Written by : Jayati Dubey
November 16, 2023
One of the key responsibilities of the Advisory Council will be to advise the Commission on measures aimed at enhancing equitable access to pharmacy education, services, training, and research.
The proposed National Pharmacy Commission Bill 2023 is set to establish an advisory body, the Pharmacy Advisory Council, to collaborate with the National Pharmacy Commission (NPC) and serve as a primary platform for States and Union Territories to communicate their perspectives and concerns.
The Pharmacy Advisory Council, as outlined in the draft Bill, will play a pivotal role in advising the Commission on various matters, including the determination and maintenance of minimum standards in pharmacy education, services, training, and research.
This advisory body is designed to facilitate effective communication between the NPC and regional entities, ensuring a comprehensive understanding of diverse perspectives.
"The Advisory Council shall be the primary platform through which the States and Union territories may put forth their views and concerns before the Commission and help in shaping the overall agenda, policy, and action relating to pharmacy education, services, training, and research," states the draft Bill.
One of the key responsibilities of the Advisory Council will be to advise the Commission on measures aimed at enhancing equitable access to pharmacy education, services, training, and research. The Council is mandated to convene at least twice a year, with the Chairperson of the Commission serving as the ex officio chairperson of the Advisory Council.
The composition of the Advisory Council includes ex officio members such as the Presidents of the three Boards under the Commission, the Secretary of the Commission, and a representative from the Ministry of Ayush.
Additionally, representatives from the University Grants Commission or the Higher Education Commission of India, the National Assessment and Accreditation Council, the Indian Council of Medical Research, and Directors representing the Indian Institute of Technology, the Indian Institute of Management, the Indian Institute of Science, and the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research are included.
Part-time members representing each State and Union Territory, serving as heads of institutions or vice-chancellors of pharmacy institutions, will be nominated by the respective state governments or the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, in the case of Union territories.
The Advisory Council will also feature a representative from national-level professional pharmacy associations nominated by the Central government as a part-time member.
The release of the draft National Pharmacy Commission Bill, 2023, by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare marks a significant step towards modernising the regulatory framework governing pharmacy education and services in the country.
The proposed bill seeks to repeal the Pharmacy Act 1948, replacing the existing statutory body of the Pharmacy Council of India (PCI) with the National Pharmacy Commission. This transition is anticipated to bring a more comprehensive and contemporary approach to overseeing the pharmacy sector, aligning it with evolving healthcare needs and global standards.
The draft Bill emphasises the importance of inclusivity, collaboration, and equitable access to quality pharmacy education and services, setting the stage for a robust regulatory framework that addresses the evolving landscape of the pharmaceutical sector in India.