Chennai : In alignment with the National Education Policy (NEP), the Pharmacy Council of India (PCI), the apex body for regulating pharmacy education in the country, has published a revised version of the syllabus for diploma course in pharmacy (D Pharm) for implementation from the academic session 2021-22 with an intention to make the pharmacists more practical oriented in their career.
The syllabus has been framed under Regulation 7 of the D Pharm Education Regulations 2020 and is rolled out for implementation across the country, PCI president informed.
Reading from the syllabus it is learnt that the pharmacy council wants to redefine the role of Indian pharmacists by making them experts in medicines as well as in the services of pharmaceutical care by strengthening their competencies. To achieve this goal, the syllabus committee has reduced the number of theory papers from 12 to 11 and increased the practical subjects from 9 to 10. Similarly, the teaching hours of theory papers across the course have been abridged from 850 to 825, while the practical hours have been lengthened from 750 to 800. The council mainly targets pharmacists for working in the community and hospital pharmacies.
Dr Suresh Bhojraj, president of the PCI, said the new syllabus defines for the first time the competencies that are required for the position of pharmacist and has mapped various courses to fulfill it. Further, the new syllabus is in alignment with the expectations of the National Educational Policy (NEP). Students will get exposure to therapeutics, community and social pharmacy by learning the subjects included there.
Dr H Lalhlenmawia, a member of the education regulation committee and PCI member from Mizoram, said the new syllabus has been revised on the basis of the suggestions put forward by several academicians and institutions who want to strengthen the course curriculum to face industry and regulatory requirements. Some part of the syllabus was strengthened and some part was revised by making modifications and inclusions. He said this is the first time three practical courses are included in the syllabus which was framed under Regulation 7 of the D Pharm Education Regulation 2020. From now on the diploma pharmacists will be able to work in industry for which the syllabus has been included with more industry oriented subjects.
Dr T V Narayana, president of the Indian Pharmaceutical Association and chairman of a group of educational institutions in Karnataka, said the new syllabus will educate the pharmacists about drug rules, drug regulations, inventory, drug act, pathology of a disease etc. Previously these were not part of D Pharm syllabus which included mostly the basics of the science. Such papers have been now removed and included relevant subjects to make the profession more practical oriented. Further, the new generation pharmacists will know more about medical devices and their rules through the new syllabus.
“A pharmacist must know how to get the licences to start a medical shop and what are the procedures, how to maintain the inventory, what are the inspection procedures the pharmacist has to follow once an inspector comes to his pharmacy etc. Previous syllabus contained only superficial knowledge about these subjects which are now going to be taught deeply. The new syllabus will escalate the pharmacists from the level of dispensers to medicine experts with knowledge on regulatory side. For this, the council has included several new chapters like ‘Pharmacotherapeutics’ which was part of the degree course (B Pharm) previously. This paper will help the students to hone their knowledge and skills in the area of pharmaceutical care services. Another subject, ‘Social Pharmacy’ will provide insights about the primary and preventive healthcare concepts in the country and the potential roles of pharmacists in such healthcare segments,” commented Dr Narayana.