The changing roles of pharmacists in community pharmacies: perception of reality in India
- 983 Downloads
Aim of the review To summarise the state of community pharmacy in India including: the provision of patient care, pharmacy education, the pharmaceutical market, healthcare delivery, community pharmacy services, the professional role of community pharmacists, and future developments. Method Medline, Scirus, and Google Scholar databases and the journals “Indian Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences” and “Indian Journal of Hospital Pharmacy” were searched up to the end of December 2008. In addition to these, other available sources were used to identify relevant articles. Results India has a fast growing pharmaceutical industry sector and a need for well educated pharmacists. Domestic sale of medicines is estimated to be $5 billion during 2006 and increasing. The supply of medicines to the population is undertaken by privately owned community pharmacies and sometimes also by hospital pharmacies. Community pharmacists are involved only in dispensing medicines. Community pharmacists have an opportunity to improve healthcare of the population, particularly of the disadvantaged section of the society that does not have the resources to visit clinics (both the poor and rural population). However, important barriers to the provision of pharmaceutical care exists, including lack of proper education and training of pharmacists, weak implementation of existing laws, and lack of recognition of the pharmacy as a profession by the other healthcare professionals. Conclusion The healthcare services in community pharmacies, currently insignificant, must undergo reforms to meet the changing needs of modern medicines users. The pharmacist’s role in patient care is expected to grow as professional and educational standards develop. Although pharmacists’ contributions to health care are not yet recognized, there is every reason to be optimistic toward making patient care in community pharmacy setting a success. For this, the educational system for pharmacists has to be adapted.
KeywordsCommunity pharmacy Community pharmacists India Pharmacies Pharmacy Pharmacy education
We are grateful to two anonymous referees for critical comments on an earlier version of this paper. Thanks are also due to the Department of Pharmacy, Annamalai University for providing all possible assistances for this paper.
Conflict of interest
- 1.The National Portal of India (homepage on the internet). Know India-population (cited 2008 Jan 26). New Delhi. 2008. Available from: http://india.gov.in/knowindia/population.php. Accessed 26 Jan 2008.
- 2.World Health Organisation (homepage on the internet). Core health indicators database (cited 2008 Mar 31). Geneva. 2008. Available from: http://www.who.int/database/core/core_select_cfm. Accessed 31 Mar 2008.
- 3.Government of India. National Health Policy. 2002. Available from: http://.mohfw.nic.in/np2002htm. Accessed 30 Mar 2008.
- 4.Human Development Reports-United Nations Development Program. Available from: http://hdr.undp.org/en/statistics/. Accessed 21 Feb 2008.
- 5.UNESCO (homepage on the internet). Education- Education for All Development Index (cited 2008 Feb 21). Paris. 2008. Available from: http://portal.unesco.org/education/en/. Accessed 21 Feb 2008.
- 6.Pharmacy Council of India. http://pci.nic.in/. Accessed 31 Mar 2008.
- 7.The Pharmacy Act, 1948 (8 of 1948), Government of India, Ministry of Law, Justice and Company Affairs.Google Scholar
- 8.All India Council for Technical Education. http://www.aicte.ernet.in/. Accessed 23 Mar 2008.
- 11.Suresh B. Shaping pharmacy profession. Available from: http://www.pharmabiz.com/article/detnews.asp?articleid=42024§ionid=50. Accessed 10 July 2008.
- 12.Govindaraj R, Chellaraj G. Indian pharmaceutical sector: issues and options for health sector reforms. World Bank Discussion Paper No 437, Washington DC: World Bank 2002; Sept.Google Scholar
- 13.WHO: The World Medicines Situation. In: WHO/EDM/PAR/2004.5. Geneva, World Health Organisation; 2004. http://apps.who.int/medicinedocs/en/d/Js6160e/. Accessed 23 Mar 2008.
- 14.Joshi RD. The pharmaceutical industry in India-emerging trends. WMRC-Business Briefing. Pharma Tech; 2001.Google Scholar
- 15.Lakshmi PK, Mohanta GP, Basak SC, Manna PK, Manavalan R, Revikumar KG. Changing status of hospital pharmacy practice in India. Int Pharm J. 2002;16(1):20–3.Google Scholar
- 16.Chandrasekhar CP, Ghosh J. Health expenditure in India. The Hindu Businessline, Chennai; 2006 Sept 19. Available from: http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/2006/09/19/stories/2006091901451100.htm. Accessed 15 July 2008.
- 17.Health insurance in India: current scenario. Available from: http://www.searo.who.int/linkfiles/social_health_insurance_an2.pdf. Accessed 29 Sept 2008.
- 18.The Drugs and Cosmetics Act 1940 and Rules there under 1945, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India. Available from: http://www.cdsco.nic.in/html/Drugs&CosmeticAct.pdf. Accessed 9 July 2008.
- 19.Basak SC, Arunkumar A, Masilamani K. Community pharmacists’ attitudes towards use of medicine in rural India—An analysis of the current situation. Int Pharm J. 2002;16(2):32–5.Google Scholar
- 20.Basak SC, Prasad GS, Arunkumar A, Senthilkumar S. An attempt to develop community pharmacy practice: results of two surveys and two workshops conducted in Tamilnadu. Indian J Pharm Sci. 2005;67:362–7.Google Scholar
- 21.The Drugs (Prices Control) Order. 1995. Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers (Department of Chemicals and Petrochemicals), Government of India. Available from: http://nppaindia.nic.in/drug_price95/txt1.html. Accessed 19 July 2008.
- 29.Chhatwani K, Mahtani A, Jangir A, Bhambhani G, Lala RR. Status of pharmacists in modern Indian society. Indian J Hosp Pharm. 2007;44:174–7.Google Scholar
- 30.Sawant KK, Yedurkar PD, Ahire VJ, Shah PJ, Sheth NY. Are we ready for community pharmacy in India?—a case study. Indian J Hosp Pharm. 2005;42:66–9.Google Scholar
- 31.A Report on Challenges and opportunities for pharmacists in health care in India. South East Asia FIP-WHO Forum of National Pharmaceutical Associations; 2007. Available from: www.searpharmforum.org/EN/Section10_37.htm. Accessed 21 Oct 2008.
- 32.FIP Meetings Report. How pharmaceutical services are provided to patients around the world. Pharm J. 2004;273:359.Google Scholar
- 33.Varma D, Girish M, Shafanas KK, Renjit PB. A study on community pharmacy in Kerala. Indian J Hosp Pharm. 2000;37:49–52.Google Scholar
- 34.Rajendran SD, Satish T, Ulaganathan K, et al. Impact of improved pharmacy services in community pharmacies on patient perception. Indian J Hosp Pharm. 2000;37:11–3.Google Scholar
- 35.Ramesh A, Nagavi BG, Ramanath KV. A critical review of community pharmacies (Drug stores) in Mysore city. Indian J Hosp Pharm. 2000;37:91–3.Google Scholar
- 37.Basak SC. Community pharmacy-past, present and future. Eastern Pharm. 1999;42:31–4.Google Scholar
- 38.Miglani BD. Pharmaceutical care vis-à-vis hospital and community pharmacy. Indian J Hosp Pharm. 2000;37:129–38.Google Scholar
- 39.Sharma SN. Community pharmacy: education and training. Eastern Pharm. 2000;43:31–4.Google Scholar
- 40.Basak SC, Raja R, Ramesh S, Senthil Kumar S. From policy to practice of community pharmacy in India: A growing need. Indian J Hosp Pharm. 2001;38:169–72.Google Scholar
- 41.Basak SC, Sathyanarayana D. Community pharmacy practice in India: past, present and future. South Med Rev. 2009;2(1):11–4.Google Scholar
- 42.Francis PA. Changing pharmacy practices. Available from: www.pharmabiz.com/article/detnews.asp?Arch=a&articleid=36281§ionid=47. Accessed 14 July 2008.
- 43.Indian Pharmaceutical Association (homepage on the internet). Community pharmacy division-Good Pharmacy Practice (cited 2008 July 10). Mumbai. 2008. Available from: http://www.ipapharma.org/Forms/CommunityPharmadivisions.aspx. Accessed 10 July 2008.
- 44.Human resources for pharmacy sector in India. 2007. Available from: http://www.whoindia.org/LinkFiles/Human_Resources_human_resources_for_pharmacy_sector.pdf Accessed. 11 July 2008.