A total of 22 pharmacy colleges across the country have shown interest in starting the Pharm D course and have applied for the approval from the Pharmacy Council of India (PCI). This advanced pharmacy course, aimed to bring the pharmacists of the country on par with international standards, was introduced by the Union health ministry last year for the first time in the country.
The PCI has vetted the applications and has conducted physical verification of each of the colleges to ensure that these institutions fulfilled the required specifications to begin this advanced course. PCI president Dr B Suresh said that among the 22 colleges, six colleges are fulfilling all the criteria and therefore will be accorded permission forthwith. For the rest, the PCI has identified the deficiencies and has directed these institutions to rectify them as soon as possible so that these institutions also can start the course in this academic year.
Among the 22 colleges applied for starting the Pharm D course, Tamil Nadu tops the list with six colleges followed by Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka with five colleges each showing interest. Two colleges each from Kerala, Maharashtra and Gujarat have also applied for starting the course.
Last year, the PCI had given approval to 26 colleges across the country to start Pharm D (Doctorate in Pharmacy) course. That time it had received a total of 46 applications from different pharmacy colleges, mostly from the four southern states. Out of the 46 applications, the PCI had rejected six applications due to non-fulfilment of required criteria to qualify to commence this course. As per the norms, the pharmacy colleges which have come out with its first batch of B Pharm will be qualified to start the Pharm D course. Another 16 pharmacy colleges were also denied permission after physical verification due to non-fulfilment of required criteria.
Major prerequisites for starting the Pharm D course included proper teaching and building infrastructure, tie-up with any 300-bedded hospital or own hospital and prior permission from PCI. Plus 2 students with science as main subject are eligible to join this course which will open up new vistas for the students as the course will have validity all over the world including advanced countries like US, UK, etc.
For the students who have already completed B Pharm course can join the Pharm D (post baccalaureate) course. The duration of the Pharm D course will be for six academic years (five years of study and one year internship/residency). In the one year internship, a student is exposed to actual pharmacy practice/clinical pharmacy services and acquires skill under supervision so that he/she may become capable of functioning independently.