Quality check of graduates passing out from pharmacy colleges required, says Dr Shetye

PANAJI: As part of National Pharmacy Week being celebrated in India, the Goa branch of Indian Pharmaceutical Association (IPA) recently organised a function at Goa University.

Chief Guest for the occasion, Dr Satish Shetye, vice-chancellor, Goa University, said that the state’s 2035 vision document predicts that it will make 10 per cent of the pharmaceutical produce of the country. However achievement of "such lofty goals" would require "infrastructure development of people to run the industry."

Stressing that Goa has the numbers, but may be lacking in quality, the vice-chancellor pointed out, "There is a need for accountability, to check whether the government is getting back in return the investment that it makes in the field of education. Therefore it was essential to determine whether pharmacy colleges are producing graduates with a proper knowledge base for increasing output of the industry."

Regretting the absence of evaluation and monitoring of higher education systems, Dr Shetye urged upon the members of IPA to be the professional body that works on a system "to evaluate whether the education system is performing to expectations," and determine whether the quality of pass out it generates is of required levels.

The welcome speech at the occasion was by Mr Salim A Veljee, director, Food and Drugs Administration (FDA), who explained the importance and role of pharmacists in various sectors, especially in public health.

Mr Veljee stressed upon the need to increase the industry-academia interactions, take advantage of the vast resources of the pharmaceutical hub in Goa so that the students can benefit. The IPA, he said, would like to act like a catalyst to help do this and thus improve the brand image of pharmacists.

Every year, in the third week of November, the NPW is celebrated across the country, to create awareness amongst the public, the authorities, other health providers and the stakeholders, on the importance and role of the pharmacist and the pharmacy profession. The theme for this year’s NPW is ‘Pharmacists in Public Health’.

The occasion also had nine meritorious students of the two pharmacy colleges and winners of the poster competition being awarded prizes by the vice-chancellor who also launched the upgraded website of IPA, Goa.

Later, a day-long seminar entitled ‘Managing Challenges in Pharma Industry’ was held. Key speakers for this were Dr Praveen Khullar, Dr Shishir Bhand, and Ms Aida.

In Goa, the NPW will involve various programmes including elocution and essay writing competition for students of pharmacy colleges, a debate on ‘Pharmacists in Public Health’, quiz competitions for students and industry professionals, a one-day seminar for practicing pharmacists, an exhibition on ‘Safe Use Of Medicines’ for the public at Harmal, etc.

Mr Anant Naik, honorary secretary of IPA, Goa, explained the details and facilities available on the IPA website, and also proposed the vote of thanks.