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Sunday, April 14, 2024

Senate Passes Pharmacy Education Enhancement Bill, Rejects Criminal Law Amendment

Senate passes Pharmacy (Amendment) Bill to standardize pharmacy education, rejects Criminal Laws (Amendment) Bill; aims to enhance professional skills and curb substandard education.

The Senate convened on Monday and passed The Pharmacy (Amendment) Bill, 2023, clause-by-clause to enhance and standardize pharmacy education across the country, aiming to cultivate professionally skilled human resources.

Senator Mushaq Ahmed introduced the bill, which aimed to grant recognition to qualified pharmacists and foster opportunities for postgraduate specialized diploma programs to enhance their skills.

Additionally, it seeks to curb and prohibit unchecked and substandard pharmacy education programs through robust recognition procedures and prohibitions.

The prevailing pharmacy Act was promulgated in 1967 in a time when the country was deficient of relevant qualified professional human resources.

Couples of universities were awarding degree in Pharmacy i-e, university of the Punjab and university of Karachi, whereas now there are almost 100 institutes conducing Pharmacy Degree Courses and more than 200 institutes imparting education in Pharmacy Technician programs.

There is dire need of drastic amendments to live decades old pharmacy act.

The existing Pharmacy Act provides for registration of Pharmacists persons other than those not holding a relevant qualification in Pharmacy.

While internationally health professions are being segregated in different categories of healthcare service delivery levels and updated to meet the challenges of modern medical and healthcare services deliveries thereof with appropriate professional recognitions.

To meet the requirements of legally qualified and professionally competent human resources in the health care sector both inland and to the international market, this professional segregation through amendments in the existing act is unavoidable.

Read More: China Urges Political Unity in Pakistan Amid Hung Parliament

Upper House of the Parliament on Monday rejected a bill to amend the Pakistan Penal Code, 1860 and Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898 The Criminal Laws (Amendment) Bill 2023 with a majority vote.

Chairman Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani was in the chair when Senator Mushtaq Ahmed, presented a motion for consideration and passage of the bill, but it was rejected by the Upper House.

When asked to vote on the bill by the chairman, as many as 24 lawmakers voted against the legislation, while 14 members of the Senate expressed support in favour of the bill.