Thank you Dr Vijayaratna for the very impartial and critical blog. Hope it triggers some action at the point where it should trigger. Since I ma late in responding to your blog, I am coming out with a fresh blog to support you. You have been very much open and honest in your feelings and expression as an experienced and well acclaimed teacher. I envy your status of having very honest and dedicated kids as your students.
Now, we all know the weakness and the gaps in the system and we have talked out the issue since decades and the situation at the pharmacist counter is as dead as it was and perhaps in one way it has deteriorated with more focus on mony. Knowing fully well, it should not be difficult to treat the syndrome and has to be treated.
There are three wings working on the issue: The Academis, The Regulatory body and the Professional service sector.
The Academia is governed by the PCI, AICTE and University.
The professional service is governed by the State Councils and the Regulatory body.
The first and foremost job is to change the text of the Bhajan in the academic sector to make it more relevant to meet the market demand and mercilessly remove subjects and topics that are irrelevant and useless from the point of community and hospital pharmacy service. (I dont call it practice as the term doesn't suite anywhere)
Let us understand that we cannot do away from D.Pharm in India.
If any one is dreaming of community Pharmacy and hospital pharmacy without D Pharm and of replacing them with B pharms, M Pharms, PhDs and PharmDs, I would say it is a day-dream and impossible and it will lead to a situation when the Govt may not hesistate to dilute the Drugs & Cosmetics Act and Pharmacy Act to open the opportunity to basic graduates as the understanding among the mass, leaders, policy makers and administrators is that not much technicality and technology is required to stock and dispense ready to use medicines as per the advise of the doctors. Please take it that this is a warning from me to the profession and professionals.
Secondly, the community and hospital pharmacy should be taught more in the field like hospitals and Chemists shops and theory should be minimum to provide technical back up.
Thirdly, the students should be taught and encouraged to learn good communication skill., as a dumb pharmacist is as good as a dead pharmacist. ( Pardon me for the tough words)
The faculty also needs to be revamped.
We should have the faculty who can accompany the students to the field and demonstrate the way of working and serving. Everything cannot happen with M Pharms and PhDs. We should involve experienced people among the chemists and hospitals.
Let the M Pharms and PhDs take care of the higher pharmacy education and even here too we should have the faculty who can accompany the students to the field and demonstrate the way of working and serving.
The terminologies and nomenclatures in the D&C Act and Pharmacy Act also should be redefined to make pharmacy to mean the exsiting Chemists & Druggists. The meaningless term Chemists & Druggist should be deleted once and for all.
The title of the drug licencde issued for retail pharmacy should be renamed as 'License to practice pharmacy'. ( the word practice doesn't suite hospital environment, as dctors are barred from practice during working hours / hospital duty hours.
Let a core group be formed to reframe the whole curriculum, with representitives from the field.