Pharmacy Career in India
A pharmacist is responsible for dispensing and managing medications, educating patients on correct usage of drugs and potential drug side effects, and managing the overall health care or well-being of patients/customers in the setting of pharmacies and dispensaries. Pharmacists must know how to handle medications for patient safety and how to give correct dosages. Interaction with patients is common, so pharmacists may need to answer questions about medication. Furthermore, it is the duty and legal obligation of all pharmacists to know and follow the laws pertaining to the prescribed medication, and make sure that no medication is dispensed to a patient that would create a medical/drug interaction with any other medications that the patient is also taking. Staying abreast of new research in pharmaceutical developments and their safety is of vital importance in pharmacy jobs.
Required SkillsPharmacists should be skilled at communicating safety instructions, potential side effects and giving general advice regarding over-the-counter as well as prescription drugs. As pharmacists work with sick patients on a daily basis, they should also be patient, calm, reassuring, understanding and compassionate. They must also have analytical skills and an interest in pharmacy research, so that they stay up to date about information regarding the drugs they are dispensing. For pharmacists who work in hospitals, the ability to work with doctors as well as nurses can be important, so basic medical terms and a clinical attitude, when appropriate, may be helpful.
Eligibility CriteriaThe minimum requirements to become a pharmacist are generally a Diploma of Pharmacy (D.Pharm.), a two-year program and/or a Bachelor of Pharmacy (B.Pharm.), a four and a half-year program. Both pharmacy courses require a six-month pharmacy internship. The degree/diploma must be from accredited, Pharmacy Council of India approved pharmacy colleges, and upon completion of training and education, the graduate must register with his/her state’s Pharmacy Council. It’s also possible to continue your education by getting a Master of Pharmacy (M.Pharm.) or Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.), but this kind of pharmacy degree tends to be needed for research and/or teaching positions rather than pharmacist positions.
Pharmacy Career ProspectsPharmacists in India work in community and/or Ayurveda, Yoga, Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH) dispensaries, in both private and public hospitals, as well as in retail pharmacies. Pharmaceutical companies will pay them well for work in marketing and quality control of their products, as well as research.
Pharmacist SalaryThe salary for pharmacists varies based on experience and location, but the minimum startup salary for a pharmacist who has just finished his/her training is generally about Rs. 25,000 according to one source, Medspan International Pharmacist Training. An average annual salary falls somewhere between Rs. 71,422 and Rs. 4,93,286, according to PayScale.com.
Government hospital salaries start at Rs. 5000; medical representatives about Rs 5000 – Rs. 10000, not to mention incentives; lab researchers may command between Rs. 15000 – Rs. 40000 a month. Manufacturing units are paid in handsome figures.
M.Pharm, Pharm.D, Pharm.D (post baccalaureate)The Bachelor of Pharmacy (B.Pharm. or B-Pharm) degree and Diploma of Pharmacy (D.Pharm. or D-Pharm) are common pharmacology programmes. The B.Pharm. degree must be accredited by the All Indian Council of Technical Education (AICTE) or the Pharmacy Council of India (PCI). The bachelor’s course is a 4 year programme, while the diploma course is a 2-year program. Both require a six-month internship.
B.Pharm. admission requirements are as follows: applicants must be at least 17 years of age at time of admission, and are required to complete the Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC), or 10+2 exam in the science stream. Necessary subjects are biology/ mathematics, chemistry and physics. Admission requirements vary between institutions, so in order to be considered a top candidate for admission, it is also important to get a high rank in the state or institutional entrance examination.
If a candidate wants to get admitted to the 2nd year of B.Pharm (i.e. lateral entry), he must have passed D.Pharm from a PCI approved institute.
D.Pharm. admission requirements include that applicants must be at least 17 years of age at time of admission, and are required to complete the Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) or 10+2 exam in the science stream. Required subjects are physics, chemistry and biology or mathematics. A minimum of 40 percent marks are needed in each course. The cost for both B.Pharm. and D.Pharm. is varies based on institution.
M.PharmMaster of Pharmacy (M.Pharm) is a 2 year post graduate course. In order to be eligible for admission to an M.Pharm course, you should have a B.Pharm degree from a PCI-approved institute and should have scored at least 55% marks over the 4 years of B.Pharm.
Specialties/ subjects in which post graduate degree in pharmacy can be awarded by the Indian universities:
2. Industrial Pharmacy
3. Pharmaceutical Technology
4. Pharmaceutical Chemistry
5. Pharmaceutical Analysis
6. Pharmaceutical Quality Assurance
7. Regulatory Affairs
8. Pharmaceutical Biotechnology
9. Pharmacy Practice
12. Phytopharmacy & Phytomedicine
13. Any other specialty as may be prescribed by the Pharmacy Council of India from time to time.
GPATThe AICTE conducts the Graduate Pharmacy Aptitude Test (GPAT) on a national level, for admission to ACITE-approved post graduate (PG) level courses in pharmacy.
Pharm.DThe Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D) course was introduced in India only in 2008 by the PCI. The duration of Pharm.D is 6 years (5 years of study+1 year of internship/ resiency). It is a post-graduate (PG) qualification and hence Pharm.D graduates can register directly for Ph.D. All candidates being awarded the Pharm.D degree are eligible to use the prefix "Dr." before their name and the same will reflect on the certicate issued to them by their PCI-approved institute/ university.
Eligibility to join a Pharm.D course:
You must be at least 17 years old and pass any one of the following exam:
(1) 10+2 with physics, chemistry and mathematics/ biology
(2) Completed D.Pharm course from a PCI-approved institution
(3) Any other qualification approved by PCI that is equivalent to above two qualifications