Syllabus of Pharmacy Law and Ethics

Pharmacy law and ethics are of utmost importance in the pharmaceutical industry, serving as the pillars that regulate the conduct of pharmacists and ensure the safe and ethical practice of pharmacy. These two interconnected fields play a vital role in governing the distribution and dispensing of medications, safeguarding patient safety, and upholding the overall integrity of the profession. In this article, we will delve into the fundamental concepts of pharmacy law and ethics, emphasizing their significance and exploring their impact on the healthcare system.

Pharmacy Law and Ethics is a subject in the D.Pharm curriculum that focuses on the legal and ethical aspects of the pharmacy profession. It is designed to impart basic knowledge on several important legislations related to the profession of pharmacy in India

Syllabus of Pharmacy Law and Ethics

Upon successful completion of this course, the students will be able to

  1.  Describe the history and evolution of pharmacy law in India.
  2. Interpret the act and rules regulating the profession and practice of pharmacy in India.
  3. Discuss the various codes of ethics related to practice standards in pharmacy.
  4. Interpret the fundamentals of patent laws from the perspectives of pharmacy.

Pharmacy Law and Ethics subject includes various topics. Here is an overview of topics that students will learn in this subjects are:

  • General Principles of Law, History, and Various Acts Related to Drugs and Pharmacy ProfessionThis topic covers the fundamental principles of law that govern the practice of pharmacy and the historical development of pharmaceutical legislation. It includes an overview of acts, regulations, and guidelines that regulate the manufacturing, distribution, and sale of drugs and pharmaceutical products.
  • Pharmacy Act 1948 and Rules:The Pharmacy Act 1948 establishes the legal framework for regulating the pharmacy profession in India. It defines the objectives, scope, and responsibilities of pharmacists. The act also establishes the Pharmacy Council of India (PCI), which regulates and maintains the pharmacy profession. Education regulations outline the requirements for pharmacy education and the registration process for pharmacists.
  • Drugs and Cosmetics Act 1940 and Rules 1945 and New Amendments: The Drugs and Cosmetics Act 1940 regulates the import, manufacture, distribution, and sale of drugs and cosmetics in India. It provides definitions and classifications for drugs and cosmetics, including schedules based on their potential for harm. The act covers licensing provisions for manufacturing, sale, and distribution of drugs. Recent amendments address emerging issues and ensure the safety, quality, and efficacy of drugs and cosmetics.
  • Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act 1985 and Rules: The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act 1985 controls and regulates narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances to prevent abuse and illicit trafficking. The act defines offenses and penalties related to production, cultivation, possession, and consumption of narcotics and psychotropic substances. It establishes authorities and officers responsible for enforcing the provisions of the act.
  • Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act 1954: The Drugs and Magic Remedies Act 1954 prohibits misleading advertisements related to drugs and magic remedies. It aims to prevent the promotion of false or unproven claims regarding the efficacy of drugs. The act provides exemptions for certain types of advertisements and specifies offenses and penalties for violations.
  • Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960: The Act aims to prevent cruelty towards animals and ensure their well-being. It establishes guidelines for conducting animal experiments and mandates the formation of Institutional Animal Ethics Committees (IAECs).
  • Poisons Act-1919: This Act regulates the possession, sale, and import of poisonous substances. It defines different types of poisons and establishes regulations regarding their possession, sale, and import.
  • FSSAI (Food Safety and Standards Authority of India) Act and Rules: The FSSAI Act establishes the regulatory body responsible for ensuring food safety in India. It focuses on the manufacture, storage, sale, and labelling of food supplements, ensuring compliance with quality and safety standards.
  • National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA):The NPPA regulates the prices of pharmaceutical products. The Drugs Price Control Order (DPCO) 2013 sets guidelines for pricing and availability of drugs. It controls the sale prices of bulk drugs, retail prices of formulations, and ceiling prices of scheduled formulations.
  • Code of Pharmaceutical Ethics: The Code provides ethical guidelines for pharmacists, emphasizing professional conduct, patient-centered care, and maintaining professional competence. It addresses issues like integrity, confidentiality, conflicts of interest, and the pharmacist’s commitment to patient well-being.
  • Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act and Rules: This legislation governs the conditions and procedures for legal abortion in India, ensuring the safety and well-being of women.
  • Role of Government Pharma Regulator Bodies: The Central Drugs Standards Control Organization (CDSCO) and the Indian Pharmacopoeia Commission (IPC) are key regulatory bodies overseeing the import, manufacture, and distribution of drugs in India. 
  • Good Regulatory Practices: These practices involve adhering to guidelines and standards for documentation, licenses, renewals, e-governance, and regulatory compliance in various sectors of the pharmaceutical industry.
  • BCS System of Classification, Clinical Trials, ANDA, NDA, and New Drug Development: This topic covers the classification of drugs based on their biopharmaceutic properties, the basics of clinical trials, regulatory pathways for generic and new drugs, and concepts related to patents and intellectual property rights.
  • Blood Bank: Blood banks collect, test, store, and distribute blood and blood products to ensure a safe and sufficient supply for transfusion purposes.
  • Clinical Establishment Act and Rules: Legislation that sets standards for clinical establishments and includes regulations for pharmacies within these establishments.
  • Biomedical Waste Management Rules 2016: Guidelines for the proper management and disposal of biomedical waste, including pharmaceutical waste, to ensure environmental and public health safety.
  • Bioethics: Study of ethical issues in healthcare and biomedical research, including the principles and guidelines for research involving human participants.
  • Consumer Protection Act: Legislation that protects consumer rights and provides a mechanism for resolving consumer grievances.
  • Disaster Management Act: Legal framework for effective disaster management and response to minimize the impact of disasters on public health and safety.
  • Medical Devices: Categorization, manufacture, and sale of medical devices, including regulatory considerations and safety requirements.


To sum up, pharmacy law and ethics are essential components of the pharmaceutical industry and pharmacy practise. Pharmacy law creates rules and regulations that guarantee the effectiveness, safety, and calibre of pharmaceuticals while regulating the behaviour of pharmacists. It is essential for stopping drug misuse, prescription mistakes, and unauthorised access to restricted drugs. Pharmacy ethics help chemists provide patient-centered treatment, respect patient autonomy, retain professional integrity, and protect confidentiality. Respecting ethical standards promotes patient and chemist trust and improves the healthcare environment. Pharmacy law and ethics interact, requiring chemists to manage legal constraints while making moral choices that prioritise the wellbeing of patients. The importance of adhering to ethical norms and pharmaceutical legislation.

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