Career as a Pharmacist: Learn about Essential Qualifications here!

Sunday September 26, 2021 at 10:00 am

For a layman, a pharmacist is just someone who holds a medical store or is a chemist selling medicines but, believes it or not, Pharmacy has way more than that to offer. Pharmacists are the people who invent medicines – develop them, experiment on them, and are responsible to vouch for them. It is that subset where biology, health sciences and chemistry meet.

A Pharmacist needs to have a good knowledge of all these three fields to be able to do his job properly. In fact, in as far as medicinal drugs are concerned, he needs to have more knowledge of them than doctors. They also have a role in advising and counseling patients and prescribing medicines.

If you wished to be a doctor but medical entrance exams are too tough for you or fees of medical colleges is too much, then courses of pharmacy are a way to stay close to what you wish to do. It will still mean counseling and interacting with patients.

Another advantage is that there are several government jobs open exclusively to Pharmacy graduates – and we are not just talking about government hospitals. Even within the private sector, pharmacy opens career paths to several industries of which Pharmaceutical companies are only one. Some of the other industries in which you can find a job include Healthcare, Academia, IT, FMCG, Food, IT etc.

Another advantage is that even during graduation you will be studying a large variety of subjects and thus a large number of options will be available after graduation too. Does the field attract you? Well, we will tell you how you can set on a career path:

How to Become A Pharmacist?

There are a few essential qualifications that you need to complete for commencing work as a pharmacist. You need to achieve higher secondary education and the subject combinations of PCMB, which means Physics, Chemistry, Maths, and Biology.

After 12th, students can complete the following course options:

  • B pharma (Bachelors Degree in Pharmacy)
  • Pharma D (Doctor of Pharmacy)
  • D Pharma (Diploma in Pharmacy)
  • M Pharma (Masters in Pharmacy)

B. Pharma

The graduation course, ‘Bachelors in Pharmacy‘ or B. Pharma, is a four-year-long course. You will cover several subjects like Human Anatomy & Physiology, Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Pharmaceutics, Pharmacology, Pharmacognosy, Biochemistry, Microbiology, Pharmaceutical Engineering and Technology to name a few. This course covers all Pharmaceutical Sciences and offers many career options – of which clinical or community pharmacy is just one. Please make sure that you do your B. Pharma from a college approved by both PCI and AICTE.

Diploma in Pharmacy (D.Pharm / D.Pharma)

If you want to go for clinical or community pharmacy, D. Pharm is the option for you. It takes only two years plus three months of internship after 10+2. However, you must have Physics and chemistry in 10+2 as mandatory subjects and either biology or medicine.

The diploma makes you eligible for registration with the Pharmacy Council of India (PCI) and the State Pharmacy Council. And thus you can open your Pharmacy course. The diploma is shorter and more accessible as it covers the basics and won’t provide any specialization. If you are looking for something better, B. Pharma is the way.

Suppose you are confused between B. Pharma and diploma, go for a certification, at the end of it, you can still take admission in the second year of B. Pharma.

Master of Pharmacy (M.Pharm / M.Pharma)

The two-year program is a specialization course in one of several Pharmaceutical sciences. For eligibility, you need a B. Pharma degree.

Doctorate in Pharmacy (Pharm. D)

Introduced by PCI in 2008, it is a 6-year long program that includes one year of internship. If you already have B. Pharma, you can be admitted to the fourth year, and thus, it will remain only a three-year course. It is an excellent option if you can plan forward and are sure to go for the master right after 10+2 as it will save you a year.

6 Career Alternatives for a Pharmacist

Are you fanatic about exploring diverse career prospects as a pharmacist? Here are the six career options to look out for:

  1. Retail Pharmacy- It is an apt job role for the pharmacists who wish to spread word of mouth about oral medicines. You can also get the flexibility of working house at the 24-hour pharmacy stores.
  2. Hospital pharmacy- You can also work at the hospital pharmacy where the primary job role includes prescription on a wide variety of medications, most of which are IV-focused.
  3. Medicine Distribution center- Choose this role if you want to avoid direct interaction with the consumers of the healthcare team. It can help you to organize the medicine stocks and manage processing orders.
  4. Homecare Pharmacy- Pharmacists can also engage in direct delivery of medications to the patients’ doors. People in-home health care can get a clinical approach with the assistance of such pharmacists.
  5. Pharmacy informatics- It refers to the technical handling of medicine stocks and the dosages of the same. Such pharmacists investigate the safety measures and manage clinical interaction online.
  6. Ambulatory care pharmacy- These pharmacists review the profiles of the patients, majorly those related to behavioral health, diabetes care, or under the anticoagulation medications.

Why Opt for a Career in Pharmacy?

There are many career prospects in the pharma sector, and a few of them are discussed below. Take a look at the lucrative ones:

  • Pharmacist role- They act as a link amongst the patients, medical attendants, and doctors. Such specialists are at the drug stores or attendants at hospitals.
  • Relevant jobs- You would never fall short of options if you discover a career in the field of pharmacy. It is recession-proof, and there is no shortage of opportunities.
  • Research is imperative- Pharmacists are mandatory to undertake detailed investigations for the formulation and investigation of drugs along with clinical trials.
  • Feasibility of working hours- In this career, you can retain the home-work harmony and get good compensation for your work.

Do read our detailed guide on how to develop a career in Pharma Industry as a Doctor!

Summary of Career as Pharmacist

Establishing a career as a pharmacist is a great idea to give wings for your prosperous life! If you prefer the medical and healthcare sector, this is the best profession for you. Getting a Pharma degree can open much more avenues than you can imagine for yourself. There are ample profiles and job options that could result in exponential growth. Find a perfect pharmacy job and enjoy the success ahead!

Career as a Pharmacist FAQs

Is Pharmacist a good career alternative?

The level of freedom pharmacists avail to choose the right career path is commendable. They can dive into research, sales, development, and even pharmacy jobs as per their desire.

Is the demand for Pharmacists still on the rise?

The demand for pharmacists is shooting the upwards graph and would probably increase all the more in the coming years. Patient care and medications are the essential aspects of a healthcare system that stay incomplete without a pharmacist.

Which is the best job role for the pharmacist?

The Pharmacist can explore multiple careers to pursue, such as the mental health pharmacist, locum pharmacist, pharma expert, drug safety officer, and several others.

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