What is Pharmacy?
The word pharmacy is derived from the Greek word “Pharmakon” which meaning- Drug, and it had first been used in the 15th-17th century. Pharmacy is the branch of healthcare science that deals with the preparation and dispensing of drugs. The aim of the pharmacy profession is to ensure the safe and effective use of pharmaceutical drugs.
The profession of pharmacy was marked in India by the first class of the chemist and druggist conducted at the Madras medical college in the 1870s to train students and to gain skills in pharmacy practice. The first pharmacy education pattern was based on the instructions provided by the pharmaceutical society of Great Britain.
The profession of pharmacy is managed in India by PCI (Pharmacy Council of India) in both educational and industrial departments. The pharmacy profession can primarily be divided into three disciplines-
-Medicinal Chemistry & Pharmacognosy
Courses & Duration–
Pharmacy is the popular field in the healthcare profession among the students. The study in the pharmacy profession varies from one country to another. For admission in this profession, the candidate must be passed with Physics/chemistry/mathematics or biology subjects. The candidate must have completed 17 years of the year of admission.
Diploma in Pharmacy (D. Pharma) – 2 years.
The minimum qualification of 10+2 is required. Candidate must be passed with Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, or Biology subjects. For admission in this course, candidates must have completed 17 years of the year of admission.
Subjects in D. pharmacy-
|First-year subjects||Second-year subjects|
|Biochemistry and Clinical Pathology||Pharmacology and Toxicology|
|Pharmacognosy||The drug store and Business Management|
|Human Anatomy and Physiology||Pharmaceutical Jurisprudence|
|Pharmaceutical Chemistry-1||Hospital and Clinical Pharmacy|
|Health Education and Community Pharmacy||Pharmaceutical Chemistry-2|
Note: Diploma holders are eligible for admission into B. Pharma by lateral entry.
-Bachelor of Pharmacy (B. Pharma) – 4 years
-Bachelor of Pharmacy (B. Pharma) Lateral Entry – 3 years
-Pharma (Hons.) – 4 years
-Bachelor of Pharmacy (Ayurveda) – 4 years
For this course, candidates must pass 10+2 with Physics and Chemistry as a compulsory subject along with one of the Mathematics / Computer Science / Biotechnology / Biology subjects and must obtain 50% marks in the qualifying examination.
The age limit for admission is a minimum of 17 years and a maximum of 23 years on or before 31st December in the year of admission.
Subjects in B. pharmacy-
|First-year subjects||Second-year subjects|
|Pharmaceutical Analysis-I||Pharmaceutics -II|
|Remedial Biology||Pharmaceutical Chemistry-IV (Organic Chemistry – II)|
|Pharmaceutical Chemistry-I (Inorganic Pharmaceutical Chemistry)||Pharmaceutical Analysis – II|
|Basic Electronics & Computer Applications||Pharmaceutics – III|
|Pharmaceutics -I (Physical Pharmacy)||Pharmaceutical Microbiology|
|Advanced Mathematics||Pharmacognosy – III|
|Pharmaceutical Chemistry -II (Physical Chemistry)||Pathophysiology of Common Diseases|
|Pharmaceutical Chemistry-III (Organic Chemistry-I)||Pharmaceutics -N (Dispensing & Community Pharmacy)|
|Anatomy, Physiology & Health Education|
|Third-year subjects||Fourth-year subjects|
|Pharmaceutical Chemistry (Biochemistry)||Pharmaceutical Biotechnology|
|Pharmaceutics (Pharmaceutical Technology I)||Pharmaceutics (Pharmaceutical Technology – II)|
|Pharmacology||Pharmaceutical Industrial Management|
|Pharmaceutics (Hospital pharmacy)||Pharmaceutical Chemistry (Medicinal Chemistry – II)|
|Pharmaceutical Chemistry Pharmaceutical Jurisprudence & Ethics||Pharmaceutics|
|Pharmaceutics (Biopharmaceutics & Pharmacokinetics)||Pharmaceutical Analysis|
|Pharmacology||Pharmaceutical Chemistry (Medicinal Chemistry – III)|
|Pharmacognosy – V (Chemistry of Natural Products)||Pharmacognosy|
|Pharmacology (Clinical Pharmacy & Drug Interactions)|
Higher educational course Options after B. Pharmacy-
Master of Pharmacy (M. Pharm) – 2 years
The successful completion of this course leads to a master’s degree in pharmacy. A pass in Bachelor in Pharmacy (B. Pharma) program with not less than 50% marks is required to be eligible for this course. For SC/ST, there are no minimum qualifying marks.
Branches of M. pharma-
-Pharmaceutical Quality Assurance
-Pharmaceutical Regulatory Affairs
Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) – 6 years
The course duration is 6 years in which 5 years of classroom study and 1 year of internship. The minimum qualification requirement is 10+2 with Physics and Chemistry as a compulsory subject with any one of the Mathematics or Biology subject.
(Note– D. Pharm (Diploma of Pharmacy) holders are eligible for admission in the lateral entry.)
Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences – 3 years
Ph.D. in pharmaceutical science is the research program in the pharmacy field for further studies. Candidates can pursue this course after completing M. Pharm from a well-recognized institution. B. Pharma graduates can either go for jobs in the related field or an option for further advanced studies.
The educational options available after B. Pharmacy are –
-M.Sc. Pharmaceutical Chemistry
-Management Program in Pharmacy
-Post Graduate Diploma in Clinical Trial Management
-Post Graduate integrated Diploma in Clinical Research and Pharma co-vigilance
-Course in clinical research
-Drug Store Management Course
There is also an opportunity for talented individuals to join the research field. Those candidates who are interested in the Ph.D. program, for them there are many various options in research programs in different subjects. Going on for a Ph.D. is also a brilliant move, and, those having an interest in the research field can really make the most out of this option.
Career opportunity after B. pharmacy-
Pharmacists- The pharmacist is a healthcare professional, with the responsibilities includes dispensing and managing the medication, to a person on the correct use and side effects. This requires them to keep abreast of developments and advances in knowledge and technology related to the manufacture and use of medicines, professional standard requirements, laws governing pharmacy, etc. These are works in a wide variety of healthcare departments are-
In Pharmaceutical healthcare practice-
In healthcare, professional pharmacists play an important role between the doctor, nurses, and patients. These are the main part of the healthcare profession with their work for patient welfare.
Community Pharmacist- Community pharmacy is also known as a retail pharmacy and the community pharmacist is known as a chemist. These are distributing and dispense medicines and facing customers directly while giving them advice and information about their general health.
They are selling OTC and prescription medicines to patients and inform them about their proper use and dosage. These are also performing screening tests like- blood pressure, blood sugar, height-weight, and peak flow, etc.
Hospital pharmacist-The pharmacists in the hospitals are the best-informed individuals for prescribing a drug. In western countries mostly, the doctors are diagnosis but the pharmacist is deciding the medicine and the dose for the patient. These are works in both government and private hospitals.
Clinical pharmacist– These are providing direct patient care from ADR (adverse Drug Reaction), detection, and monitoring them. These are maintaining the patient medication history and ward rounds along with doctors and nurses and deciding medication dosing for patients.
Other pharmaceutical healthcare practices are-
-Dispensary Pharmacist or Manager
-Medicines Safety Manager
-Medicines Management Technician
In pharmaceutical industries-
Research and development (R&D)- The pharmacy industry is one such industry that thrives on research and development. For this option, B. Pharma candidates are also in demand for research on new drugs, process development, formulation, development, clinical trials, and Toxicological Studies, etc. The departments in R&D are-
-Analytical and testing
Quality Management– Quality management in pharmaceuticals is to helps improve the product quality and minimize the risk of the defect. It is based on the procedures, policies, resources, and objectives that established collectively to guide an origination.
-Quality control– In quality control the product testing throughout the life of the drug and finished product from raw material to packaging.
-Quality assurance– In quality assurance the process of preparing, reviewing, and submitting documents, conducting training, internal audits, and overall quality management.
Production and manufacturing– Production and manufacture is the department where the size, shape, testing, and stability from crude medicine to finished medicines or in another form.
It is the process that combines and transforms various resources like-Raw material, Labor, and Machine that are used in the production subsystem of the organization into a value-added product. It is performed in a controlled manner, as per the policies of the organization.
-Bulk drugs and intermediates
-Large- and small-scale production
-Contract research and manufacturing
-Food and cosmetics industry
Packaging– In the packaging department, there is to the enclosure or protective products for distribution, storage, sell, logistics, and their finished use. It is jointly referred to as the method of coming up with, evaluating, and manufacturing of the packages. Packaging contains, protects, preserves, transports, informs, and sells.
Sales and Marketing– Sales and marketing are for strategic planning, team management, and marketing of pharmaceuticals products. These are maintaining as a middle man for the relationship between the industries to local doctors and others.
-Working as a Medical Representative
-Product development and management
Regularity affairs– Preparing, reviewing, communicating, submitting registration documents on pharmaceutical to regulatory agencies to get R&D, testing, production and marketing approvals, issues related to patents.
In Government organization-
Academics– Usually, graduates in pharmacy can also make their careers in academics. In some institutions, they are eligible to work as a lecturer for diploma students in the classroom and labs. For those having interest in teaching can make out a career in the field of academics.
Apart from a bright career teaching line also gives in a lot of satisfaction upon giving sharing your valuable experience and knowledge with other students and watching them prosper.
(NOTE It is also same in both private and government colleges and universities)
Regulatory Government organizations– There are bodies that control and regulate medicines. Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) in India is the regulatory body that deals with governing and implementing the rules and regulations for the Drug and Pharmaceutical industry.
The post of Drug Inspector, Assistant Drug Controller, Deputy Drug Controller in the center, Drug Controller of the state, and finally the D.C. I. (Drug Controller of India) are also a bright option for the government sector in pharmacy.
-Pharmacist- In Amy, Navy, Air force, and govt. Hospitals
-Govt. Analytical and Forensic scientists
-Govt. Certified Pharmacologist and Toxicologist
-Selected in UPSE and State Public Service Commission’s competition
-Consultant in Mental health, Addaction, family planning, poisons, self-medication, and immunization, etc.
In other departments-
Clinical research organization-Clinical research determines the safety and effectiveness of medications, medical devices, diagnostic products, and the treatment regimens that intended for human use.
These are also may be used for prevention, treatment, diagnosis, or for relieving symptoms of a disease. Clinical Research is different from clinical practice. Pharmacy professionals have job potential in the Clinical Research in the following position are-
-Clinical Training Analyst
-Clinical Research Monitor
-Clinical Research Associate
-Clinical Affairs – Project Manager
-Clinical Trials Manager
-Clinical Research Coordinator
-Clinical Research Manager
-Manager of Clinical Operation.
Formulation Development (F&D)- In F&D identifying new and more effective formulations with the combinations of active drugs and other constituents that are as important as finding a new drug molecule. This is where the F&D vertical plays an important role.
Medical Writing or Scientific Writer– If you don’t want to get into research or any other technical field, you can take up the role of a scientific writer. A scientific writer will cover fields that are doing rapid advances in the field of pharmacy. This is a chance to report groundbreaking and exciting records in the field.
The researching, writing, and editing scientific news, features, and articles related to the healthcare profession in a clear, concise, and accurate manner on healthcare magazines, newspapers, and the digital platform like- blogging, YouTube, etc.
MEDICAL CODING -Medical cryptography is also called medical classification that is nothing, but, the transformation of descriptions of medical diagnoses and procedures into universally acceptable codes.
Entrepreneurship- An individual in this world has two options to earn his bread and butter; one to have his own enterprise and provide employment and to be an employee of existing enterprises.
It is left to the individual to decide whether he would only earn his bread and butter by being an employee of an enterprise or would provide employment to others to earn their bread and butter by establishing an enterprise. The entrepreneur is the one who has initiated business and owns an enterprise.
Large scale Entrepreneurship-
-Large-and small-scale production
-Contract research and manufacturing
-Food and cosmetics industry
Small scale Entrepreneurship –
-Own distribution (Wholesale) agency or distributorship
-Own Pharmacy shop (Retail sale) or Community pharmacy
The profession of Pharmacy has a lot of career options in many departments of healthcare and other than it. It is generally depending on your knowledge, capacity, dedication for your work that how you explore your career options. A pharmacist is generally a link between doctor and patient. As much as this link will be strong patients will get more benefits and recover as soon as possible.