Journal of Postgraduate Medicine
 Open access journal indexed with Index Medicus & ISI's SCI  
Users online: 1091  
Home | Subscribe | Feedback | Login 
About Latest Articles Back-Issues Articlesmenu-bullet Search Instructions Online Submission Subscribe Etcetera Contact
 :: Next article
 :: Previous article 
 :: Table of Contents
 ::  Similar in PUBMED
 ::  Search Pubmed for
 ::  Search in Google Scholar for
 ::  Article in PDF (269 KB)
 ::  Citation Manager
 ::  Access Statistics
 ::  Reader Comments
 ::  Email Alert *
 ::  Add to My List *
* Registration required (free) 

  IN THIS Article
 ::  References
 ::  Article Tables

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded81    
    Comments [Add]    
    Cited by others 4    

Recommend this journal


Year : 2010  |  Volume : 56  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 168-169

Training of postgraduate pharmacologists in India - The need for alignment with the emerging roles in the pharmaceutical industry

1 Department of Pharmacology, Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi, India
2 Department of Anaesthesiology, Lady Hardinge Medical College, New Delhi, India
3 Indian School of Business, Hyderabad, MBA Batch 2010, India

Date of Web Publication8-Jul-2010

Correspondence Address:
R K Ghosh
Department of Pharmacology, Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0022-3859.65288

Rights and Permissions

How to cite this article:
Ghosh R K, Ghosh S M, Datta S. Training of postgraduate pharmacologists in India - The need for alignment with the emerging roles in the pharmaceutical industry. J Postgrad Med 2010;56:168-9

How to cite this URL:
Ghosh R K, Ghosh S M, Datta S. Training of postgraduate pharmacologists in India - The need for alignment with the emerging roles in the pharmaceutical industry. J Postgrad Med [serial online] 2010 [cited 2023 Mar 30];56:168-9. Available from:


The Indian pharmaceutical industry is one of the largest and fastest-growing amongst the developing countries. A medical pharmacologist can work in various capacities in pharmaceutical companies including drug discovery and development, clinical research, regulatory affairs, patents, manufacturing, sales, medico marketing and laboratory sciences. [1] The current postgraduate curriculum in pharmacology includes learning areas such as research methodology, literature search, biostatistics, animal experiments and a study of common poisons and their identification. [2] This curriculum has not been revised or updated for several decades and is falling short of giving a student adequate training in and exposure to recent developments in pharmacology. [2]

Although we agree that the sole purpose of postgraduate teaching is not just to produce industry-ready human resources, nonetheless some of the highly sought-after expertise in the pharmaceutical industry could be included as elective or optional subjects along with the regular postgraduate training. In lieu of the above, we suggest restructuring of the MD pharmacology curriculum by dividing the entire course into six semesters with six months' teaching in each semester. Some of the special areas suggested by the authors could be taken up as an elective subject in each semester.

  • Pharmacovigilance is becoming a promising career choice for medical pharmacologists and all postgraduate students should have a thorough knowledge in some essential areas of pharmacovigilance [Table 1].
  • Training of MD students in the conduct of clinical trials is currently limited to the teaching of the theoretical aspect of trials with minimum exposure to protocol designing and clinical site management. The postgraduate pharmacology curriculum should incorporate some advanced modules on clinical trial conduct and management [Table 1].
  • Pharmacologists in the industry play a major role in selecting the scientific content of drug promotional materials. A student should be adequately trained about the ethical, legal and regulatory guidelines regarding drug advertisement, promotions and marketing.
  • A postgraduate trainee needs exposure to advanced software training in different emerging areas of pharmacology like pharmacovigilance, clinical research, clinical data management, regulatory affairs, etc (Aris global, Oracle Clinical, Siebel Clinical, Medi Data).
  • A basic module of intellectual property rights (IPR) could be incorporated in MD training to familiarize doctors with issues like infringement, patent searching, patent filing, royalties and damage exemptions for clinical trials.
  • Joint MD-MBA degree in line with premier US medical and business schools. Could also be started in the premier medical institutes in India. [3] At least, basic management concepts - including strategy, economics, finance, marketing, operations should be inducted as optional subjects in PG pharmacology curriculum.
  • Postgraduate students also need some exposure to pharmacoethics and pharmacoeconomics. Pharmacoethics deals with ethical issues related to the development, promotion, sales, prescription, and use of pharmaceuticals. Uses of pharmacoeconomics in the industry include identification of market, supporting promotional activities, making or justifying pricing decisions, and possibly taking crucial go or no go decisions in drug development [Table 1]. [4]

All round training of pharmacologists would translate into better patient management in clinical trials, proper reporting of adverse drug reactions, ethical promotion of drug advertisements and increased research and development (R and D) activity in the Indian pharmaceutical industry.

 :: References Top

1.Shivprakash. Pharmacology: taking it forward. Indian J Pharmacol 2007;39:3-4.  Back to cited text no. 1      
2.Dikshit RK. Postgraduate education in medical pharmacology. Indian J Pharmacol 2007;39:171.  Back to cited text no. 2    Medknow Journal  
3.Joint degree programmes [online]. Available from: URL: .  Back to cited text no. 3      
4.Walley T, Davey P. Pharmacoeconomics: a challenge for clinical pharmacologists. Br J Clin Pharmacol 1995;40:199-202.  Back to cited text no. 4  [PUBMED]  [FULLTEXT]  


  [Table 1]

This article has been cited by
1 Clinical pharmacologist from the eyes of a clinical pharmacologist: a questionnaire-based survey
Manjunath Nookala Krishnamurthy, Anupama Pradosh, Diana Varghese, Soutik Halder
European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology. 2022;
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
2 Faculty outlook toward animal experiments in post-graduate medical education
Syed Ilyas Shehnaz,Anoop Kumar Agarwal,Mohamed Arifulla,Jayadevan Sreedharan
Journal of Young Pharmacists. 2013; 5(1): 32
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
3 Faculty outlook toward animal experiments in post-graduate medical education
Shehnaz, S.I. and Agarwal, A.K. and Arifulla, M. and Sreedharan, J.
Journal of Young Pharmacists. 2013; 5(1): 32-34
4 Do faculty in southern Indian Medical Colleges support animal use in postgraduate education more than in undergraduate education?
Shehnaz, S.I. and Sreedharan, J. and Arifulla, M. and Gomathi, K.G.
ATLA Alternatives to Laboratory Animals. 2012; 40(3): 165-174


Print this article  Email this article
Previous article Next article
Online since 12th February '04
2004 - Journal of Postgraduate Medicine
Official Publication of the Staff Society of the Seth GS Medical College and KEM Hospital, Mumbai, India
Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow