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APTI Calls for Common Pharmacist Registration Across India

Written by : Nikita Saha

May 17, 2024

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The proposed common registration process would encompass these professionals, providing empirical data on all registered pharmacists.

The Association of Pharmaceutical Teachers of India (APTI) is urging the Pharmacy Council of India (PCI) to institute a unified pharmacist registration process at the national level.

This move aims to bring transparency and efficiency for pharmacy students seeking admission and facilitate inter-state job transfers for faculty in pharmacy colleges.

Currently, there is no mechanism to track pharma professionals across various sectors, particularly within the industry.

The proposed common registration process would encompass these professionals, providing empirical data on all registered pharmacists.

How a Common Pharmacist Registration Can Help?

Talking about its benefits, the APTI noted that it would offer a Unique Identification Number or a National Pharmacist Registration Number, serving as a critical tool for identification and tracking.

According to Prof Milind Umekar, president, APTI, and Dr Raman Dang, secretary of APTI, different states have different processes to register as pharmacists, and the Pharmacy Act 1948 is not followed consistently.

The APTI further elaborated that the current inconsistencies in the validity of pharmacist registration, fee structure, and implementation of refresher courses complicate the process of registration transfer within India or abroad during migration.

While the PCI has assigned a common registration number to every pharmacist, its utility remains limited until a uniform implementation of the common registration process is enforced across India, per Prof Umekar and Dr Dang.

Interestingly, the Union Ministry of Health has already granted the PCI the authority to conduct Aadhar authentication.

The APTI leaders suggested that the implementation of a common registration process for pharmacists by the PCI would simplify the verification of individual identities.

Prof Umekar recalled an RTI application dated February 1, 2017, highlighting the discrepancies in the validity of pharmacist registration. He asserted that such anomalies could be mitigated by implementing a common registration process.

Furthermore, he pointed out that objectionable practices, such as dual job roles and license renting, degrade the profession. A common registration process could effectively curb these unacceptable activities.

Dr Dang noted that initiatives such as the Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Jan Aushadhi Pariyojana could benefit from a national-level common pharmacist registration, as it would facilitate medicine dispensation.

The common registration process could also eliminate malpractices by fake colleges, such as selling pharmacy degrees without PCI approvals.

In the context of the Graduate Pharmacy Aptitude Test (GPAT), a common registration process would simplify student ranking identification and reduce issues related to dual admissions.

APTI sees the common registration process as a tool to expedite the identification of economically disadvantaged pharmacy students seeking scholarships for M.Pharm and Ph.D. programs.

The process would also streamline procedures for those seeking higher education or career opportunities abroad.

With a common registration process, the Union government could track the number of pharmacy students pursuing higher education abroad and monitor their employment status post-studies.

In December, PCI issued a directive to all pharmacy institutions, urging them to update data accurately in the Standard Inspection Format (SIF) and PCI portal based on Aadhaar card details.

The integration of Aadhaar services with the 'DIGI-PHARMed' portal is a significant step toward the complete digitization of registration and enrollment services. The authentication process covers pharmacists, faculties, students, and pharmacy institutions.


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