Doctor of pharmacy (Pharm.D) in India
The role of a pharmacist is undergoing major changes world over in the wake of notable progress made by the pharmaceutical science and education today. Pharmaceutical science is considered to be an independent branch of science dealing with all aspects of drugs and pharmaceuticals. A pharmacist is a vital link in the physician-patient chain and he is expected to play a key role in the dissemination of pharmaceutical knowledge. The practice of pharmacy includes the custody, preparation and distribution of pharmaceutical products besides providing advice on health and nutrition related issues. A pharmacist today needs to be fully equipped with all these capabilities. In India, although pharmaceutical industry has advanced over the last 25 years, the pharmacist here continues to be a backroom boy in a pharmaceutical factory or a salesman in a retail pharmacy. This image has to change and it can be done only by raising the educational standards of pharmacists. There has been no serious attempt to modify the curricula of pharmacy education in India for several years. Whereas, manufacturing standards, quality control practices, research activities and clinical practices in this industry have undergone critical changes during these years. A fresh graduate coming out of a pharmacy college in India is largely oblivious of these ground realities. With growing internationalization of Indian pharmaceutical industry, the standards of pharmacy education need to be world class. Pharmacy Council of India has been pressing for this change for years and the government has finally approved starting of much sought after six year Pharm D course in India.
Near about over 150 Pharmacy colleges including Manipal college of Pharmaceutical sciences are Offering Pharm. D. program at present. PCI approved intake of only 30 students per batch to maintain the quality of program. Proper integrated hospital facilities are mandatory for getting approval for this course by the college. Curriculum for the course is finalized, which will include regular Pharmacy subjects as well as sufficient exposure in clinical pharmacy practices (Hospital rounds and partial Clinical training in 4th& 5th year and complete 1 year training in the hospital in last year of the course). The course is framed in such a way that, it can meet international standards. . Any one can join this program with minimum qualification of 10+2 (Science –Biology or Mathematics). PCI will continue its B.Pharm as well as M.Pharm (Pharmacy Practice) program as such in future. B.Pharm and M.Pharm passed candidates can also do Pharm.D. by undergoing 3 year course framed by PCI which will mainly concentrate on clinical exposure and Pharmacy Practice. The first academic batch of Pharm.D. graduated out in 2014. The major aim behind this course is to raise the standard of Pharmacy Profession in India in terms of Pharmacy Practices as well as making Pharmacy degree acceptable to various other countries including US and UK.