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PCI urges AP government to restrict seats for B Pharm course at 60 in state colleges

September 1, 2011 in pharmacist, Pharmacy Council

The Pharmacy Council of India (PCI) has pointed out that the standards in Pharmacy education in Andhra Pradesh have touched rock bottom. Owing to this, the council has urged the state government to restrict B. Pharma seats in each pharmacy college to 60.

Over the past few years, several colleges were sanctioned with intake ranging from 100 to 300 seats by the All India Council for Technical Education, (AICTE) despite a request from PCI to cap the seats at 60.

The PCI president, Prof. B Suresh and PCI education division chairman Prof. T V Narayana met the officials of the higher education department and urged them not to grant approvals for more than 60 seats. Earlier, in 2010, owing to higher demand for admission to B. Pharm and M. Pharm, the AICTE had decided to increase the seats from 60 to 120 and 8 to 18 respectively. During the year, Andhra Pradesh had 98 Pharma colleges with an overall intake of 3970 students in these colleges.

If quality of education is maintained, pharmaceutical sector provides greater career opportunities for the students. There are more than 20,000 units manufacturing drugs and pharmaceuticals in India, employing almost 1.5 million people. There are various job opportunities in areas like in hospitals, stores, laboratories, etc.

Seeing the growing number of students opting for pharmacy as a career, the demand for admission in to the pharmacy colleges have drastically increased during the past few years. Many colleges offer courses like 2 years Diploma in Pharmacy, 4 years Bachelor of Pharmacy, 2 years Master of Pharmacy etc. The eligibility criteria is10+2 or equivalent examination with Physics, Chemistry, Maths or Biology. They also offer specialization in subjects like Pharmaceutics, Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Biochemistry, Pharmaceutical Marketing & Management etc.

Of late, it has been observed in many colleges that the college administrations are flaunting the basic norms needed to upkeep the quality in pharmacy education. Many colleges are not employing qualified teaching faculty. The laboratories and other basic infrastructure facilities are lacking in these colleges. For every additional intake, it is mandatory to have adequate basic facilities like labs, faculty, and  infrastructure to maintain the desired quality in education. “Today we see students who have secured higher qualifications in pharmacy; but most of them fail at the interview. They do not even have the basics knowledge of chemistry. I wonder how they are clearing their final exams,” a source said.

Source: Pharmabiz

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Health ministry gets PMO clearance for establishing NCHRH

August 26, 2011 in pharmacist, Pharmacy Council

The Union health ministry’s ambitious plan to establish an overarching regulatory authority in the medical education sector will be a reality soon as the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) is learnt to have given the green signal for the draft bill on National Council for Human Resource in Health (NCHRH).

The draft bill, which was finalised by the union health ministry, for the establishment of the NCHRH as an overarching regulatory body for health and allied sectors, has received the approval from the PMO. Now that it has received the PMO approval, it will be put up before the Union Cabinet and will finally be introduced in Parliament for its final nod, sources said.

The NCHRH is proposed to be established by the health ministry as an overarching regulatory authority in the country to reform the current regulatory framework in medical education and enhance the supply of skilled personnel to the healthcare sector in the country. Once in place, the NCHRH will be the overarching regulatory body for all the premier medical educational institutions and autonomous regulatory bodies like Medical Council of India (MCI), Pharmacy Council of India (PCI), Nursing Council of India (NCI), Dental Council of India (DCI) and the proposed Central Councils for Paramedical and Allied Medical Sciences Education.

It will prescribe standards with a view to have proper planning and co-coordinated development of medical and allied health education throughout the country and maintain national live electronic register of medical and allied health professionals.

As per the draft bill, the administration of the Council will consist of a Secretariat headed by a Secretary-General who will be appointed by the Council for a fixed term of three years. Under this secretariat, seven departments, each for separate categories like Medicine, Pharmacy, Nursing, Dentistry, Rehabilitation & Physiotherapy, Public Health & Hospital Management and Allied Health Sciences, will be established and headed by a director for regulatory purposes.

In every state, there will be separate bodies constituted by the Council for each administrative department which will be known as Registration and Ethics Board with name of the state in front and the department’s name in the end. These bodies will replace the existing State Councils. These boards have to maintain a live electronic register of professionals in the state of the respective Department to be known as ‘State Register of (name of the Department) and which will be linked to the National Register of Human Resources in Health maintained by the Council.

Each Board will comprise of a president, a vice-president and not less than 10 members out of which three will be women candidates. There will be a nominee of the state government also.

Source: Pharmabiz

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QPMPA approaches President of India on issue of drug licences to run hospital pharmacies

August 22, 2011 in DRUGS CONTROL, pharmacist

The Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) has invited the Qualified Private Medical Practitioners Association for a detailed discussion and interpretation of the clause in item 5 of the Schedule K of the Drugs & Cosmetics Act (D&C Act). This follows a letter sent by the Association to the president of India on this matter.

Desperate after losing a case in the supreme court after 21 years of fight in the high court of Kerala, the QPMPA, Kerala Branch in a letter to the President Pratibha Devi Singh Patil, mentioned that due to the ignorance of the bureaucracy one clause in item 5 of Schedule K in the D&C Act 1940 and Rules 1945 is misinterpreted and needs amendment.

The Act does not demand private hospitals to obtain drug licences to run their pharmacies attached with them. But, the drug control officials in Kerala insisted the doctors to take licences for their pharmacies. Since the Act is written in English language, perplexity persists in the meaning of one sentence which is being used as a weapon by the drug control authorities to pester the private hospital establishments under the pretext of drug licence, the letter alleged.

The doctors association has requested the president of India to initiate corrective measures to save the D&C Act and Rules without being misinterpreted by certain regulatory officials. According to them, section 6.3 of Medical Ethics does not permit doctors run or open drug shops.

The CDSCO in a letter to the QPMPA has asked them to submit all the letters the association had sent to the President’s office and to other constitutional bodies, and the copies of their monthly journal. Dr K Kishore Kumar, secretary of the QPMPA had sent letters to, besides President of India, the Chief Justice of India and to the chairman, National Human Rights Commission.

In the letters to the constitutional bodies, the secretary said even the advocates who were engaged by him to argue the case also did not properly grasp the inherent meaning of the clause, hence he could not win the case. So the confusion over the meaning of the clause has to be avoided through an amendment with correct language.

According to Dr Kishore Kumar, after the dismissal of the SLP (C), No 6877/11 on 18.3.2011 by the supreme court , the drug control department has given wide publicity and forced all the private hospitals in Kerala to take drug licences.

The Kerala High Court in its order of March 25, 2010 had mandated all pharmacies attached to private hospitals in Kerala, either for dispensing or for stocking drugs, to obtain licences from the drugs control department. Against this verdict, the QPMPA filed a review petition in the high court which was dismissed later. After that, the doctors association approached the Supreme Court which also did not give them a relief.

Since all the doors are closed before the QPMPA, it has, at last, approached the supreme head of India with a request to rewrite the Act itself.

Source: Pharmabiz

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Using Pharmacist-Directed Service Improves Quality of Care for Patients, Study Finds

August 8, 2011 in medical news, pharmacist

A Henry Ford Hospital study has found that a pharmacist-directed anticoagulation service improves the way medication is managed for patients with heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT), a common but life-threatening thromboembolic disorder.

Researchers found that patients treated by the anticoagulation service had a favorable response to alternative anticoagulant drugs three times faster and were 32 percent more likely to receive proper dosage than patients who were treated with the same drugs by the patient’s primary medical team.

This is the first time researchers evaluated the impact of the anticoagulation service on the efficiency and safety of using a different class of anticoagulant drugs called direct thrombin inhibitors for treating patients with HIT, in which a patient’s platelet count drops after they receive the anticoagulant drug heparin.

The study is published in the February issue of The Annals of Pharmacotherapy.

“Based on our findings, we believe this type of service is a valuable strategy for improving the quality of care of patients with HIT,” says James Kalus, PharmD, senior clinical pharmacy manager at Henry Ford and senior author of the study.

It is estimated that up to 3 percent of patients exposed to various forms of heparin may develop HIT, which is commonly treated in hospitalized patients. If a decrease in a patient’s platelet count is not treated quickly and efficiently, serious blood clots can develop.

Henry Ford sought to evaluate whether a pharmacist-directed anticoagulation service could impact the care or outcomes of 193 HIT patients who were treated using direct thrombin inhibitors lepirudin or argatroban between 2005 and 2009. Ninety-eight patients were managed by the anticoagulation service and 95 patients were managed by the primary medical team.

Dr. Kalus says the study’s findings “represent real improvements in quality of care.”

“The pharmacist-directed anticoagulation service is a viable approach to standardize the use of direct thrombin inhibitors for improving both the efficiency and safety of these complicated medications in an inpatient setting,” he says.

Source: Sciencedaily
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APMG needs no recognition for its course from PCI: Joydeep Sarkar

July 30, 2011 in DRUGS CONTROL, pharmacist, Pharmacy Council

In a scathing attack on Pharmacy Council of India (PCI) for its disapproval notice given against the six months course being conducted by the Academy of Pharmacy Management and Guidance (APMG), Kolkata, the secretary of the academy said their course is different from the courses offered by PCI, hence they don’t want any recognition from the statutory body.

The academy was floated by West Bengal Unit of the All India Chemists and Distributors Federation (AICDF) to train the unqualified pharmacists in the state. The traders associated with the academy demand for amendment in the Drugs & Cosmetics Act, 1940 in respect of dispensing of drugs from retail shops.

Coming down heavily on the decision of the pharmacy council, the traders argue that they are getting packed formulations from manufacturing companies and handing over the drugs against valid prescriptions. They neither make any drugs nor add anything into the formulations, then why should they appoint qualified pharmacists in their drugs stores. Instead, they will train their pharmacy workers updating with latest developments and knowledge about new drugs.

In response to the letter sent by PCI to the Academy stating disapproval of its six months course, Drug Store Management Course, the Secretary of the Academy, Joydeep Sarkar has commented that he did not want any recognition from the PCI or from West Bengal Pharmacy Council to run their course as it is not meant for registration. The course is meant only to upgrade the knowledge of the pharmacy workers, especially D-category pharmacists who are in plenty in most of the rural areas of the state.

“Our course is compact, tailor-made and pharmacy-friendly. It is aimed to the practical knowledge of those who are engaged in the drug stores without sufficient qualifications. We are updating with the latest developments happening in the pharmaceutical sector, especially knowledge about new drugs. This is not for registering with any council or for any higher study. We are giving training to our workers,” he said.

He said the Diploma and the Degree courses approved by the PCI are in many ways inadequate and  insufficient  to run a chemist shop conveniently. The D Pharm course consisting two years study and 500 intern hours is much below than the International standard of contemporary studies conducted in foreign countries. This PCI approved courses do not include much of the regular practical training and knowledge about drugs and pharmacy in the entire curriculum, which are the obligatory part in pharmacy management and operation, he said while accusing the statutory body for disapproving his 6 months course.

He said it is a pity that PCI instead of taking steps to avoid the shortage of registered pharmacists for the chemists shops in the country, bringing stringent norms just to make the healthcare services complicated. APMG is trying to follow WHO‘s guidelines to arrange proportionate health workers for the ailing community even in the remote, rural areas where government health support is very poor. The Academy believes that it is no way unconstitutional to learn more for improving skills and services while the pharmacy workers are engaging in essential and specialty products. The Academy is very keen to educate and update the experienced pharmacy workers to reduce the probabilities of minimum mistakes from any chemist shop while serving or dealing with the patients, the secretary of the academy told Pharmabiz.

“APMG has never published any newsletter or circular or notes demanding their DSM Course as an alternative to the D-Pharm or B-Pharm course. We subsequently demand amendments in the Drugs & Cosmetics Act, 1940 to eradicate the ambiguity and confusing facts in respect of dispensing of drugs,” he added.

Academy of Pharmacy Management & Guidance has already arranged constructive meetings with the ministers and MLAs of west Bengal on this burning issue and is hopeful that a favourable decision from the government will come out soon. According to him the academy will open more study centres of DSM Course in other districts shortly.

Source: Pharmabiz

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Govt orders closure of Nursing Home, arrests pharmacist

July 24, 2011 in pharmacist

The state authorities on Monday ordered closure of a private nursing home located at Tangpora Byepass here while noticing ‘several deficiencies’ in its functioning and arrested a pharmacist operating in the premises during a surprise check headed by Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Sham Lal Sharma.

“During the surprise visit to the New City Hospital, the management could not provide the requisite records pertaining to the registration of the nursing home, detail of doctors, para-medical staff engaged, an official told Kashmir Dispatch.

The concerned institution was running without necessary formalities and the minister ordered closure of the hospital and sealing of Ultrasound machine installed without proper registration, he said.

A pharmacist, Riaz Ahmad Sheikh, who was running a Drug Store inside the hospital without authorization, was arrested and the drug store was also sealed.

The Minister also gave 10 days time to Florence Hospital, Chanapora, to fulfill the requisite formalities regarding renewal of registration and allied documentation mandatory as per the norms, he said.

“Sham issued warning to the private nursing homes and clinics to fulfill the requisite formalities at the earliest; otherwise government will take appropriate action against them,” the official concluded.

Source: Kashmir Dispatch

 

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AICDF calls for pharmacy bandh in Delhi & Haryana against govt’s decision to include Schedule HX in D&C Rules

July 20, 2011 in DRUGS CONTROL, pharma industry, pharmacist

The All India Chemists and Distributors Federation (AICDF) has called for pharmacy bandh on August 1 in Delhi and Haryana in protest against the Union government’s decision to include Schedule HX in Drugs & Cosmetics Rules 1945 through an amendment.

Speaking to Pharmabiz over telephone from New Delhi, AICDF president  Kailash Gupta said that chemists from all the states in the country have expressed solidarity with his organization and given support for the bandh. He said the association members will assemble at Jantar Mantar at 9 am on the day and hold a protest march to Parliament. Wholesalers, retailers and pharmacists from hospital pharmacies will join the march by wearing black badges.

According to the organization, the government has decided to amend the D&C Rules to include the new schedule because of pressure from multinational companies. This will lead to acute shortage and non-availability of vital life saving drugs. The situation will also lead to corruption and black marketing.

According to Gupta 70 per cent of the total Indian population resides in rural and remote areas where basic health services are not available. By introducing this controversial schedule HX, the Health ministry is depriving the poor people from accessing life saving drugs.

Ashok Khandelwal, organizing secretary of AICDF said, part A of this schedule HX restricts the availability of 16 various life saving drugs to limited number of hospital pharmacies. It will cause harassment of patients and attendants.

Source: Pharmabiz

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Pharmacists call off dharna after health min agrees to meet

July 19, 2011 in pharmacist

Punjab Health Minister Satpal Gosai invited the pharmacists on Sunday to discuss their demands, putting a temporary end to their plans of staging dharna.

Punjab Raj Pharmacist Association planned to stage a state-level dharna on Sunday to press for their demands. The timely intervention of the health minister forced the association to at least cancel the dharna for the time being.

Sources told Bhaskar that Gosai invited the leaders of the association at his residence and agreed to hold a meeting on July 20 to discuss the demands raised by the pharmacists.

The demands

The association demands that the allowance and pay grades of association pharmacists and chief pharmacists be raised. The ESI allowance be raised to five per cent of the basic pay and post mortem allowance should be raised by Rs 100 per case, the association demanded.

The pharmacists also demanded that the patient care allowance be raised to Rs 1,000 and the academic allowance be raised by Rs 500. The vacant posts at higher levels should be filled by promotion, not new appointments, they further demanded.

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Time to Move from Pills to Care

June 25, 2011 in Patient counseling, pharmacist

“Pharmacists should move from behind the counter and start serving the public by providing care instead of pills only. There is no future in the mere act of dispensing. That activity can and will be taken over by the internet, machines, and/or hardly trained technicians. The fact that pharmacists have an academic training and act as health care professionals puts a burden upon them to better serve the community than they currently do.”

(From: Pharmaceutical care, European developments in concepts, implementation, and research: a review.1,p.x.)

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Cancel license of unqualified pharma counters: KSRPA

June 20, 2011 in DRUGS CONTROL, pharmacist

The Karnataka State Registered Pharmacists Association (KSRPA) is seeking the cancellation of licenses of those pharmacy counters run by unqualified staffs. In this regard, the association wants to bring amendment in the regulatory system in the pharma industry.

According to Ashokswamy Heroor, Vice president of the Federation of Chemists and Druggists of Karnataka, some of the changes in the drug law are required in order to bring better efficiency to the pharmacy business in the country. He emphasised on the changes of Drugs and Cosmetics Rules according to the modern norms.

The recruitment of qualified professionals is necessary to solve the unemployment problems in this area. The KSRPA feels that regulatory authorities have to consider those blood banks and nursing homes run by non-pharmacy chemists. “Drug license should be only issued to registered pharmacists and not to the proprietor or partner of the outlet. Registered pharmacists should be involved in the constitution as a proprietor and not as an employee. Any change in the qualified staff, fresh license has to be applied for from the drug regulatory authority, said, Ashokswamy Heroor.

Source: Indiamart