Pharmacists Not Empowered To Open Clinics, Diagnose Diseases and Prescribe Drugs Under PPR-2015: PCI

Pharmacists Not Empowered To Open Clinics, Diagnose Diseases and Prescribe Drugs Under PPR-2015: PCI

Bengaluru, 19 Dec 2017: The Pharmacy Council of India (PCI) has issued a clarification on Pharmacy Practice Regulations, 2015 (PPR-2015) that pharmacists are not empowered to open pharma clinics, diagnose diseases and prescribe medicines. The reason for the clarification is that various messages are being circulated on social media platforms including WhatsApp and via emails, that pharmacists are empowered under Pharmacy Practice Regulations, 2015 to open pharma clinics to diagnose and recommend suitable medication. 

The Council has now categorically stated that pharmacists can only dispense, suggest dosage forms and advise on drug reactions. This led the Council to reinstate the fact that there is no such provision in the Pharmacy Practice Regulations, 2015.

Under the said Regulations, a registered pharmacist is required to dispense medicines on the prescription of a Registered Medical Practitioner and can counsel the patient or care giver on medicine to enhance or optimize drug therapy.

Further, the elements of patient counselling may include name and description of the drugs. The dosage form, dose, route of administration, and duration of drug therapy can be advised by the pharmacists.  They could also indicate the intended use of the drug and its expected action. There are special directions and precautions for the drug which pharmacists need to highlight. The pharmacists will need to communicate to the customers coming to its retail outlets or the patients on the common severe side effects or adverse effects or interactions and therapeutic contraindications that may be encountered with the drug. It is also required by the pharmacist to advice on what could happen if the drug is avoided and its expected reactions action required if it occurs.

In addition, the pharmacists must put in place the techniques for self monitoring drug therapy; ensure proper storage of the drugs; place prescription refill information and the action to be taken in the event of a missed dose. This will enable the rational use of drugs, stated PCI in its clarification note.

Elucidating that under no circumstances, the registered pharmacist is empowered under the Pharmacy Act, 1948 and Pharmacy Practice Regulations, 2015 to practice medicines or open clinics to provide medical care, the Pharmacy Council of India will now make certain that these things do not take place.

“The move by Pharmacy Council of India is a step in the right direction to clear the ambiguity created in the minds of pharmacists. We see this buzz on social media was created by some who could not been able to be suitably employed despite the qualifications to spread such rumours,” Raj Vaidya, former chairman, community pharmacy division, Indian Pharmaceutical Association told Pharmabiz.