Urging qualified pharmacists to take greater roles in the healthcare sector, former president A P J Abdul Kalam on Sunday said they must be given a chance to serve at public health centres (PHCs) and community health centres (CHCs).
Speaking at the valedictory function of the golden jubilee celebrations of the Government College of Pharmacy (GCP), Kalam said: “Of the 6,000 pharma specialists graduating from our institutes every year, nearly 75 per cent are involved in marketing and retailing of drugs and pharmaceuticals. Only about 15-20 per cent engage in research and development, manufacturing and quality testing.”
“This has to increase and pharmacists must form the interface between the prescriber and the consumer, and start working at PHCs and CHCs.
They can also counsel patients suffering from hypertension, diabetes and hypocholestrolemia.”
Kalam said that the GCP must participate in ongoing projects under Open Source Drug Discovery (OSDD), the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)-led Team India initiative funded by the Government of India to conduct researches on discovering drugs for tropical infectious diseases like malaria, tuberculosis and leishmaniasis.
“Students from the institute can contribute to discover affordable drugs for the people in developing nations,” he said.
The former president recalled ‘Pharma Vision 2020’ and said that the Indian drug industry’s turnover must touch $100 million in the next seven years.
Kalam suggested that a ‘Drug Information Centre’ must also be established to maintain information on chemical stability of dosage forms, adverse effects of under and over dosage of drugs.
Dr K Sriprakash, Vice-Chancellor, Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences (RGUHS), said GCP also required an advanced research centre.
“The college must also receive a regional status with total autonomy,” he said.
He also proposed to the Department of Health and Family Welfare (DHFW) that drugs in traditional medicine systems like ayurveda, unani, siddha and homeopathy must be standardised and categorised.
Also present on the
occasion were M Madan Gopal, Principal Secretary, DHFW, Dr B R Jagashetty, Karnataka Drugs Controller and Dr B Suresh, Vice-Chancellor, JSS University, Mysore.
Awards were presented to toppers in Bachelor in Pharmacy, Masters in Pharmacy and diploma courses.
Dimple Pirgal, who topped the Master of Pharmacy this year, said she wants to work towards reducing the gap between patients and pharmacists.