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Odisha govt set to introduce Pharm D course, expanding horizons for Pharmacy students

It is a highly demanding course and offers immense job opportunities in the country and abroad

BHUBANESWAR: In a move that will open up wide opportunities for pharmacy students, the state government is set to give permission to institutions to offer Pharm D course for the first time from the next academic session.

The Pharm D (doctor of pharmacy) course is a professional doctoral programme in the field of pharmacy. It consists of five years of academic coursework followed by a one-year internship at an academic hospital aimed at providing practical experience.

Several states including Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Gujarat and Maharashtra have already approved the lucrative course that was first introduced in the country in 2008 by Pharmacy Council of India (PCI).

While the eligibility for the Pharm D course is Class XII in the science stream with Physics, Chemistry and Biology subjects with a minimum of 50 per cent aggregate marks, B Pharm graduates can also enter the programme post baccalaureate through lateral entry admission. This is the only doctoral option accessible immediately after completing Class XII. Director of medical education and training (DMET) Dr Sachidananda Mohanty said Pharm D is a comprehensive programme designed to equip students with knowledge and skills.

“The course blends academic coursework with practical training components making students job ready. Royal College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences at Berhampur has applied to introduce the course. The proposal is under active consideration of the government. This will be introduced for the first time,” Dr Mohanty said.

Principal of Royal College of Pharmacy Prof Susanta Kumar Panda said Pharm D is a highly demanding course as it has immense job opportunities in the country and abroad. “We have already tied up with MKCG medical college and hospital as a 300-bed academic hospital is a prerequisite. We fulfil all the criteria to start the course and await the approval of the government,” he said.

After the government’s nod, the college will also seek the permission of the PCI to run the course with 40 seats, including 10 reserved for admission through lateral entry. PCI vice-president Prof Pramod Yeole said there will be no hesitation for approval for any institution that meets the criteria.

The state has over 50 pharmacy colleges and 80 diploma institutions. Pharm D graduates can choose from a variety of employment positions, including clinical pharmacists, hospital pharmacy, drug experts, pharmacovigilance, drug interaction specialists, drug advisor, R&D and drug inspector.

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