India has a fast and a growing pharmaceutical industry, increasing number of hospitals; nursing homes and pharmaceutical companies are a clear indication of the opportunities and the scope with your qualification. Pharmacy is the profession deals with health care and its main purpose is the safe and effective use of pharmaceutical product. The professionals working in this field are generally called as pharmacists.
The Pharmacy Council of India (PCI) and All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) control pharmacy education in India. Qualifications at different levels include Bachelor of Pharmacy (B. Pharm), Master of Pharmacy (M. Pharm), Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm. D) and PhD in pharmacy.
B.Pharm a 4-year course in general focuses on organic as well as inorganic aspects of chemistry, concepts of Bio-chemistry, Health education and Human anatomy. Uses, effects and actions of drugs on body (Pharmacology) are also a part of the curriculum. This program also teaches the process of turning a chemical into a drug which is called physical pharmaceutics plus pharmaceutical technology.
Considering the current situation of India, it can be said that Pharmacists play an important role in providing quality health care by working along with physicians. A team of 5–6 pharmacists should be appointed in PHCs (Primary Health Centers) at Panchayat level and in CHCs (Community Health Centers) at the block/tehsil level. Drug inspectors must be appointed at Tehsil level in addition to their appointment at the district or regional level for proper regulation. Pharmacy teachers and pharmacists working in hospitals and industries should be given due recognition, especially in the pharmaceutical industry where many art and science graduates occupy many of the pharmacy based jobs. This basically implies that there are umpteen job opportunities in the government and public health sector for pharmacists.
Graduate pharmacists also have opportunities in the field of production, marketing, regulatory affairs as well as academia. Government and Private sectors are open with excellent job opportunities and pay packages.
Pharmacy profession has been a thriving choice for the youth owing to its popularity in healthcare industries and other segments like –
- In Industry: Pharmacists perform various tasks in the pharmaceutical industry. Their work is thus usually behind the scene, not in contact with the patients, but still largely contributing to the health care sector.
- Practice settings: pharmacists perform various tasks in practice settings and are generally in direct contact with the patients.
- Other settings: Pharmacist can also work in other settings that include Academics, Regulatory (Government), Clinical research and recognition of pharmacist.
Pharmacy practice in India includes openings and growth prospects at –
- Community pharmacy level
- Hospital pharmacy
- Clinical pharmacy
Education in pharmacy also leads the way for bright careers in many areas including research and development of new drugs, process development, formulation development, toxicological research and clinical research. In manufacturing sectors, pharmacists are in demand for their work in quality control area, analytical chemistry, formulation improvements and so on.
So one can safely say that there are multiple job opportunities available for Pharmacy graduates ranging from working in Clinical research to Medical writing! Students can also work as product managers who investigate, select, and develop products for an organization, performing the activities of product management. There are jobs available in Regulatory Affairs (RA), which are also called Government Affairs, a profession within regulated industries, such as pharmaceuticals and medical devices. Regulatory Affairs professionals usually have responsibility for ensuring that their companies comply with all of the regulations and laws pertaining to their business.
Pharmacy students have work options to take up as top level medical representatives or be a part of community Pharmacy industry. A community pharmacy is a community-based pharmacy. The main responsibilities of a community pharmacy include appropriate procurement, storage, dispensing, and documentation of medicines. In compliance with the vision of the community pharmacy section of the International Pharmaceutical Federation, community pharmacists are expected to be experts in pharmaceutical care, pharmacotherapy, and health promotion. They should be professional communicators with patients, other healthcare providers, and decision makers.
Pharmacy students are also getting jobs in Geriatric Pharmacy which is a sub-specialty of internal medicine and family medicine that focuses on health care of elderly people. It aims to promote health by preventing and treating diseases and disabilities in older adults.
Students can also work as Drug Inspectors in Government sector and there are multiple job options in Home Health Care as well which aims to provide supportive care in the patient’s home. Hospital Pharmacy also hires pharmacy professionals. Because of the complexity of the medication use system, many pharmacists practicing in hospitals gain more education and training after pharmacy school through a pharmacy practice residency and sometimes followed by another residency in a specific area.
However, the most important thing for a student interested in pharmacy is to choose the college or university for his/her B.Pharm degree wisely.
M.M.College of Pharmacy,(41 Rank in NIRF 2019)
Maharishi Markandeshwar (Deemed to be University),
Mullana, Ambala-133207, Haryana*