Pharm D is a rising star in India’s healthcare sector. Pharmacy was included in 124 new institutes and almost 1.75 lakh students enrolled in it in 2017 as compared to 1.6 lakh students in 2012.
The Pharmacy Council of India (PCI) started an integrated professional doctoral program for undergraduates in 2008. The Pharm D course spans across 6 years including 5 years of study and 1 year of internship. You can join the course right after clearing your 10+2 exam.
Pursuing B. Pharma followed by an M. Pharma has been the general norm. With the introduction of an integrated course like, students are better equipped to handle professional situations. The final year of the course includes an internship/residency which prepares you for ground work and gives you some hands on experience.
Some of the prominent Indian institutions that offer Pharm D are:
Amrita School of Pharmacy, Kerala
Chalapathi Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Andhra Pradesh
Government College of Pharmacy, Maharashtra
Jamia Hamdard University, Delhi
Maulana Azad Medical College, Delhi
Entrance Exams for Pharm D
Manipal University Online Entrance Test (MU-OET)
Uttar Pradesh State Entrance Exam (UPSEE)
West Bengal Joint Entrance Exam (WBJEE)
Annamalai University All India Medical Entrance Exam (AU AIMEE)
Graduate Pharmacy Aptitude Test (GPAT)
Odisha Joint Entrance Exam (OJEE)
Punjab PMET (Punjab Pre Medical Entrance Test)
Pharm D is slowly gaining recognition in India whereas in foreign countries like USA, it is a high salaried profession since pharmacists prescribe medicines and not the doctors. A doctor only identifies the problem and prepares a diagnostic report of the same which is taken to a pharmacist who prescribes the requisite drugs. In fact, they even charge more than a physician.
There’s no denying that USA has more respect and monetary benefits for pharmacists. But even in India, at the end of a Pharm D course, many avenues open up to you. From R&D to lectureship, there is a slew of professions you can opt for.
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A Pharm D degree can lead you to Clinical research which determines the effectiveness of a particular scheme of medication or treatment. It includes everything from the etymology of a drug to its properties and efficacy. It also involves medical writing and data management. A clinical pharmacist can earn anything from INR 2-8 Lacs.
You can also get into medical writing where you’re required to produce scientific documents. Medical writers do not necessarily conduct the research, however, they work closely with doctors and scientists to create documents that give an exhaustive description of the entire process. Companies like Indegene offer lucrative packages of about INR 7 Lacs per annum.
Getting into Research and Development (R&D) is a challenging but fulfilling job. The researcher here is the pharmacy wizard who creates new and better medical compounds that can replace the older ones. The annual salary of a research scientist can go up to INR 5-6 Lacs. Every day is a new learning experience and you can be the next big inventor!
Always dreamt of being the ultimate Vigilante? Pharmacovigilance is another interesting field where you’re required to assess the long term and short term effects of a medicine and identify medical hazards related to different kinds of medication. A Pharm D degree will help you assess and monitor all this information in a comprehensive manner.
Since a Pharm D program includes subjects such as Human Physiology, Clinical Pharmacy and Hospital Pharmacy, graduates can also pursue Geriatric pharmacy which is a sub specialty of family medicine. It aims to promote healthcare and well-being by preventing diseases and infirmities among elderly people.
Throughout the process of drug production and development, the pharmaceutical agencies are supposed to follow a set of rules that govern their functioning. Regulatory affairs professionals ensure that these rules are being followed up to the hilt. They work with several federal, state and local regulatory agencies. The average annual pay package for a Regulatory affairs Manager is about INR 8 Lacs.
This might look like a management based job but having a Pharm D degree will definitely give you an edge over someone with just an MBA and no knowledge of medicines or drug production. Pharma Product Managers come up with unique marketing strategies for pharmaceutical companies and conduct market research.
Pass the baton to future pharma wiz kids by becoming an instructor, teacher or researcher. There are Pharm D colleges in Delhi University, Bharati Vidyapeeth University apart from Vardhaman Mahavir Medical College and Maulana Azad Medical college. Most of these institutes even encourage research work so you can pursue that along with teaching.
This field blends economics with drug production and assessment. Professionals determine the efficacy and cost effectiveness of different medicines and strive to find economic alternatives. It also determines the best possible regimen to follow, for a specific condition/disease.
The Pharm D course work is structured in such a way that graduates gain expertise in pharmacotherapy and pharmaceutical care. Community pharmacy involves dispensing medicines after meticulous documentation, procurement and storage.
A hospital Pharmacist deals with not just dispensing drugs but also management of the resources. Hence, their job is quite different from a community pharmacist. They undergo intense training and work in close association with the doctors who are obliged to abide by their prescriptions. You can earn about INR 5-6 Lacs as a hospital pharmacist.
Home Health Care
A Pharm D degree will enable you to get into Home Health Care. It is a service provided by licensed professionals who arrange the facilities for health care in a patient’s home. Medical care is arranged for patients who are provided the skilled help of doctors, pharmacists and nurses at their homes. They look after the patient’s wounds and manage their medication.
In India there’s a rising demand for Pharm D graduates with the advancement in healthcare facilities and health technology. You can stay within the core medical stream by going for R&D, Clinical Research or Academics. If you wish to add something extra to your profile, go for Pharmacoeconomics or Pharmacovigilance. Take the road less travelled and you’ll be surprised by the opportunities that await you.