Dr Vijayaratna has rightly pointed out in her comment to my 80th blog that :
.....The pharmacist must possess the necessary knowledge, skills and qualification and must be able to communicate properly............Many bad practices have gained ground in pharmacy education. .................... Now everybody knows about these practices but no one knows the way to curb them. It is public secret that many colleges are offering ..............to encourage them to join their colleges. It is also true that in many colleges M.Pharm is treated as a distance education course. What can we do about this degradation that is happening to our course? I am really very sad about all this.....
Thank you madam for your comments and I share your pain and concern. You have inspired me to come out with a new blog as it is too lengthy for a reply comment.
I am writing this blog with due regards and respect for all the ethical,professional organizations and personalities. I mean no disrespect for any individual or institution and this is only an expression in the best interest of the Pharmacist and the profession.
Well, I agree that the profession is managed more by non-professional ambitious investors to whom the revenue and any kind of marketing being Okay to get more and more revenue. Perhaps this is the only motivation to get associated with pharma activity be it academia / trade / manufacturing.
And, academia is the least bothersome of all the industry where one need not bother about quality of the product or their marketability plus the advantage of getting no sales return for whatever reason.
This has created a vicious circle in some institutions where the teacher may lose his job if the students don't join the college and to make them join there may be a need for competitive incentives, the incentives have to come from the teacher (not from the investor) and that incentive cannot be anything else than the dilution of controls and standards.
This is also one of the reason for the lack of professional shine on the face of the pharmacists.
If we go little deeper into the next ring we find total apathy perhaps from 1960s to update and develop field oriented curriculum to meet the field needs.
I still remember when I was snubbed (1968) for asking which brand in the market contains Acacia, Tragacanth and which is the equivalent to Lead lotion.
The entire academia is revolving and is caught in the whirlpool of 'Literature research' with absolutely no coverage of field scenario and socio-medical challenges.
The college thinks their job is done if they load the library with books and journals. Teachers and students see only the virtual image of the world around them through those books and journals and now through net browsing!
This has been the most intriguing fact, very much like teaching swimming next to swimming pool without allowing the students to get into water they are seeing and the coach too don't get into pool to demonstrate how to swim.
Thus the dictum stands green for ever that:
"What is taught is not practiced and what is practiced is not taught"
The regulatory seats of power are occupied by the Pharmacy graduates only who have studied 'Pharmacy practice' not 'pharmacy trade'.
Couldn't or Can't they identify the anomaly in the Drugs & Cosmetics Act, put up proposals for suitable amendments to make the obnoxious Chemists & Druggist a true professional 'Pharmacy'?
I congratulated the regulatory officers and IPGA for having succeeded in getting the pre-qualification for regulatory officers amended to make it an exclusive domain of pharma graduates.
But on the same card they could have got the amendment to redefine the term 'Pharmacy' and rename all chemists as 'Pharmacies' and make Pharmacy license to be the exclusive domain of the Pharmacists?
Since this has not happened, the drug distribution and sale ( with no relevance to technical dispensing) has just become a 'TRADE' with no professional service / input.
This has strengthened the age old drugs trade continue to be the domain of the businessmen with only a notional (Nam-ke-vaaste) QP for the sake of license.
Now, the drug business lobby has grown so strong in number and money power that they have gone to the extent of getting rid of the formal pharma education.
I was told that a 'Pharmacist' was admonished by a regulatory officer for 'Counseling' the patients in Kerala on a complaint of a clinician.
The irony is, such being the ground reality the Pharmacy Council of India is coming out with a 'Bridge' course to make B.Pharm a minimum qualification for retail TRADING. Objective is good and laudable provided the profession is first put in place for the practice of pharmacy.
Well, how long should we keep crying over one another's shoulder?
It needs a strong professional movement, administrative and political will.
I dream of it and look forward it to happen!
Thank you Dr Vijayaratna, thank you very much
Congrats to all pharmacists well in advance.