R. Ravikanth Reddy

Doctorate in Pharmacy course targets graduates aiming at career abroad

  • PCI to start a two-year programme
  • Pharm.D to be clinical-oriented

    HYDERABAD: If the plans of Pharmacy Council of India (PCI) fructify, a six-year Pharm. D (Doctorate in Pharmacy) course would be introduced from the next academic year. The course is mainly aimed at Pharmacy graduates planning to pursue a career abroad.

    A decision to introduce the six-year duration course was taken at the PCI meeting in Visakhapatnam recently. The Education Regulation Committee in the PCI has been entrusted with the job of preparing the curriculum and guidelines for the course. It is headed by Sivananda, principal, Al-Ameen College of Pharmacy, Bangalore. However, the four-year B.Pharmacy course will continue to be offered to candidates aiming to work in the domestic sector.

    Course de-recognised

    PCI sources said that B.Pharmacy graduates were finding it difficult to pursue a career in the USA as it has de-recognised all four-year Pharmacy courses. Thus the candidates obtaining B.Pharmacy degree after January 1, 2003 are not eligible to write the North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination (NAPLEX) and Foreign Pharmacy Graduate Equivalence (FPGE) examination to practise as a Pharmacist in the USA. "The six-year course will have international validity and help them appear for these exams and take up the sought-after Pharmacist career," says Venkata Reddy, former Drug Controller of Andhra Pradesh.

    The PCI has also decided to start a two-year programme for students who have completed four-year B.Pharmacy and plan to get eligibility for tests like NAPLEX and FPGE. This course will run till the first batch of Pharm.D students pass out. "We want to start it from the next academic year, but it depends on preparation of curriculum and the guidelines," said an official.

    Dosage intake

    The Pharm-D course will be clinical-oriented unlike the B.Pharmacy course that is industry-oriented. Colleges offering the new course would necessarily have to tie up with hospitals since students have to spend a year in a hospital as interns.

    Mr. Venkata Reddy says the Pharmacist's duty is not to sell medicines, now being done at medical shops, but to advice the patient on the dosage intake and closely monitor its effect. "The new course will impart such education."