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Published in the 1-15 Apr 2005 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

Education & careers

Careers in pharmacy

By Ameen-E-Mudassar

The Milli Gazette Online 

An old saying goes like this ; "Each tablet has a patient's name written on it." If this statement is true then for a billion population we need to manufacture at least a billion tablets per day.!!. Each one of us, if not tablets, uses other pharmaceutical drugs every day. Apart from this, the number of patients is ever increasing with more number of diseases being discovered every day. Hence the need for high end drugs has increased tremendously making the death rate decrease. Making the optimum use of this requirement, the Pharmaceutical Industry has emerged as one of the most necessary and profit oriented Industry. 

Current Trends
Pharma Industry is ranked first in several countries like US, UK, Australia and the Gulf. The employment opportunities are aplenty (but only for the right candidate) in such countries. According to the Government statistics in pharmacy industry there are more than 30,000 manufacturing units, one-fifth of which are involved in making bulk drugs. Every year more than 25,000 students join the B.Pharma courses while about 5000 for D.Pharma. 

A pharmacist's role
A pharmacist is primarily responsible to advise the medical staff regarding the use, selection, composition, effects and side effects of drugs. The other responsibilities include dispensing of drugs, health accessories, developing new drugs, ensuring quality and improving the nature of existing drugs.

Courses and Eligibility 
Diploma in Pharmacy (2 years). Eligibility: Pass in 12th (Science) 
Bachelor's in Pharmacy (4 years). Eligibility: Pass in 12th (Science with atleast 50%)

Master's in Pharmacy (2 years). Eligibility: B.Pharma

PhD. in Pharmacy.

Entrance Test
Most of the universities and colleges conduct an entrance exam for selection of candidates. The Examination scheme includes a Test in Physics, Chemistry, Biology and English. The CBSE board conducts the All India Pharmacy Entrance Test for admissions to Central and Deemed Universities. 

Subjects Studied
During the course many subjects like Pharmaceutics, Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Pharmaceutical jurisprudence, Pharmacology and Toxicology, Hospital and Clinical Pharmacy, Bio-Chemistry, Human Anatomy and Physiology, Health Education and Community Pharmacy, Drug Store and Business Management are taught with lots of practicals. 

Personality requirements 

  1. One needs to have a keen interest in life sciences.

  2. Ability to work as a team and effective management skills for supervision of assistants.

  3. Good Communication and Business skills when involved in retail or wholesale pharma sales.

  4. Application of original thoughts and intelligence, during long hours of work in RandD.

  5. Presence of Mind and good knowledge of latest developments in the Pharmaceutical sector. 


Premier Institutes

  1. Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani, Rajasthan. 

  2. Birla Institute of Technology, Ranchi, Jharkhand.

  3. Manipal Academy of Higher Education college of Pharmaceutical Studies, Manipal, Karnataka.

  4. Al Ameen College of Pharmacy, Bangalore. 

  5. University of Pharmaceutical Technology, Annamalai University, Chennai.

  6. The Bombay College of Pharmacy, Santacruz, Mumbai. There are more than 300 institutions recognized by the Medical Council of India. 


Distance Education
Indian Institute of Pharmaceutical Marketing, 5/28, Vikas Nagar, Lucknow. Offers the following courses through distance mode. 

  1. Master's Diploma in Pharma Marketing Mangement (2 years). Eligibility: Any degree.

  2. P.G. Diploma in Pharma Marketing (1year).Eligibility : Any degree.

  3. P.G. Diploma in Marketing and Sales Management (1year) Eligibility : Any degree.

Pondicherry Univerisity also offers P.G. Diploma in Pharmaceutical Marketing (1 year) 
Eligibility : Graduation 

Job prospects
A Pharmaceutical graduate can find good job openings as 

  1. Hospital Pharmacist, Clinical Pharmacist, Community pharmacist and Family pharmacist

  2. Private Enterprise - Retail and whole sale medical stores. 

  3. Medical representatives involved in Pharmaceutical Marketing, Sales promotions, etc…

  4. Pharmaceutical laboratories as Scientists, drug analysts and research pharmacists.

  5. Technicians in biochemistry and pathology lab.

  6. State and Central Govt sectors like Railways, Airlines, defense forces, etc..

  7. Research Pharmacist in Food and Drug Control organizations.

  8. Drug Inspectors in Hotels and transit resorts. 

  9. Teaching and research in specialized field.

Any career queries? 
Kindly send your career queries to
MSW-Career Guidance and Information Center,
# 214, United School Building, Ilyasnagar, J.P. Nagar Post, Bangalore – 560078 Email: ameen@mswt.org ;  www.mswt.org

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