We feel proud in saying that India is a pharmacy to the world and we should be proud of this after all this is an achievement. But my question is: Is India really a quality pharmacy in India itself and what about our valley?
Let me give some facts first about our own valley:
No Kashmir or Jammu based College or University provides Pharmacy education besides Kashmir University!
Non-Qualified person (in Pharmacy) are being appointed as Pharmacists and given drug licenses to play with the precious lives of common people.
Qualified pharma graduates, post graduates and doctors are being deprived of many professional advantages by health department due to some illogical excuses.
No data or sufficient studies are conducted in Kashmir on a wide scale population regarding medication/prescription errors by doctors because Pharma profession has been always viewed as to sell medicines in a four wall shop only. (However in mainland India, according to one survey report, there are 5.2 million medication errors happening yearly costing many precious lives).
According to Global innovation report, released by WIPO, India stands at 48th position (don’t talk about Kashmir, we stand nowhere) in the world, which is not quite impressive and they have pointed out that India is lagging behind in private participation then be it education institutions or the corporations.
Why am I mentioning out all this? What suggests me to put forward all this data? Are we lagging behind in innovation and quality Pharma services? Are we are failing to give a quality and ethical services to our common masses?
I will try to rectify all these questions; first of all, we should see how people look at Pharma profession here in valley? Do they want some change in society or just want to multiply their free capital manifolds?
Most of the private institutes are focusing on exterior attraction so they can lure the parents but is it enough to go blind behind the looks?
It helps to promote your institute, lure parents and obviously they can charge huge fees! But does is it a quality education? No – these paramedical institutes produce only assistants to doctors and nurses but not pharmacists. All these issues have led to the degradation of quality Pharma services and it has now become only a formality here.
So, at end of the day, it is the common people who suffer the most while going to this so-called Fake-Pharmacist (who without any knowledge of Pharmacy Practice) sells the drug (doesn’t dispense it).
So, at the end these Fake-Pharmacists while delivering the services of Pharmacist only adds up to the enormous disasters in a society like:
Loads of prescription/medication errors
Fatal drug/disease interactions
Adverse drug reactions
Unethical selling of OTC products and many more…
Go and ask these “me too Pharmacists” working in a Private/Govt sector about the category of drugs which they are giving, what side effects or adverse effects do they cause? Should we take this drug with that drug? (if multiple illnesses are there). Simply they will say, we have nothing to do with it, just ask the doctor about the same! What an irony (a Pharmacist is saying you that now a doctor will do his piece of work).
Imtiyaz Ahmad is Senior Clinical Research Scientist – R&D)