The Indian Pharmacist Association has reportedly written to the Prime Minister seeking his views on allowing the association of pharmacists to prescribe medicines. The continued role of pharmacists in India to just dispense medicine is now irking the association; they have now requested that pharmacists be allowed to prescribe medicines as they have the equipped qualification ranging from D.Pharma to Ph.D and are well trained in pharmacology of drugs and their uses, side effects, drug interaction etc.
IPA is a national-level association of pharmacy professionals. Driven by the prime motto to help fill gaps in the implementation of various health schemes in the country, the association holds an opinion that this is the right time to change the role of pharmacists in India.
In his letter, Abhay Kumar, the national president of IPA, said that the concept and philosophy of modern medicine here has changed with time but has remained stagnant as to the role played by the pharmacist in India.
“Pharmacists have vast and vital role in the health sector, but in India it has been curtailed with dispensing of medicine only.
“Non-availability of sufficient MBBS doctors is becoming a major hindrance in the implementation of various health schemes and programmes and this has compelled the government to look towards non MBBS-based cadre who can fill this gap, especially in the rural areas,” he said.
“Here IPA would like to volunteer the pharmacist for any such role if the government envisages to introduce non-doctor- based cadre who can prescribe medicine.”
He said that “permitting pharmacists to prescribe medicine will not require any amendment in act like Drugs and Cosmetic act, Pharmacy Act, etc” even as he referred to “slow” job creation for pharmacists resulting in students “staying away from pharmacy colleges across the country”.