Pharmacy or Pharmacology is one of the main disciplines under Biomedical Science and the pharmaceutical industry. There are many disciplines within the Biomedical sciences. Pharmacy is related to health sciences. It is the profession responsible for the preparation, dispensing and appropriate use of medication and which provides services to achieve optimal therapeutic outcomes. A Pharmacists 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. In detail, they are concerned with production of pharmaceutical products, development of the methods or processes of production and quality control. Those in research concern themselves with synthesis of new drugs (what is commonly referred to as molecules), new processes, clinical testing of the effects of such drugs on animals and humans, and obtaining the required License from the drug control authorities. A pharmacist is required to explain the mode and precautions regarding the use of medicines dispensed in a hospital pharmacy, prepare special formulations normally not available in the market, assist the physician in rendering necessary information about various drugs, their contra-indications, incompatibility etc. There are over 225 programs in Pharmacy conducted by different universities in India. The main courses in Pharmacy are the 2 years Diploma in Pharmacy (D.Pharm), 4 years Bachelor of Pharmacy (B.Pharm), 2 years Master of Pharmacy (M.Pharm) and Ph.d programmes. The admission announcement usually comes out in May- July.
Job Prospects and Career Options
India has a vast and growing pharmaceutical industry. Increasing number of hospitals, nursing homes and pharmaceuticals companies all over the country is a clear indication of the growing scope in this area. Pharmacy offers reasonably good career opportunities both by way of jobs as well as in terms of starting your own business. The job avenues for a pharmacist are with pharmaceutical industry, government departments, universities, teaching hospitals, investigation and research institute etc. Within the pharmaceutical industry you might be involved in activities relating to the development, formulation, production or marketing of new drugs for clinical use. Drug control administration and armed forces also offer a wide range of opportunities to pharmacists. Appointments are also available in sale promotion work as medical representatives. As a Medical Representative he keeps the medical practitioner informed about the new drugs and treatments developed by various pharmaceutical companies and thus indirectly promote their sales. M.pharm or Ph.D holders are normally absorbed in research work, to develop new useful drugs, in laboratories and in production work in pharmaceutical industry and analyzing them for purity and strength. Pharmacist may also take up teaching as a profession as lectures in pharmacy colleges and universities. Pharmacists are hired within the central and state government departments- 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. There is also employment opportunities within the food and cosmetic industries or within any other industry that requires the assurance that new products are as safe and effective as possible. In government departments, a pharmacist maintains proper records according to various Government acts governing the profession of pharmacy. As a drug inspector or government analyst he is to make sure that the drugs manufactured and sold, are of standard quality. 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.