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Scope of Pharmacy

Career Scope of Pharmacy

Pharmaceutical job is one of the finest jobs in the world as the whole industry is flourishing. Liberalization and globalization has also given a boost to this industry in India. There is wave of positive changes taking place in the Indian health care industry, giving immense scope for career in pharmaceutical industry. As most pharmaceutical companies struggle to find and retain talented human resources, they offer good packages and other benefits for its employees.
But in India a great talent pool is readily available. Therefore, majority of Pharmaceutical giants of the world are setting up their branches in India making a career in Pharmaceutical industry fascinating in India.

The scope of pharmacy practice includes more traditional roles such as compounding and dispensing medications, and it also includes more modern services related to health care, including clinical services, reviewing medications for safety and efficacy, and providing drug information. Pharmacists, therefore, are the experts on drug therapy and are the primary health professionals who optimize medication use to provide patients with positive health outcomes.

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.
From ancient times Pharmacy is known as a branch associated with healthcare services. Today, the discipline of Pharmacy has made enormous progress and has matured as a distinctly independent branch as pharmaceutical sciences, mainly through the acquisition of the wealth of knowledge, research and a vast array of drugs & therapeutic remedies. Unlike the other curricula Pharmacy is a product, as well as, service related discipline, increasing its scope two-fold.

It is involved in all the stages related to a drug, from its discovery, development, action, safety, formulation, use, quality control, packaging, storage, marketing, etc. Thus, today’s pharmacy professional is a ”drug expert” in the real sense. The profession of pharmacy has transformed into a hub for the ”Global Healthcare” and evolved as a multidisciplinary, multifaceted curriculum.

The drugs & pharma industry is a multibillion-dollar business. In the rapidly changing global scenario and the implementation of GATT & TRIPS in India, now a matter of only a couple of years, the pharmaceutical industry and professionals will play a vital role in shaping up our national economy. This new decade is thus, bound to have an ever growing demand of pharmacy professionals not only in the country, but even worldwide. Anticipating this demand the government has taken special steps to boost this unique discipline having a blend of both — technology, as well as, health-sciences.

Some of the Indian universities like the University of Pune, Nagpur, Vadodara, Chandigarh etc., have given a special status to the pharmacy education by setting up a separate faculty of pharmaceutical Sciences. In India Pharmacy Education is a two-tier system After 12th Science of State Board one can opt for any of the two courses, namely Diploma (D.Pharm.) and Degree (B.Pharm). However the Diploma Students can also be included in Degree course directly in Second Year B.Pharm. However, in the coming years the Government & Pharmacy Council of India is planning to abolish the D Pharm course and make B Pharm the minimum qualification for any individual to become a pharmacy professional.

The regulatory bodies for pharmacy colleges are namely, All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE), Pharmacy Council of India (PCI) and the respective University to which the college is affiliated to. Today pharmacy education like the pharmaceutical industry is also in the process of globalization. In order to have uniformity in course contents, requisite standards of education, technical faculty, facilities and infrastructure at international levels, colleges are going for accreditation and certifications from internationally approved regulating agencies.

Career Opportunities

A career in pharmacy, unfolds a vista full of opportunities leading to a golden future for a young career aspirant. The job opportunities, working conditions, job satisfaction and monetary benefits are excellent.

The various vocations a pharmacy professional can opt, for, are discussed below;

 

 

Production & Manufacturing:

A pharmacy professional can work as a production person (chemist, officer, executive, manager, vice-president), involved in the production of bulk drug & intermediates or formulations and dosage forms.

Industries in the cosmetics, soaps, toiletries segment also hire pharmacy professionals. Other segments where opportunities exist are the field of dental products. Dental medicine is a specialized field and so is its production. These involve products dedicated to dental care and hygiene like toothpaste, mouthwashes, dental cavity fillers, etc.

Blood and plasma products is another area hitherto untapped in India, but has immense potential worldwide and is coming up fast in the country. The products involve, blood of various groups, production of blood bags, haemoglobin, plasma, serum, clotting factors, antigens, antibodies, etc.

Production of biological & biotechnological products, surgical dressings, medical devices & equipment, ayurvedic/ homoeopathic / unani medicines also involve the presence of pharmacy professionals in its production.

Other areas where pharmacy professionals are required are in production of veterinary medicine, perfumery, fragrances, nutraceuticals

Research & Development:

This forms the heart of any industry, as it is the key to growth and sustenance. Mainly M Pharms & PhDs are in great demand in the various areas of Pharmaceutical R&D. Other areas where professionals are required are:

– New Drug Discovery Research (NDDR): Discovering a new drug has assumed prime importance in the post-GATT era.

– Process Development (P&D): One of the important areas in bulk drugs industry is developing viable processes for the manufacture of drugs and intermediates for their commercial production.

– Formulation & Development (F&D): The success of any pharma company lies in the quality of its products, i.e., its formulations & dosage forms.

– Clinical Trials, Bioequivalence studies, Toxicological Studies: These are some of the areas of clinical research which are in high demand as they are involved in the systematic evaluation of potential drug substances prior to getting them approved by the authorities.

Analysis & Testing

Any drug or dosage form for human use has to be of excellent quality and purity, free from any impurities. The permissible limits of impurities, which either occurs through the manufacturing process, equipment, raw materials, handling or storage, are very stringent. Therefore, Quality control (QC) and Quality Assurance (QA) are the most integral areas of the drug & pharmaceutical industry. Highly specialized and trained staff is required to handle sensitive analytical procedures & sophisticated equipment. MPharm & PhDs in Pharm Analysis /Q.A. are highly preferred for this job.

Marketing

Any business is incomplete without the marketing & sales aspect, as the universal fact is that any thing produced has to be sold. The Pharma. Sales & Marketing is a highly technical field & offers excellent opportunities for the pharmacy graduates. Additional qualification like M.B.A. adds to their arsenal. An aspirant of a highly bright future can enter through various openings like starting his own retail or wholesale drug store or becoming a professional sales representative (known as medical Sales Representative or M.R.) to the levels of International Marketing & Exports. The monetary rewards and perks are the best.

Hospital Pharmacy

Another opening for a Pharmacy professional is as a “Registered Pharmacist” in the hospitals or drug stores. This is a very sought after professional especially in countries like the U.S.A. & Canada. The trend is already set in many hospitals in the country. This is a key position and the Pharmacist plays an important role form preparing prescription to the patient”s medial history after the Medical doctor has diagnosed the disease. The Pharmacist is the best-informed qualified drug expert whose advice is sought by every body regarding the dosage, incompatibilities and side effects of drugs.

Community Pharmacy

This concept, which is already very old in developed Western countries, is rapidly catching up the Healthcare service in our country. Through the services of community pharmacy a Pharmacist becomes a vital link between the patients and the products i.e., drugs. The pharmacist also serves a vital link between the patients and other healthcare professionals, especially the medical experts.

– Counseling the patients regarding the use of the drugs and dosage forms

– Providing up-to-date information on drugs/dosage forms to the patients, as well as, medical staff.

– Maintaining patient records & history

– Involved in the usage of self-diagnostic kits by the patients for disorders like diabetes, hypertension etc.

– Providing supply of Home care dosage forms.

Academics

Excellent opportunities for the professionals are available in teaching profession also. As per the A.I.C.T.E. norms the minimum entry-level qualification as lecturer is M.Pharm. This is a profession associated with job satisfaction and social status as teaching is considered to be noble profession. The higher posts in the hierarchy and Sr. Lecturer, Reader, Asst. Professor, Professor, Principal etc. The emoluments are satisfactory.

Besides teaching Academic related opportunities involve positions on Research Posts and Training programs.

Regulatory Affairs

Locally the F.D.A. (Foods & Drugs Control Administration) is the main regulatory body governing and implementing the rules and regulations for the Drug & Pharma industry. The F.D.A. has state branches and sub-branches all over the country. The job opportunities for Pharmacy graduates are excellent and range from the levels of a Drug Inspector (D.I.), Sr. D.I., Deputy Drug Controller, Asst. Drug Controller, Drug Controller and finally D.C.I. (Drug Controller of India). This is highly respected and sought after profession. A graduate in Pharmacy is the minimum eligibility.

With globalization process reaching out to India, the geographical barriers have become obsolete. Any country will have to compete and trade globally in order to progress and survive in the years to come. The major drugs and pharma. Companies have realized this fact and have stepped into the global area of competitive trade. If an Indian manufacturer wants to sell his drug or formulation to a foreign country it is mandatory that he has to fulfill all the statutory requirements laid by the regulatory authorities of that country. Also, his product needs to be perfectly as per the specifications laid down by the concerned regulatory authority. Thus, in order to enter into trade with the foreign countries it is mandatory to get the necessary approvals and sanctions as per the formats given by local regulatory authorities. E.g. Approvals to be obtained from U.S.F.D.A. for U.S.A, T.G.A. for Australia & N>Zeeland, M.C.A and M.C.M. for U.K. & European countries and ICH guidelines going to be uniform for international levels.

Since, the business involved is worth multibillion dollars; this branch has assumed tremendous significance and is bound to grow enormously, in the Post-GATT era. Many big players in the drugs & pharma. field has already established separate Regulatory Affairs Departments in their companies. Regulatory experts are thus in great demand. Since, the field is highly technical Pharmacy professionals again fit in these positions.

Similarly, Patents and Trademarks, I.P.R. Experts are also in high demand as far as the pharma. industry is concerned.

Documentation, Library Information Services & Pharma. Journalism:

The Regulatory Affairs as well as, Patenting Processes and Issues involve a lot of documentation work to be done and submitted to the concerned Regulatory Authorities, in a highly specialized and technical manner. Pharmacy professionals are again fitting in the bill. Most of the major Indian Pharma. companies have established separate Documentation Departments with a highly technical & skilled staff for this purpose.

Similarly, the R & D & Q.C. Departments of the Pharma. Companies need a wealth of Technical information, which needs to be updated regularly, in order to match the pace of global competition. Therefore, Library Information services is another field in much demand as far as the Pharma. industry is concerned. Furthermore, with the advent & boom of the Information Technology, Bio-Informatics and Electronic Data Retrieval Systems, this field is already scaling new heights.

Pharma- Journalism is another area filled with great potentialities. This requires specialist technical personnel like pharmacy graduates on the editorial staff to cover the various aspects. There is already a very lucrative business in this field.

Consultancy

This is an ideal opportunity for highly technical and experienced pharmacy professionals to earn handsomely as self-employed entrepreneurs, even after the age of retirement. Consultancy services in Pharmacy are offered in various fields against very attractive financial fees

– Regulatory Affairs

– Documentation

– Approvals

– Manufacturing Processes

– Analytical Series

– Research

– Market Surveys & Sales Promotion

– Information Retrieval

– Data Management

– Turn Key Projects, etc.

Opportunities Abroad

Golden opportunities galore for qualified Pharmacy professionals in various courtiers including the U.S.A., Canada, European Countries like U.K., France, Germany, African Countries like S. Africa, Nigeria, Yemen, Gulf Countries like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, South East Asian Countries like Singapore, Korea, Japan, etc. and the Australian Continent including N.Zealand.

There are plenty of higher education and research opportunities in the developed western countries along with excellent job openings. The pharmaceutical career is one of the highest rewarding careers in these countries.

The monetary job benefits abroad are highly exciting, job profiles in African Countries like, and Nigeria, Yemen & Gulf Countries like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait mainly as pharmacists in drug stores and hospitals.

In developed Western countries the job opportunities are manifold and almost in any one of the ten vocations discussed above.

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Nirbhay Patel

Business Manager - Sanofi India
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