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Am J Pharm Educ. 2010 March 10; 74(2): 33a.
PMCID: PMC2856425

South East Asian FIP-World Health Organisation Forum of Pharmaceutical Associations and WHO-India Country Office

Reviewed by Roshan Kumar Sahu, BPharm, Smriti Khatri,corresponding author and Sushma Drabu

South East Asian FIP-World Health Organisation Forum of Pharmaceutical Associations and WHO-India Country Office.

Historically, the potential of pharmacists in community, hospital, and government practice settings is not fully utilized in India. Pharmacists are seen as business people. The professional role of the pharmacist is not projected in Government's health and pharmaceutical policies. Challenges and Opportunities for Pharmacists in Health Care in India examines various issues, shared experiences, and evidence of pharmacists' involvement in national health programs for improving pharmaceutical care and rolled-out strategies for integrating pharmacists as team members with other health professionals. Strategies are also outlined for the future role of pharmacists, which will go beyond supplying medicines to include involvement in bringing much-needed educational reforms and involvement as stakeholders.

In the first chapter, “Pharmacists in Health Care Systems in India: Shaping Strategies,” the pharmacist as a knowledge worker, as well as hospital and government practice settings are discussed. The role of pharmacists in National Rural Health Mission, where pharmacists can get connectivity with rural health and become a part of the community of careers, is also taken in brief. Some of the strategies with Indian pharmacists, like improving access to essential medicines and rational use of drugs through pharmacists, role in the Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme, the Family Planning Programme, the prevention and control of HIV/AIDS, and pharmacovigilance are discussed.

Chapter 2, “Challenges and Opportunities for Pharmacists in Community Practice” describes present practices includes the following: skewed proliferation of pharmacies, such as pharmacy premises, pharmacy ownership, storage and temperature maintenance, concept of good pharmacy practice, accreditation of pharmacies, and dispensing and sale of medicines; and pharmacy education. The section, Future Role of Community Pharmacists, describes the future responsibilities and frontier fields for pharmacists.

In Chapter 3, “Challenges and Opportunities for Pharmacists in Hospital and Clinical Practice,” the following points are discussed. The various committees, profiles of hospital pharmacists in India, and standards for hospital pharmacies are elaborated on in the section Present Practices. The author also discusses the pharmacy and therapeutic committee, its organization, standards, and functions. The future role of hospital pharmacists and objectives of hospital pharmacy, functions of a modern hospital pharmacy service, drug selection, and pharmacy and therapeutic committee are discussed.

Chapter 4, “Challenges and Opportunities for Pharmacists in Government Practice,” covers the national health program and the role of pharmacists. The section, Future Role of Government Pharmacists, covers major areas in which the pharmacists' and government's contribution are in collaboration, such as health services, drug information and selection, patient instructions, and drug storage.

In Chapter 5, “Educational Reforms for Pharmacists,” the authors cover the current status of the pharmacy profession and education in India, educational reforms, and postgraduate education in hospital, clinical, and community pharmacies.

Finally, in Chapter 6, “Role of National Organizations, Government and Other Stake Holders,” the importance of collaboration is discussed and concludes that organized community pharmacy practices promote basic concepts, new advances, and future expectations among pharmacy students, academicians, and practicing pharmacists. Collaboration among professional organizations could help in advocating systems and concepts which promote community pharmacy.

This book is helpful in introducing and identifying the relations of Indian pharmacists with the global initiatives of pharmacy practice and clinical research. The book is also useful for hospital pharmacists to improve their services. It introduces various national policies for growth of pharmacy practice for students, trainees, academicians, clinical pharmacists, hospital pharmacists, and community pharmacists in India. This book is of interest not only to academics but also to policymakers, pharmaceutical industries, business analysis, management students, nongovernmental organizations, and others interested in the impact of globalization on pharmaceutical education and practice.

Articles from American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education are provided here courtesy of American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy