Journey of Pharmacy Education in Bangladesh

History is the way to find out the root. In 1964, 1st July PHARMACY Education started its endless journey under the supervision of Professor Dr. Abdul Jabbar, which roams around him till today.

In 1947, there was no institute for pharmacy education in the newly born Pakistan though there were lots of thoughts to open such an institute. In response to the introduction of Pharmacy profession and its brighter aspects in abroad and development of foreign pharmaceutical companies in Pakistan, Lahore University opened Pharmacy department in mid 1948 in West Pakistan (present Pakistan). From the partition of subcontinent the gradual discrimination towards East Pakistan (Bangladesh) also affected the Pharmacy Education, though a good that number of students of this part were interested in Pharmacy. But they didn’t get the chance. At that period Prof. Dr. Abdul Jabbar strongly felt the necessity of Pharmacy Education when he was adopting higher education in abroad and tried to admit some students in Lahore University every year. But only 2 to 4 students got chance among the 10 to 15’s though they were truly qualified.

During the late 1950’s there were few small pharmaceutical companies in East Pakistan (Bangladesh). The demand of medicine market was fulfilled through importing. Moreover, some big companies named Albert David, Glaxo and Baroz Welcome went on production, which needs Pharmacists though there was no scope to fill the demand.

First stride

Gradually increasing demand of the Pharmacists and the discrimination faced by the students of East Pakistan initiated the thought to start Pharmacy Education in Dhaka University. And Dr. Abdul Jabbar was the first to initiate the process. During that period renowned Educationist Dr. Mahmud Hossain was the Vice Chancellor of Dhaka University. With his help a scheme of establishing Pharmacy department in Dhaka University was sent to planning commission several times. But Planning Commission of Government refused to do so, mentioning the lack of teachers. Though in Lahore University Pharmacy education ran under teachers who were not pharmacists, for more than one decade and a new plan was passed to start Pharmacy in Karachi University. Moreover, from 1950’s Biochemistry and Pharmaceutical Chemistry existed as subsidiary subject under Chemistry department of Dhaka University.


Meanwhile Prof. Dr. Abdul Jabbar got a fellowship in San-Francisco School of Pharmacy, USA for one year in 1960 and Biochemistry was established as separate department. Dr. Kamaluddin Ahmed was selected as Chairman. Then coming back Prof. Dr. Abdul Jabbar with Dr. Kamal started again to set up a platform for Pharmacy. Moreover, Dr. Kamal sent some students (Mr. Abdur Rashid, Mr. Shukur Khan and Mr. Samsul Alam) for their higher studies in 1961-1962. Then the lack of teachers was solved.

Afterwards Dr. A. Jabbar and Dr. Kamal interacted with the university administration to start the Pharmacy education to strat the Pharmacy Education. Prof. Dr. Mahmud Hossain as VC passed the proposal and sent to the Planning Commission.

Today we must remember the name of those great persons. We are grateful, the Education Minister of East Pakistan Late Mafizuddin Ahmed and Economist Late Dr. M. N. Huda and Dr. K. T. Hossain who shortly joined in planning commission. At last with their reference Planning Commission was bound to approve the proposal in late 1962.


After the approval by Planning Commission rose the questions of syllabus, teachers, associates, chairman, place etc. The syllabus was taken from the School of Pharmacy, London. Which was worldwide, recognized for Pharmacy at that period. It was decided to take class in the classrooms of Biochemistry department, which is situated in the Carzon Hall. Though Dr. Abdul Jabbar was the only teacher who did fellowship in pharmacy at that period, due to some political movement in 1962 Dr. Kamaluddin was selected as Chairman of both Biochemistry and Pharmacy Department. Few days later Prof. Dr. Abdul Jabbar was selected as First Chairman of Pharmacy Department. Pharmacy department was started as 3 years professional B. Pharm degree in 1964, it was converted into 3 years B. Pharm (Hons) degree in 1965 due to protest from the students. In 1967 the first batch passed out.

At a glance

Department of Pharmacy started its journey in 1964, with 20 students and a few teachers and fewer physical facilities, classrooms, labs and utilities. 1964 to 1966, both the Department of Biochemistry and Pharmacy were virtually sharing the same classrooms and labs. Prof. Dr. Abdul Jabbar became the Chairman of department of Pharmacy in 1966.

The faculty members were Prof. Kamal Ahmed, Prof. Dr. A. Jabbar, Dr. N. H. Khan, Dr. Golam Haidar, Dr. Atiqur Rahman, Dr. Akhter Hossain, Mr. Parvez Ahmed, Late Dr. Anwarul Azim (part time), Dr. Abdur Rahman, Sree Nirmal Chakraborti, Prof. Ali Nawab (Chemistry), Dr. Farid Uddin Ahmed (part time from DMCH), Mr. Ansari (part time from Albert David), Dr. Rashid Purakaystha, Mr. Sukkur Khan and Dr. S. A. Talukder. Prof. Dr. Abdul Ghani joined the department during the period.

In 1969 the department first started its M. Pharm Course for thesis students, limited to 3-4 students. Others were not allowed to pursue their M. Pharm degrees. In 1st February 1969 a group of young teachers joined the department and took the maximum load of theoretical and practical classes in Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Physical Pharmacy and Microbiology. In 1970 the B. Pharm graduates got chance to do M. Pharm both in the thesis and non thesis groups.

Regulation of Pharmacy Education in Bangladesh

Bangladeshi universities are affiliated with the University Grants Commission (UGC), a commission created according to the presidential Order (P.O. No 10 of 1973) of the Government of Peoples’ Republic of Bangladesh. However, since pharmacy is a professional subject, the Government of Bangladesh promulgated Pharmacy Ordinance (No.X111) in 1976 and set up Pharmacy Council of Bangladesh (PCB) under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, from then the Pharmacy courses are designed and controlled by the PCB.


1. Prof. Dr. Abdul Ghani Sir,


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