It is necessary for every pharmacy to have a full-time pharmacist to ensure that drugs are dispensed correctly and that the patient is provided the best care, Health Minister V.S. Vijay said here on Friday.
Speaking at a function organised by the Tamil Nadu Dr. MGR Medical University as part of the national pharmacy week celebrations, he urged pharmacists to dispense drugs only on doctor's prescriptions and to ensure safe storage of drugs.
The State government proposed to offer undergraduate pharmacy courses in the government colleges in Thanjavur and Coimbatore from the next academic year, the Minister said, pointing out that the State provided expensive drugs free of cost at its hospitals.
Currently, there are 43 colleges in the State with around 1,300 postgraduate, 2,000 undergraduate and 2,400 diploma students.
The Pharmacy Council of Tamil Nadu has 63,000 members of which 18,000 are pharmacy graduates and the rest are diploma holders.
Lauding Tamil Nadu's achievement in healthcare, Governor K. Rosaiah urged pharmacists to ensure safe and quality drugs are provided to the patients.
“Pharmacists are expected to use their knowledge and expertise to educate the public regarding rational drug use, prevention of communicable diseases, methods of family planning and importance of good health. It is a career with a blend of science, healthcare, patient care, computer technology and business,” Mr. Rosaiah said.
Girija Vaidyanathan, principal secretary, Health, who lauded the pharmacists said they were not traders but a healthcare profession.
“Pharmacists are the face of the public health system. In primary health care centres pharmacists play a key role in the success of the National Rural Health Care Mission,” she said. Mr. Rosaiah and Dr.Vijay presented awards to doctors for their achievements, for excellence in practice and for service. Awards were presented to teachers of pharmacy and practising pharmacists from across the State on the occasion.