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Pharmacy - an Introduction

From ancient times Pharmacy is known as a branch associated with healthcare services. The word Pharmacy has been derived from the Greek word "pharmakon", meaning drug. Today, the discipline of Pharmacy has made enormous progress and has matured as a distinctly independent branch as pharmaceutical sciences, mainly through the acquisition of the wealth of knowledge, research and a vast array of drugs & therapeutic remedies. Unlike the other curricula Pharmacy is a product, as well as, service related discipline, increasing its scope two-fold.

It is involved in all the stages related to a drug, from its discovery, development, action, safety, formulation, use, quality control, packaging, storage, marketing, etc. Thus, today''s pharmacy professional is a ''drug expert'' in the real sense. The profession of pharmacy has transformed into a hub for the ''Global Healthcare'' and evolved as a multidisciplinary, multifaceted curriculum.

The drugs & pharma industry is a multibillion-dollar business. In the rapidly changing global scenario and the implementation of GATT & TRIPS in India, now a matter of only a couple of years, the pharmaceutical industry and professionals will play a vital role in shaping up our national economy. This new decade is thus, bound to have an ever growing demand of pharmacy professionals not only in the country, but even worldwide. Anticipating this demand the government has taken special steps to boost this unique discipline having a blend of both -- technology, as well as, health-sciences.

In India Pharmacy Education is a two-tier system After 12th Science of State Board one can opt for any of the two courses, namely Diploma (D.Pharm.) and Degree (B.Pharm). However the Diploma Students can also be included in Degree course directly in Second Year B.Pharm. However, in the coming years the Government & Pharmacy Council of India is planning to abolish the D Pharm course and make B Pharm the minimum qualification for any individual to become a pharmacy professional.

The regulatory bodies for pharmacy colleges are namely, All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE), Pharmacy Council of India (PCI) and the respective University to which the college is affiliated to. Today pharmacy education like the pharmaceutical industry is also in the process of globalization. In order to have uniformity in course contents, requisite standards of education, technical faculty, facilities and infrastructure at international levels, colleges are going for accreditation and certifications from internationally approved regulating agencies.


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