When you miss your medicine seat by a few ranks, the immediate option becomes pharmacy. Mainly because it’s a mix of of the same subjects that are not as gruesome. Some people get into pharmacy by choice, given the bright prospects in the West and the never-ending demand for medicines by the human race. It is the branch of biomedical sciences that deals with the profession responsible for the preparation, dispensing and appropriate use of medication and which provides medical services. B Pharm is a four-year graduation course that comes under the directorate of technical education. A core sector in pharmacy is R&D. Research and development is a field in which new drugs are synthesised for human health and welfare, tests are conducted on an appropriate host, the viability of the newly-created medicine checked and so on. The toughest part lies in the fact that it should be done with a budget as low as possible to make them socially available to the needy in the least possible price. New patent-worthy processes, clinical research and so on form an intrinsic part of a career in pharmacy. A pharmacist needs to suggest suitable doses, obtain licences from the drug control authorities, amongst a host of other duties. Also, some of the other prospects include assisting physicians and chemists.
Out of many supplementary courses, the main ones that should be considered include the two-year diploma course in pharmacy – DPharm, the four-year Bachelor of Pharmacy (BPharm), the two-year Master of Pharmacy (MPharm) and the PhD programmes. To qualify for the diploma in pharmacy, the eligibility is plus two from a recognised board or equivalent. For people who are eyeing a graduate degree course a certain minimum score to get into a renowned institution with a combination of physics, chemistry and maths or physics, chemistry and biology is required.
A Bachelor in Pharmacy will not be entitled to the tag of a specialist. Only after doing a master’s programme, one can be called a specialist. A Masters in Pharmacy covers interesting topics like pharmaceutics, pharmacognosy, pharmacological chemistry, biochemistry, pharmaceutical engineering, etc. After MPharm, candidates can apply for PhD programmes in pharmaceutics, pharmaceutical chemistry, pharmacology, pharmaceutical marketing and management. After a diploma or a degree in pharmacy, one can even register with the state pharmacy council to start up their own chemist shops and sell medicines according to the prescriptions.
Given the fact that India has a booming population, and the number of hospitals are only increasing by the day, the job prospects are great. Pharmacy offers great career opportunities both in terms of individual business plans as well as salaried jobs.One can look for ample number of opportunities in the fields of research, teaching in institutions and hospitals, both in government and private sectors. Being a medical representative is again a field that is majorly a part of pharmacy and that involves marketing and promotion of medicines. Most large pharmaceutical firms have research divisions requiring skilled manpower. Fresh graduates and PhDs are recruited as analytical research scientists, associates or as product development research associates.
The basic criterion one mainly looks at while choosing a career option is the returns. Pharmacy is a reputed job option. The average salary goes hand in hand with the designation. The average starting salary for a pharmacist is around Rs. 7,000. Scientists, on the other hand can earn upto Rs. 10,000 in the initial phase. This field includes lot of performance-based incentives as well.
What it takes
Having a keen interest in medicine and organic chemistry is imperative if one aims for a career in pharmacy. A scientific approach is always needed to go ahead in this career. A higher academic potential is needed so that there is a better understanding of things involved. One should be balanced enough to manage stores and druggists shops in hospitals. Excellent communication skills are required by pharmacists engaged in marketing and in the production sectors of industries.
There are mainly four work areas in which pharmacists are employed.
In hospitals: They stock medicines and other medical accessories. They may also make and dispense drugs. In this business, they are also in charge of controlling the stock, managing safe storage, correct labelling and placing orders.
In the retail sector: They work in medical stores; and up until recently, used to prepare and hand out drugs based on prescriptions given by the doctor. However, with the availability of pre-packaged medicines, the role has now changed to monitor the sale of drugs and medicines on the basis of prescriptions and to offer over-the-counter advice. As medical representatives, they inform and educate the medical practitioners of the potential uses of the drug and its administration along with side effects or precautions.
In the industrial sector: Many firms are developing new formulations through autonomous research work. Industrial pharmacists carry out clinical trials to test drugs for safety and effectiveness and to develop new formulations. The production job entails management and supervision of the production process, packaging storage and delivery work in marketing, sales and quality control.
In research: They are engaged in research activities in pharmaceutical firms, research organisations and laboratories.
India has a booming population and the number of hospitals are increasing by the day. the job prospects in pharmacy are greate
- Mumbai Education Trust’s Institute of Pharmacy, Mumbai
- Bharati Vidyapeeth’s College of Pharmacy, Navi Mumbai
- C U Shah College of Pharmacy, SNDT Women’s University, Mumbai
- Aditya College of Pharmacy & Research, Delhi
- Acharya Institute, Bangalore
- C N K Reddy College of Pharmacy, Bangalore
- Nagpur College of Pharmacy, Nagpur
- Padmashree Dr D Y Patil College of Pharmacy, Pune
Volume 1 Issue 7