyapeeth University in Pune, where Dr Pawar is the Vice-Principal and HoD at the department of Doctor of Pharmacy, is one of the first institutions that started the programme in 2008-09 and three batches of Pharm D (PB) have come out, and the first batch of Pharm D regular is set to finish their course in the coming July from BVU.
According to him, all the graduates have been placed in good positions in the field of pharmacovigilance, pharmacy practice in hospitals and other healthcare institutions in the northern and central states where no significant background of pharmacy practice is prevalent compared to southern states. The services of the Pharm D graduates are utilised by hospitals even for clinical trials. Job is not a problem for Pharm D graduates.
“There is no problem between the doctors’ community and the students of Pharm D anywhere. In our college we have made a strategy to increase the relation with PG doctors and spread message of pharmacists’ role in healthcare. It has succeeded. The main areas we targeted are drug interactions, dose adjustments in kidney/ liver disease patients, dose-diversion, explanation of difference in the bio-availability of various drugs from same category etc. Our faculty started publishing papers in association with doctors. The politeness with determination has worked out well and today our sixth year students act as part of daily ward- rounds, and doctors are happy due to more than 30 publications we have published with doctors”, he said.
To those who raise concern, Dr Pawar said doctors and industry could not understand the active four-year patient-oriented learning by Pharm.D graduates. As far as I am concerned, the syllabus and the course are perfect and we must see the real teaching-learning process in the particular college and hospital. Likewise, we must observe the attitude of faculty members and of the organisation. We must try to propagate the good content of the course and to positively take advantage of the socio-economic progress of the Indians. So, we should start improve our thinking and, if needed, correct things from the bottom.
Dr Pawar urged the Pharm D critics not to create fear of foreign certifications that count for crores of rupees expenditure. The students are taking admissions not to serve Americans. Let them serve our people, let our pharmacists scrutinise prescriptions of our doctors and let Pharm D replace MBA in all scientific services, he added.