Pharmacist training in Japan is currently 4 years, shorter than most other countries. There has been growing concern that the length of training is not sufficient to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to immediately start working after passing the National Examination for Pharmacists. In recent years, rapid progress in pharmaceutical sciences, development and usage of new drugs, and spread of pharmacists’ work in the field of clinical pharmacy, have resulted in changes in the working environment. The current education curriculum has been centered on basic sciences, leaving insufficient time for practical training. Since the mid-1960s, JPA has been pointing out the need to prolong the education period of pharmacists. It was until May 14 and June 15 of this year that the School Education Law and the Pharmacist Law were amended, respectively. Under the new system, students entering the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences in 2006 and onward will only be qualified to take the National Examination for Pharmacists after completing 6-year pharmacy education.
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