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Career in Pharmacy

Traditionally a qualification in Pharmacy was associated with a lifetime career as a chemist. Knowledge and training in Pharmaceutics offers a wide array of career options to the students. The programme is no longer confined to the laboratories or classrooms and goes beyond the curriculum. The career options after the programme are also immense.

Pharmacy interlinks health sciences and medical sciences. It is the leading science based Research and Development industry of India and its low cost of research over the Western countries has given it a potential advantage for future developments.

With the wide range capabilities in drug manufacturing and technology, it is worth $ 4.5 billion industry in India, at present and estimated to be $ 31.59 billion by 2020. Sun Pharma, Biocon, Cadilla Healthcare, Piramal Life Sciences, Cipla, Ranbaxy, Dr. Reddy's Lab, Lupin and Wockardt are hot employers,that offer various lucrative job prospects to professionals in this industry in India.

Depending on the extent of study and the area you specialise in (pharmacology, pharmaceutics, hospital pharmacy or quality assurance) study, you can opt for research. Research openings are growing in India. But those with doctoral and post-doctoral qualifications find challenging avenues in R & D labs abroad. Apart from the drug manufacturing industry, pharmacists are also employed in the chemical industry and food and drug control organisations. A large number of those who do pharmacy go on to become medical sales representatives. Of course if you are enterprising, you can open your own chemist shop or even go into manufacture of drugs or cosmetics. The cosmetic industry is growing at a much faster rate as compared to the pharma sector. A diploma-holder is qualified to obtain a licence for manufacturing cosmetics and for repackaging of drugs (other than those specified in schedules C & C1). Openings are in drug manufacturing industries, food and drug control organisations, among others.

The job opportunities that pharmacy courses offer are as follows:

  • Diploma in Pharmacy (D.Pharm).
  • Diploma in Pharmacy (Unani)- D.Pharm (Unani).
  • Bachelor of Pharmacy (B.Pharm).
  • Bachelor of Pharmacy (Unani)- B.Pharm (Unani).
  • Master of Pharmacy (M.Pharm).
  • Ph.D. Courses.
  • Diploma in Vet.Pharmacy (D.V.P.).
  • Drug Store Management Course.
  • Integrated Post Graduate Diploma in Clinical Research and Pharma-covigilance.
  • Post Graduate Diploma in Clinical Trial Management.

For admissions in diploma courses, candidates are required to pass their class X with 55% marks. For admissions in the 4-year bachelor’s programme (B.Pharm) students must pass 10+2 in science stream with physics, chemistry, maths and biology as the core subjects. For the 2-year M.Pharm programme one has to complete B.Pharm from any recognized board or university. After completing M.Pharm, one can opt for a Ph.D programme. Admissions in these aforementioned courses are made through an entrance test conducted by the respective boards or universities.

Job Description:

Pharmacists are health professionals who, in addition to dispensing prescription medication to patients, also provide information about the drugs their doctors have ordered for them. They explain doctors' instructions to patients so that these individuals can use these medications safely and effectively.

Career Prospects in Pharmacy after Graduation

  • For Higher studies: After a B.Pharm in pharmacy there are various opportunities for students, they can either go for higher studies like M.Pharm, MBA. or Ph.D degrees for improving their skills and up gradation of their degree or they can go for jobs in the chemical companies, research institutes ,Pharma companies ,even universities and colleges.
  • Overseas career: Some of the B.Pharm graduates are choosing to fly overseas and make their career bright. By scoring well in  GRE, TOEFL, IELTS etc entrances they can pursue M.S, MBA and other pharmacy related courses in US, UK, Australia etc.
  • M.Pharm is master degree of pharmacy in various branches or subjects like pharmaceutics, pharmacology, pharmacognosy, pharmaceutical/medicinal chemistry, pharmaceutical marketing, pharmacy practice, quality assurance, ph. technology, ph. administration, ph. science, Bulk drug Tech, Industrial Pharmacy, pharmaceutical analysis, pharmaceutical biotechnology. All the branches are distinct and have rejoicing scope. Many industries are reliance on master students than bachelors as they are specialized in particular branch with better knowledge. GATE-PY is discontinued from 2010, so it may effect some academically good students but still some good universities have their own enterances.
  • Pharm.D is brand new option for graduates in India. It is total 3 years course out of which 2 years of academics and 1 year of training in hospital. Then, appear for NAPLEX and one can registered as pharmacist in most of the countries. It involves all the aspects of clinical pharmacology and drug administration covering chiefly drug interactions and adverse effects. It will going to prove more ascent to pharmacist.
  • Marketing: There is a big scope in sales dept of pharmaceutical companies making tools and machines for research, these companies hire graduates for their marketing and sales as MR, project managers etc. Here salary ranges from 7-20 thousand. Pharmaceutical MBA is most heyday in this field.
  • Clinical research: Recently, Clinical research has also open its door for B.Pharm graduates as medical underwriter, CRO, data validation associate, clinical research associate etc.
  • Production: Large rate of vacancies are appearing in pharma industries for production. All the big firms invite suitable skill pharma individual in manufacturing units. Initial pay is less around 6000-10000 per month but later it show faster growth rate than any other line. Manufacture of pharmaceuticals involve all the drugs in different dosage forms and cosmetics.
  • Quality control: Some government jobs like government analysis is associated with it. They have to develop, apply, revise, and maintain quality standards for processing materials into partially finished or finished products. Helps in designing and implementing methods and procedures for inspecting, testing, and evaluating the precision and accuracy of products and prepares documentation for inspection testing procedures.
  • Scientists: Pharma graduates can absorb as scientist in R&D and F&D. It is field of innovation where talented people in pharmacy working as scientist. Numerous researches are going on in India though compare to less than US and other British industries. Very less candidate from B.Pharm are selected because lack of knowledge but those who have all ideas of subject are greeted in this field.
  • Lecturer: Usually, graduates in pharmacy can also make their career in academics. In some institutions they are eligible to work as lecturer for diploma students.

A Day in a Pharmacist's Life:

On a typical day a pharmacist will:

  • advise physicians and other health practitioners on the selection, dosages, interactions, and side effects of medications;
  • monitor the health and progress of patients in response to drug therapy;
  • advise patients and answer questions about prescription drugs, including questions about possible side effects and interactions among different drugs;
  • provide information and make recommendations about over-the-counter drugs;
  • Pharmacists may also
  • give advice about diet, exercise, or stress management;
  • help patients manage conditions such as diabetes, asthma, smoking cessation, or high blood pressure;
  • advise patients about durable medical equipment and home healthcare supplies;
  • complete third-party insurance forms and other paperwork;
  • Pharmacists who own or manage drugstores may supervise personnel, as well as have other general managerial duties.

Are pharmacists in demand?

Pharmacists are in very high demand right now and will continue to be in high demand until at least 2020. There are 7,000 to 10,000 unfilled pharmacy positions in the USA at any given time right now.


The average starting salary of a pharmacists ranges between Rs.6000 – 10000 per month in government hospitals and clinics. Professionals engaged in private practice earn handsome returns depending upon their professional reputation. Those working in private pharmaceutical companies receive about Rs 12000 to Rs 20000, provided they are experienced. Medical representatives can earn around Rs 10000 to Rs 15000 per month.

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