Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Carving a Career Out of Medicines

An integral part of the healthcare system, pharmacy involves expertise on preparation, dispensing and storage of drug formulations. It also comprises rational use of drug therapy. With the passage of time, pharmacy as a field has undergone a lot many specializations. It has now become multifaceted and opened up a plethora of job opportunities across the country. It can be said that a pharmacist complements a medical professionals in every possible way.

New discoveries and inventions in the field of medical science have led to the growth of the pharmaceutical industry in India. Moreover, the increasing number of hospitals and nursing homes across the country has accentuated the growth of this industry. Gradually, with the increase in the demand for skilled professionals, pharmacy grew as a discipline and educational institutes started offering courses on the same. One of the institutes happens to be BITS Plani (Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani, Rajasthan).

However, the history of Pharmacy in the Indian subcontinent can be traced back to the first half of the last century when the first ever B.Pharmacy was started in 1937 at Banaras Hindu University. Though Pharmacy in India had rudimentary beginnings, by the first half of the next century saw a clear boost in the same. As the course gradually became more industry oriented, this led to the development of the modern pharmaceutical industry in India. The Indian pharmaceutical industry is now ranked 4th in terms of volume and 14th in terms of value. It is predicted that the industry might become the super power by the year 2020 since it has been noticed that the industry has become highly automatic.

Students willing to pursue their specialization in pharmaceutical studies may opt for either a Diploma in Pharmacy (D.Pharm) or a Bachelor’s Degree in Pharmacy (B.Pharm) which is of 4 years duration. Upon completion of graduation, students can opt for higher studies in the related field such as Master of Pharmacy (M.Pharm) and PhD programmes. Those who want to apply for a diploma should have completed 10+2 with pure science (Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics/Biology). The undergraduate course does not offer any specializations whereas the postgraduate course has the option for specializing. Students can choose between Pharmaneutics, Pharmacognosy, Pharmaceutical Engineering, Biochemistry and so on.

Once education is complete and registering with the state pharmacy council, one can start his or her own pharmacy store. Other job opportunities involve working for pharmaceutical giants like Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline and so on.

The profession of a pharmacist also demands a few personal qualities as well. These include a strong passion for science, especially medical science. Strong analytical skills, thinking, reasoning powers, patience, sense of responsibility, patient counseling skills contribute towards making a successful pharmacist.

Some of the educational institutes in India offering courses in Pharmacy include the following:

  • Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani
  • Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi
  • Indore Institute of Pharmacy, Indore
  • Mesco College of Pharmacy, Hyderabad

A degree in pharmacy from top Pharmacy colleges in India can lead one to opt for a good career opportunity.

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