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Bridge course for pharmacists

Rashmi Menon brings you the details of the new Bachelor of Pharmacy Practice course, which is designed to keep working pharmacists updated on new drugs and their usage, reaction and potency

THE Pharmacy Council of India has received permission from the government to start a Bachelor of Pharmacy Practice (B.Pharma.Pr) programme or a bridge course to update the knowledge of the diploma-holding community and hospital pharmacists.

“The curriculum of the diploma course in pharmacy undergoes changes every 10 years. So a person who has passed out in 1970 or 1980, for instance, would not have sufficient and up-to-date pharmacological knowledge,” says DA Gundurao, president of Karnataka State Pharmacy Council (KSPC).

With newer drugs emerging in the market every year, the pharmacist may be unaware of the new usage of drugs, their reaction, potency etc. Giving an example, he says that aspirin, which was considered a pain killer earlier, is now suggested by doctors to heart patients as it limits blood clotting.

The bridge course, with flexible class timings, is tailor-made for working pharmacists as it provides them with an opportunity to study while working. Ultimately, the aim is to help the consumers, as the pharmacist giving them medicines should be knowledgeable, Gundurao says. According to KSPC, there are about 40,000 pharmacists with a diploma in the state.

Course details

With the intake limited to 40, the students will be taught six subjects each year with case presentations, seminars and assignments. At the end of each year there will be an examination with 40 marks devoted to internal assessment in each subject. To pass, the candidate needs to secure 50 per cent in each subject.

Some of the subjects in the course include pharmaceutical jurisprudence, social pharmacy, human anatomy and physiology, health education and community pharmacy, drug store and business management, etc. Assignments play a crucial role in the course and their purpose is to enable the student to comprehend and develop data collection and reporting skills in each of these subjects. The assignments need to be completed under the guidance and supervision of an institute teacher.

A candidate who wishes to apply for the course needs to have a diploma in pharmacy from a college recognised by the Pharmacy Council of India.

He/ she should be a registered pharmacist under the Pharmacy Act 1948.
He/she should have practised for at least four years in community (chemist store) or hospital pharmacy. He/ she must provide a certificate from a credible authority stating that the person is endorsed as a registered pharmacist. The drug license of the pharmacy must be submiited as proof of practice. Or, a certificate from the principal/ medical superintendent/ competent person of hospital/ health unit, stating that the person has been working, must be submitted. A ‘no objection’ certificate from the employer is also required to apply for the course.  For more details, contact: Karnataka State Pharmacy Council, No. 514/E RRC Layout, 1st Main, 2nd Stage, Vijaynagar, Bangalore. Or call (080) 23369039/ 26620276

(Published in Deccan Herald education supplement) 


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