The Department of pharmacology was established in 1966 under the stewardship of Dr.D.R.Kulkarni, then the professor and head of the department and had his guidance almost for about 19years. Dr. K. P. Singh took the reins of the department for about a year from July 1985 to September 1986. Dr.K.S.Sachdev occupied the chair for about one and half year from January 1987 to May 1988. Dr.P.A.Patil who held the charge during gap periods, took the charge of HOD in July 1988 and continuing his services in the same capacity till 4 May 2008. After that Dr. S.V. Hiremath took over the charge as H.O.D and lead the department successfully up to 31st of August 2012. Now Dr.S.S.Torgal has taken the charge as H.O.D and leading the department till date.
School of Pharmacy, now known as KLES college of Pharmacy was started under this department in 1968 and now it is a full-fledged institute. The department was actively involved in training/guiding M.Pharm pharmacology students since the inception of the course in KLES College of pharmacy in the year 1982 and more than 40 M.Pharm students have been trained.
The departmental teaching activities were extended to train dental students (BDS) in 1986 and dental hygienists in 1998. The department is also involved in training of dental postgraduates. Other undergraduate courses taught include B.Sc. Nursing (1991), B.P.T. (1995) and allied health science courses (2000). Medical post graduation (M.D) in pharmacology was started in the year 1978 and so far 23 students have successfully completed the course. Yearly four post-graduate students are admitted to the Department of Pharmacology. Undergraduate teaching activities in the department include lectures, tutorials/ seminars, practical demonstrations, objective structured practical examinations, clinical pharmacology and integrated teaching sessions for undergraduate medical students. The postgraduate training is mainly through subject seminars, journal review meetings, clinical postings, group discussion, industrial exposure, pharmacovigilance programme etc. The training of other undergraduate courses is mainly through lectures/ group discussions.
Most of the teaching staff members are life members of Indian Pharmacological Society (IPS). The local branch of Indian Pharmacological Society (IPS), Belgaum was established in March 1993 and includes members from other medical and pharmacy colleges from Belgaum. To facilitate and promote training of local postgraduate students and those from nearby institutes, Guest lecturers, CMEs & Workshops etc are organised by the Department of Pharmacology in association with I.P.S, Belgaum branch.The departmental teaching staffs are also members of Association of Physiologists and Pharmacologists of India (APPI), Local branch and are actively associated with its activities.
Innovations in curriculum:
Realizing the irrelevance of dispensing practical’s to the undergraduate medical students the department moved the matter through the faculty dean to the university and in 1987 succeeded in replacing ‘dispensing pharmacy’ exercise by ‘labelling of the dispensed drugs’. The department has introduced the OSPE in place of conventional practical in sessional examination. The innovation in clinical pharmacology training both for under graduates and post graduates were also realized & steps were taken to implement it.
In order to develop the competitive spirit amongst the students and to encourage the deserving students the department has instituted cash awards viz.
i. VI SRC-IPS cash awards – since 1979
ii. APPICON 95 cash awards for first and second place – since 1995
iii. SRC-IPS commemoration cash award – since 2006 – for POST GRADUATES.
So far more than 150 projects have been completed and 7 projects are in progress.
Since inception 104 papers have been published in the various indexed scientific journals. Publications of the department can be improved further by upgrading the research infrastructure and collaboration with other laboratories and pharmaceutical industries.
Till now 124 research papers have been presented by the departmental faculty in various conferences. The department organized Southern Regional Conference (SRC) of IPS and Preconference workshops, in 1979.In collaboration with the department of physiology ‘APPICON’ a national conference of APPI was organized in 1995. Again the department has organized Southern Regional Conference (SRC) of IPS and Preconference workshops in the year 2006 with the theme of “Safe drug therapy”. One National Symposium on Pharmacovigilance has been organised by the department in 2011.Sanction of Pharmacovigilance centre to the J.N.M.C has been announced by the National Co-ordinator for Pharmacovigilance programme of India at this symposium. A pharmacovigilance committee has been formed and the pharmacovigilance activities like adverse drug reporting and monitoring etc are being carried over regularly at the Dr.Prabhakar Kore K.L.E Hospital and M.R.C, Belgaum. Postgraduate students from the Department of Pharmacology are being posted regularly to the hospital to orient them towards the pharmacovigilance activities.
In 1978 the RRL Hyderabad (now IICT) chose the department for primary screening of new molecules synthesized by them. The department was involved in phase –III clinical trial of ‘ Piroxicam’ sponsored by Wockhardt Bombay in 1983. Consultancy services of the department can be improved further.
The department had collaboration with Clinical Pharmacy department, of J.S.S. College of Pharmacy, Mysore in “multicentre ADR monitoring” project sponsored by ICMR, New Delhi. The department has collaborated with AYUSH funded research.
Dr.S.S.Torgal is actively involved in delivering guest lecturers to general practitioners as well as community programmes like N.S.S camps regarding rational and safe use of drugs and prevention of drug resistance.
Dr.Suneel.I.Majagi, Associate professor, has written many articles in senior citizen welfare magazines creating awareness regarding the drug’s use in geriatric patients. He is also involved in organising various health camps in different areas of Belgaum city.