Pharmacy is the branch of health science which extends its horizon from raw materials to manufacture of pharmaceuticals to monitoring appropriate use of drugs by patients. There are two major areas in pharmacy, namely, "Pharmaceutical Sciences" and "Pharmacy Practice". The pharmacy curriculum of the Faculty of Allied Health Sciences, University of Peradeniya, incorporates aspects of both pharmacy practice and pharmaceutical sciences equally so that the graduate who completes the course will be equipped to select an area of interest for their careers or future studies. The programme also aims to produce graduates who have highly developed analytical skills and leadership potential together with sound clinical competence in pharmacy practice. Emphasis will also be placed on developing critical and reflective thinking, problem solving and social skills and also skills to address professional, moral and ethical issues. At the completion of the degree program, the qualified pharmacists will be able to work in a number of different settings such as in hospitals, academia, industry, community pharmacy and in regulatory environments efficiently, while maintaining international standards.
Until recently most pharmacists employed in government hospitals of the Ministry of Health and other
government field service units received a two-year certificate-based training under the purview of the
Ministry of Health. During the last 15 years, the educational authorities in Sri Lanka increasingly
realized the need to advance the pharmacy professionals' training to University degree level, to be able
to meet the growing needs of modern medicine that is becoming increasingly complex and specialized.
In response to this need, in 2004, the government of Sri Lanka through the University Grants Commission (UGC) initiated several four-year University-based Bachelors degree courses for Nursing and Allied Health professions. The University of Peradeniya inaugurated a separate faculty to offer five Allied Health Sciences courses in the year 2007, the first such Faculty to be established in the country.
Based on the recommendations of the UGC and Ministry of Higher Education, the B. Pharm degree programme was initiated in 2007 at the University of Peradeniya. A senior academic, Dr. T. N. C. Athuraliya from the Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine was appointed as the overall coordinator of the program and was tasked with implementing this programme at the University of Peradeniya. Dr. T.N.C.Athuraliya worked tirelessly and contributed her maximum effort to implement this programme at the University of Peradeniya. Thus, in recognition of her invaluable contribution to the B. Pharm degree program, she is now regarded as founder head of Department of Pharmacy at the Faculty of Allied Health Sciences.
The development of a curriculum for the B.Pharm degree was a great challenge for the pharmacy degree program coordinator in office at the inception. This was a huge task at the early stage of this degree programme, particularly due to the challenge of finding professors, senior lecturers and module coordinators locally as a result of the dearth of expertise in this field in Sri Lanka. Therefore, experts from neighbouring countries (India, Pakistan and Malaysia) were brought down to prepare the curriculum for the B.Pharm degree. International workshops were organized and conducted to formulate a four-year curriculum for the very first time in Sri Lanka. The Department of Pharmacy has strived to improve the curriculum since the inception of the program by incorporating the latest developments and trends in the field of Pharmacy.