BACHELOR OF PHARMACY (B.PHARM) PROGRAMME

bachelor of pharmacy

Two major areas of growth are observed in the pharmaceutical industry namely, Pharmacy Practice, which offers services to the health care system and the pharmaceutical Science, which addresses production and development of pharmaceuticals/drugs and devices. With regards to pharmacy practice, the pharmacist in a developed country functions as an integral member of the health care team and assumes varied functions ranging from, procurement and supply of medicines to pharmaceutical care services, to ensure the best treatment for patients. Pharmaceutical care is seen as a process which involves establishing a relationship between the patient and the pharmacist, developing an evidence-based care plan for medicine therapy and follow-up on the patient's expected health outcome. As an industrial pharmacist in these same settings, they would be engaged in drug discovery, manufacture, drug quality assurance, drug management, and safety with regards to the pertinent laws in the country.

Currently pharmacists in Sri Lanka are not equipped with knowledge, attitudes, skills and experience in pharmacy to deliver expected services in its true context. Although the pharmaceutical industry is fast developing in the country, the role of the pharmacist to assist in this process has not been optimally utilised. This is mostly due to the lack of trained competent pharmacists with not only theoretical knowledge but practical skills and confidence to function in any setting or environment. Therefore employment opportunities in essential services such as community pharmacy, hospital pharmacy, drug regulation, drug quality assurance, local drug manufacturing, drug and poison information, drug supply has not been optimally filled, while service such as clinical pharmacy and pharmacotherapeutics, clinical pharmacokinetics, aseptic dispensing, sterile manufacturing, patient counselling, pharmacoeconomics etc. have not been attempted at all. It is believed that a sound education in pharmacy theory and principals, skills, knowledge & attitudes and experience can essentially be delivered through a pharmacy undergraduate program to address shortcomings in this job market both locally and internationally.

THE GRADUATE PROFILE

It is expected that a Pharmacy graduate will;

  • undertake an effective pharmaceutical care process though an effective relationship with the patient and other members of the healthcare team.
  • be able to developing an evidence-based care plan for medicine therapy and follow-up on the patient's expected health outcome.
  • to collaborate with other sectors in manufacture, quality assurance and management of drugs and pharmaceuticals.
  • to undertake independent and collaborative research relevant to the pharmacy practice and the pharmaceutical science.
  • apply and adhere to the ethics and safety standards of pharmacy practice.
  • undertake life long independent learning, career development and postgraduate study.
CURRICULUM

Bachelor of Pharmacy (B.Pharm) curriculum has been designed to allow graduates to achieve sufficient basic and applied sciences and to be able to integrate and apply that knowledge to practical professional situations. It provides appropriate dispensing and other manipulative skills to be able to practice competently as pharmacists and to have acquired practical skills in a number of industrial and clinical areas embracing the practice of pharmacy. They are also given the opportunity to acquire the personal attributes, qualities and regard for professional ethics and standards needed to practice as responsible health professionals. Course units have been designed in areas such as research to encourage students to maintain and build upon their knowledge base by continuing the educational process throughout their careers. Bachelor of Pharmacy (B.Pharm) graduates have adequate knowledge and skills to serve in a variety of positions in both the state and non-state sector. These positions will include Regulatory Pharmacists, Production Executives, Research and Development Managers, and Quality Control Managers etc. In addition, they also have the capability to function as Community Pharmacists (which could be an excellent self-employment opportunity) and Hospital Pharmacists.

Bachelor of Pharmacy (B.Pharm) graduates are expected to perform skillfully on par with the other similar graduates in the developed world and elsewhere. They are expected to be capable enough to take managerial and executive level decisions in production control and management, regulating, marketing, as well as in research and development. They must be capable of advising patients on medicines. The academic program is designed to impart necessary advanced knowledge in pharmaceuticals as well as the skills required for the aforementioned job tasks. Bachelor of Pharmacy (B.Pharm) program consists of four academic years, each year carrying 5-7 course units and consisting of three terms. One year of optional internship is also provided at the end of the program at Cosmetics, Devices and Drugs Authority, Medical Supplies Division, National Drugs quality Assurance Laboratory, Hospitals (Teaching and Base Hospitals), State Pharmaceuticals Manufacturing Cooperation, State Pharmaceuticals Cooperation, Medical Research Institute and Raajya Osu Sala’s.

TEACHING/LEARNING AND ASSESSMENT

The Bachelor of Pharmacy (B.Pharm) curriculum incorporates both the pharmacy practice and the pharmaceutical science aspects equally so that the graduates who complete the course will be able to select their area of interest out of the 2 major areas in pharmacy namely, Pharmaceutical Science (which addresses production and development of pharmaceuticals) and Pharmacy Practice (which offers services to the health care system). The Bachelor of Pharmacy (B.Pharm) course is both “drug- oriented” and “patient-oriented.” The skills in Bachelor of Pharmacy (B.Pharm) program are developed through practical training in the following subjects; Pharmaceutical chemistry, Pharmaceutical analysis, Pharmaceutical microbiology, Pharmacognosy, Pharmaceutical technology, Pharmacology and toxicology, Applied Pharmacognosy, Medicinal Chemistry, and Pharmaceutical Biotechnology.

A Bachelor of Pharmacy (B.Pharm) course unit consists of one or more components such as lectures, practical sessions, and hospital, community and clinical pharmacy practice sessions. As the practical classes and practice sessions are conducted subsequent to the relevant theory components, the students have the opportunity to build their skills upon the knowledge gained. The knowledge component of Bachelor of Pharmacy (B.Pharm) program is delivered through lectures and tutorials while the practical skills are improved through practical classes and practice sessions. Both these are evaluated and graded by written, practical, viva – voce, portfolio assessment and OSPE and OSCE as specified under each course unit.

Attitudes are addressed under the course unit of Pharmacy Law and Ethics. The relevant attitudes are gradually inculcated in the students throughout the academic program through regular interaction with the staff and relevant discussions. This is also strengthened during the practice sessions and the internship. The knowledge and skills in pharmaceutical marketing, management and accounting is evaluated through submission of a report after visiting a reputed pharmaceutical company/ pharmacy. All students in Bachelor of Pharmacy (B.Pharm) program are required to visit a pharmaceutical company/ pharmacy and submit an individual assignment on the pharmaceutical manufacturing practices.

PHYSICAL RESOURCES

The Medical Laboratory Science, Nursing and Pharmacy units are located within the Health Sciences Resource Centre (HSRC). This 4 storey building, houses several lecture halls, tutorial rooms and laboratories that are utilized by the students of the Allied Health Science degree programmes.All three paramedical study programme are managed by their respective units housed in a separate Health Sciences Resource Centre (HSRC) building. There are 4 lecture halls and 2 tutorial rooms within the HSRC building exclusively for the use of the allied health sciences. Student laboratories located within different departments of the faculty of Medical Sciences is utilised for student teaching/learning activities and shared among the MBBS and allied health sciences study programmes. Currently, there is one lecture theatre with maximum seating capacity of 50 for the B.Sc. Nursing unit and suffices at present as the maximum size of a batch is 25 students. Some lectures are held in the Colombo South Teaching hospital Judicial Medical Officer’s lecture hall at present. A nursing skills laboratory with minimum essential facilities and a seminar room shared with other two allied health science programs is also available for the nursing students. The skills lab in the Faculty of Medical Sciences is shared with the Medical undergraduates and therefore could be used by nursing students only for a limited number of available time slots. Practical demonstrations are conducted in Colombo South Teaching Hospital and Sri Jayewardenepura General Hospital using patients, however this requires a lot of preparation time, coordination with a number of staff members to find a suitable time, a venue and a patient.

B.Sc. Medical Laboratory Science unit has two lecture theaters (maximum seating capacity 30) and three laboratories which are incompletely equipped. Bachelor of Pharmacy (B.Pharm)unit has two lecture theaters, one tutorial room, and two laboratories.

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