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Online pharmacy business is illegal, says PCI chief Patel, Health News, ET HealthWorld

Online pharmacy business is illegal, says PCI chief Patel, Health News, ET HealthWorld
Nagpur: After serving as pharmacy to the world during Covid pandemic, India shall soon start producing pharmacists for the world, Pharmacy Council of India’s recently elected president Montu Kumar Patel told TOI in an exclusive chat in the city on Sunday.

Patel, who is the youngest-ever head of the apex body, said reforms in the syllabus and teaching pattern on the lines of National Education Policy (NEP) shall ensure the country’s talent pool is on par with the global standards.

The 35-year-old said posts of clinical pharmacists need to be created in hospitals to reduce the burden of patient counselling on doctors.

“Our syllabus will match global standards so that pharmacists are accepted in foreign countries. We have made it a must for each college to have a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with at least 10 industries for degree, 10 hospitals for diploma and adopt 10 villages to train students. Students will maintain medical records of each family,” he said.

Flanked by Maharashtra PCI president Vijay Patil, former NU head of pharmaceutical sciences Naresh Gaikwad and Wardha-based principal Dharmendra Mundhada, Patel said pharmacy business is changing on a daily basis. “New diseases, new drugs and new patents have become a routine affair. Thus, I feel there should be a revision in at least one semester every six months,” he said.

Patel said an education regulation committee led by Dipendra Singh has been set up to modify the syllabus. “Syllabus will comprise two parts — industry and community. Those who want to work in pharmaceutical companies will have a different course module from those who wish to go for patient counselling,” he said.

He also slammed the online pharmacy business terming it as illegal. “Selling medicines online is not permitted as per the Act. The Pharmacy Practice Regulation 2015 mandates patient counselling during first prescription. Nowhere in the world medicines are sold online. Only second cycle or refilling is allowed online. Dosage variation may cause death, tampering on way, storage and addiction issues can’t be ruled out,” Patel said.

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Going ahead, the PCI would insist on selling medicines in the presence of pharmacists only. “Whenever e-pharmacy rules are prescribed, we would propose a prescription-based model wherein a pharmacist is appointed as per orders,” he said.

PCI has started a grievance redressal mechanism for unpaid teachers. “Colleges may lose seats if they are found guilty of withholding salaries without a valid reason,” said Patel.

Regarding, scrapping of PCI inspector list, Patel said, “The acting-president has initiated a new process. Lot of malpractices were found. We have started scrutiny and those found ineligible would be removed. Even registration of faculties would be scrapped if we get complaints,” he said.

Patel added that Pharma D students can work as supportive staff for doctors and many cities have already created post of clinical pharmacists.

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