Critical Analysis of Pharm.D. in India: Exploring the Way Ahead
Pharmacy education in India was mainly focused on pharmaceutical science courses rather than clinical/pharmacotherapeutic courses until 2008, when Pharm.D. was introduced and began to be offered in India, to focus towards clinical and community aspects. The study was conducted to analyse the current scenario of Pharm.D. in India and look at possible issues & options.
The main objective of the study is to find out the current status of Pharm.D. from students’ perspective and to identify the need of Pharm.D. as a part of Pharmacy Education System in India. Addressing the possible shortcomings and give probable suggestions to improve the scope of the same.
The study comprises of an extensive secondary research and also a primary research to understand the current scenario of Pharm.D. from students’ point of view. A literature survey was done to study the introduction and status of Pharm.D. curriculum in India and the achievement of Pharm.D. in western countries. Various journals and publications from the database engines of Ebsco, Emerald & Google Scholar were studied and referred to analyse the evolution and future of Pharm.D.
Also, a primary research was conducted in Manipal College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Manipal University, Karnataka. The selection of survey location (MCOPS) was done on the basis of a combined list from ‘India’s Best Pharma Colleges’ (Careers 360 July 2011 Edition) and ‘Institutes offering Pharm.D. and Pharm.D. (Post Baccalaureate) Courses’ (Published by Pharmacy Council of India).
A questionnaire was made on a 5 point Likert Scale and circulated online amongst the students of MCOPS. The responses were analysed by using the online softwares of Survey Monkey survey portal.
RESULTS AND DISCUSSIONS:
Out of 130 respondents to the survey, a total of 109(83.83%) respondents said that the curriculum of Pharm.D in India is justifiable for healthcare sector and 97 (74.61%) said that the internship of Pharm.D students meets the requirements of the hospitals/Clinical Research Organisation. 24 responses (18.46%) opposed the opinion of providing the prescribing rights to the Pharm.D. graduates and 69(37.69%) voiced that such a right, if provided, will not be accepted by the doctor community. Figure 1 is indicative of the above stated data.
Closed ended questions were put to investigate the probable reason(s) for Pharm.D. lagging in India from the west. 115 responders (n=130) said that the Pharm.D. graduates will not be accepted by the Doctors’ Community. 112 responders said that the exposure to clinical pharmacy was less and 117 were pessimistic about the awareness on pharmacy profession in India.
The interpretation of the survey results shows that one of the probable reasons of selection of Pharm.D. course by students was the alluring tag of a ‘Doctor’. However, the critical analyses lead to a consensus of lack of required clinical exposure and knowledge of the field of diagnosis and therapeutics. If the Pharm.D. program can incorporate a few alterations in the curriculum and develop a practice-based academic unit bridging the pharmacy practice with academia, there is great hope for the Pharm.D. program in India.
The findings of the survey revealed that the exposure of the Pharm.D. students to the clinical and diagnostic aspect of the therapeutic system needs to be increased. Efforts need to be put in to increase the awareness of Pharm.D., and also the Pharmacy profession in India on the whole.
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