Careers in Pharmacy
Pharmacists dispense prescription drugs to patients. They provide information about those drugs and help patients understand the instructions their doctors or other health practitioners provided. They monitor their patients' health and progress to make sure their medications are working effectively and safely.Broadly a pharmacist's job is to prepare, mix, compound or dispense drugs and medicines, ointments, powder, pills, tablets and injections on the prescription of a medical practitioner, dentist or veterinarian. Those in research concern themselves with synthesis of new drugs, clinical testing of the effects of such drugs on animals and humans, and obtaining the required License from the drug control authorities.
A pharmacist can work with pharmaceutical industry, government departments, universities, teaching hospitals, investigation and research institute etc. Within the pharmaceutical industry he might be involved in activities relating to the development, formulation, production or marketing of new drugs for clinical use.
One becomes eligible to pursue a course in pharmacy only after Class XII with science(PCM/B).The study of pharmacy is at the following levels – Diploma courses are of 2 years' duration, degree courses of 4 years' duration.
- After completing one's graduation in pharmacy, M Pharma course of 2 years' duration can b undertaken.
- Graduates in pharmacy can opt to do postgraduate study in biotechnology, particularly if they aspire to become research scientists.
- Diploma holders can find work as technicians.
- Graduate pharmacists can opt for retail and hospital jobs.
- Postgraduates and doctorates are selected for research, production, quality control and management positions.
Those with B. Pharm and above can work in production section in pharmaceutical companies, product marketing, quality control, research, etc. They are also employed by large hospitals and research centres. There is a demand for pharmacists in western countries also, and many Indians have fared well in this field abroad.
Career Prospects in Pharmacy
Pharmacists generally work in the below mentioned areas:
Hospital pharmacist – The tasks:Procure, stock, prepare and dispense medicines, drugs and other medical accessories. Undertake responsibility for stock control, storage, placing orders, labelling and financial budgeting and account-keeping for the dispensary. The pharmacists are expected to meet patients, doctors and nurses to discuss the supply of medicines and the appropriate form of drugs for administration.
Retail pharmacists – The tasks:In medical retail stores, the pharmacist prepares and dispenses drugs on prescription to the general consumer With the growing availability of pre-packaged doses, the pharmacist monitors the drug sale on the basis of prescriptions and dosages, and gives over the counter advice on how to use prescribed drugs In the retail sector, pharmacists run chemist's shops As medical representatives, they inform and educate the medical practitioners of the potential uses of the drug or health product and its administration along with side effects or precautions for its use. The job entails regular visits to medical practitioners, hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, health centres. There is usually a lot of touring to be done.
Industrial pharmacists – While most firms are involved in the production of preformulated preparations, a growing number of firms are developing new formulations through autonomous research work. Industrial pharmacists carry out clinical trials, where drugs are tested for safety and effectiveness work in research and development 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.
Research pharmacists - Research pharmacists are engaged in research activities in pharmaceutical firms, research organisations and laboratories.
Apart from this they can find employment in various government departments like the Health Protection Branch of the Department of Health and Welfare, the Pest Control Division of Agriculture, the Department of National Defense, Provincial Research Councils, and the Provincial Departments of Agriculture or the Environment. A diploma or degree holder in Pharmacy, after registering with the State Pharmacy Council, can set up and run their own pharmacy or chemists and druggists shop to stock and sell medicines and dispense them according to doctors prescriptions. In a retail Pharmacy he has varied duties, including buying and selling of related items demanded by the public.
Pharmacists get reasonable salary in government and private hospitals, clinics and diagnostic laboratories etc. The average starting salary of a pharmacists ranges between Rs.6000 - 10000 per month in hospitals and in clinics. Those working in private hospitals and clinics have more income than those of government employees. Those who are doing private practice are earning handsome returns depending upon their skill and popularity. Those working in private sector pharmaceutical companies have basic pay of Rs 12000 to Rs 20000 depending upon qualification and experiences. Medical Representatives can earn around around rs 15000 – Rs 18000.
Pharmacy Colleges in India
Pharmacy courses are offered by many colleges across the country.
Please click here for detailed list of colleges that offer courses in Pharmacy.