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March 21, 2018

Health ministry asks AIOCD to coordinate with other stakeholders to develop skills of untrained drug dispensers

Mumbai : With an aim to stimulate skill development of human resources in pharmacy, the Union Health Ministry has called upon all the stakeholders including pharmacists’ associations, AIOCD, Pharmacy Council of India (PCI) and Healthcare Sector Skill Council to jointly work on a module to develop skills of unqualified people having more than 5 years of experience in dispensing drugs under a pharmacist.

KL Sharma, joint secretary, ministry of health in a telephonic chat with Pharmabiz, said that an AIOCD delegation had called on the ministry regarding shortage of pharmacists. We told the trade body that overall there is no shortage of pharmacists but considering geographical distribution of pharmacists, there may be shortage of pharmacists in certain areas of the country. People who have qualifications like BSc in chemistry, biology etc and they have worked for more than 5 years in medical shops, can be trained through the module developed by Healthcare Sector Skill Council, said Sharma.

He said the health ministry has directed the AIOCD to have a discussion between druggists and pharmacists associations, PCI and Healthcare Sector Skill Council to develop a module making such people qualified to handle medicines. The prior learning of those engaged in drug distribution needs to be recognized. Their skills have to be identified and gaps have to be found. Thereafter there will be modules developed by healthcare sector skill council to train them in handling medicines. On completion of the course, they will acquire the qualification laid down by the PCI to distribute medicines. The certificates which will be at par with the diploma in pharmacy will be awarded to participants, he added.

However, he clarified that the health ministry has no plan to launch any course for unqualified people involved in dispensing medicines. It is upto druggists, chemists, pharmacists’ associations to jointly work on skill development mechanism. Healthcare sector skill council, a part of the government of India’s skill development mission has developed several courses for healthcare professionals. One of the courses they are developing is for pharmacists. It will help utilization of locally available talent after skilling them properly. This is part of skill India mission. After going through the module, those working in medical shops without pharmacy diploma will not be remained unqualified. They will become qualified like any other diploma holder of pharmacy, he further said.

Note: News shared for public awareness with reference from the information provided at online news portals.

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