Community Pharmacy in India – Past, Present and Future

M.R. Shastri

Abstracts: The word “Profession” in common parlance is equated with word “Business”. This approach is not correct. Careers chosen for livelihood are broadly clarified in two parts (1) Business and (2) Profession. Business is undertaken with the main aim of economic gain. A profession requires professional training. It calls for ethical qualities like honesty, discipline, professional conduct, professional management and their likes. Above all, in certain professions, service to the society is the main aim. It is practiced under oath. Comparison of ‘Profession of Pharmacy’ with two other professions viz: ‘Medicine’ and ‘Law’ may help to appreciate this observation. All the three basic requirements viz: professional education; professional oath and statutory registration to practice the profession are applicable to the three professions. An effort is made to consider the situation prevailing at the dawn of independence and now.

1. Medicine

In regard to Medicine, at the dawn of independence there were about 19 colleges imparting education at degree level in India. Apart from this, there were medical practitioners holding foreign medical degree like F.R.C.S; M.C.P.S, M.R.C.P. In addition to approved institutions conducting courses in medicinal subjects leading to qualifications like L.C.P.S and L.M.P were also approved by the Medical Council of India. Medical Council registering such professionally trained persons to practice the profession of Medicine was formed in 1933. The oath commonly referred to as Hippocratic Oath for practicing medicine is very well known.

2. Law
Apart from Barristers and Solicitors holding degrees from abroad and professionals having approved educational background and/or experience (eg. Vakils) practiced the profession. The code of conduct and registration in Bar Council was constituted in 1961. The spectrum of facets of professional issues was wide and concern with public interest so much so that apart from British India, advanced Princely States like Baroda, Mysore etc. had lower and higher courts.

In view of above, both the above professions were in higher state of development. Since the spectrum of issues dealt by these professionals concerned, public interest they come in direct contact with members of the society. The society has high regard and respect for these practitioners. Both the professions have developed and progressed needing no further consideration.


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