Taking serious note of dearth of pharmacy colleges in the state, the Bihar government has decided to start a pharmacy institute in each administrative division of the state.
The state has nine administrative divisions – Patna, Tirhut, Saran, Darbhanga, Kosi, Purnia, Bhagalpur, Munger and Magadh. Currently two institutes – Government Pharmacy Institute in Patna (GPIP) and Bihar College of Pharmacy (BCP) in Patna are the main source of pharmacy education in the state. The Muzaffarpur Institute of Technology (MIT) has one special department for pharmacy which conducts bachelor degree course (B Pharm) with an intake of 15 students every year.
Principal secretary, health department, Sanjay Kumar has directed state drug controller to start pharmacy institute in each division. Meanwhile, Bihar Chemists and Druggists Association (BCDA) is also making efforts to start pharmacy colleges in Patna, Nalanda, Gaya, Kishanganj, Bhagalpur, Aurangabad, Purnia, Begusarai, Motihari, Bettiah, Darbhanga, Madhubani and Sitamarhi.
On March 31, 2018 a BCDA delegation comprising president Parsan Kumar Singh, general secretary Amarendra Kumar, Maharashtra State Chemists & Druggists Association general secretary Anil Navandar, All India Organisation for Chemists and Druggists president JS Shinde, general secretary Rajiv Singhal had met state health minister Mangal Pandey, principal secretary (health) Sanjay Kumar seeking the government’s support in this regard.
Said Parsan Kumar Singh, “There are 40,000 chemists in Bihar. As per Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, 1945, every drug store needs to appoint a pharmacist for drug distribution. We are finding it hard to get pharmacists for retail drug stores. We hugely depend on pharmacists from neighboring states to run our drug stores. There is a huge shortage of pharmacists in the state due to dearth of pharmacy institutes. We have met the state health minister Mangal Pandey and chief minister Nitish Kumar urging them to start pharmacy colleges in the state churning out pharmacists.”
“Existing drug stores with valid retail licences should not be harassed in the name of pharmacists unless adequate number of them are available in the state, ” said Singh.
“We also sought their support in our endeavor to establish pharmacy institutes in the state. They have assured us all the cooperation needed in this regard,” he added.
“Currently we are looking into criteria for setting up new pharmacy colleges in pockets of the state”, he informed.
Bihar has more than 11 crore population but scores of students wishing to pursue a career in pharmacy are forced to go to neighboring states West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh to do diploma and degree courses in pharmacy.