The private pharmacy colleges in the country are seeking the law makers' intervention to end the dual regulation of pharmacy education in the country which is creating several avoidable problems to the pharmacy colleges. Presently, private pharmacy colleges are regulated by both the Pharmacy Council of India (PCI) and the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE).

Raising the banner of revolt against the dual regulation of pharmacy education, the private pharmacy colleges management association has started approaching the Members of Parliament (MPs) to convince them the need to have a single authority to regulate pharmacy education in the country for better working and coordination. "The association is approaching several MPs, asking them to raise the issue in Parliament in the forthcoming session scheduled for February 12", association members said.

The association members said that the pharmacy colleges in the country are facing a lot of problems due to the dual regulation. There is no coordination between these two agencies and on several occasions, both the Councils work at cross purposes. This overlapping of the activities between the two statutory Councils is not only causing a lot of confusion among pharmacy institutions leading to dilution of educational standards but also wastage of manpower and resources of two statutory councils, they say.

This is for the first time the private pharmacy colleges are raising the voice to end the dual regulation. The PCI has been striving hard to overcome this dual regulation in the interest of profession for some time. The PCI had taken up the issue with the union health ministry and had asked the ministry to bring in an Amendment to the Pharmacy Act to put an end to the dual regulation in pharmacy education. The matter is pending with the ministry. The PCI has asked the ministry to ensure that the regulation of pharmacy profession and practice rests in the hands of a special body i.e. PCI similar to Medicines, Nursing, Dental, Law, Chartered Accountancy, Indian System of Medicines etc.

Meanwhile, there are several inter-ministerial hurdles before the amendment goes to Parliament for its final seal. The main tussle is going to be between the Union Human Resources Development (HRD) Ministry and the Health Ministry. While the HRD Ministry is in favour retaining the regulatory powers with its arm (AICTE), the Health Ministry is learnt to be pushing for transferring the regulatory powers of pharmacy education from AICTE to PCI which is a statutory body exclusively constituted for the pharmacy education in the country.