Pharmacy: Make medicine for your countrymen


Photograph: Sarita Gupta Nigam
DISPENSING MEDICINE is the most visible role of a pharmacist

FAST FACTS
Programmes: DPharm, BPharm, MPharm, PharmD 
Best Institutes: DIPSRA, Delhi; Jamia Hamdard, Delhi; IT BHU, Varnanasi; Bombay College of Pharmacy, Mumbai; Annamalai University, Tamil Nadu Job Profiles: Pharmacist, Chemist, Medical Representative, Researcher, Drug inspector, Scientist

Admission open in Amrita School of Pharmacy, Download Application form now.


IN a recent episode of Sataymev Jayate, Bollywood star Aamir Khan pointed out several cases where branded drugs are priced as high as 500 times more than their generic counterpart. The scarcity of these generic drugs was underlined as the reason for the health system being skewed towards more affluent segments of the society. Typically, it is due to collusion between doctors and pharma giants. Nearly 6 lakh people die at an early stage of liver and kidney cancer and 90% of such causalities were due to lack of availability of life-saving drugs at affordable rates. A welcome debate on the prevailing health system, the show highlighted the importance of affordable drugs to save human lives.

Other allied medical science careers

Pharma sector in India
From traditional medicine systems to contemporary ones, pharmaceuticals is a well-recognised area in healthcare system. Though India has medicine systems that are thousands of years old, and encyclopedias of medicine that date back to the 3rd to 2nd century BC (SuÅ›ruta Samhitā and Charaka Samhitā), formal education in pharmacy in India took off only in the early 1930s at Banaras Hindu University. The organised pharma industry in India is nearly 100 years old. Today, India ranks third in the world in terms of volume of production (10 percent) and 14th by value (1.5 percent). India’s pharmaceutical industry growth is fuelled by exports, and it is regarded as the country’s leading science-based industry and one of the largest in the developing world. It offers career opportunities right from retailing of drugs and research and discovery of new medicines to clinical trials.
 

“Pharma growth rate has remained equal to industries like IT. Industry would experience the highest salary hike of around 12- 13% compared to other industries”

Dheeraj Aggarwal

CFO, Venus
Remedies Limited

What pharmacists do
This science deals with collection, preparation and standardisation of drugs. Pharmacists are trained experts in medicines. As healthcare professionals they are responsible for dispensing prescribed medicines to patients and providing information about the drugs. Thus, they have an important role in safety and effective use of medication. In addition to dispensing drugs, they are also concerned with drugs discovery, manufacturing of drugs and quality control of pharma products. Pramod Kumar, a practising pharmacist says, “Often a pharmacist is viewed as a person who retails drugs at medical shops but this is not the sole role for which a pharmacist is trained.” They can work in manufacturing, research, clinical trials or with any government agencies. “But still most people go in marketing and retailing because here they can find jobs easily,” he shares.

Courses available
An interest in Life Sciences is a prerequisite to enter this field. One can move into this discipline after 10+2 with Physics, Chemistry, Maths/ Biology (PCM/PCB). You can go for a 4-year Bachelor’s programme (Bachelor of Pharmacy or B.Pharm) or two-year diploma in pharmacy (D.Pharm). There are many specialisations available at the Master’s and doctorate level. Traditionally, pharma has been the next choice for students after medical (including Veterinary Science and Dentistry). Rajiv Yadav, third-year student of Jamia Hamdard University explains, “Pharmacy was Plan B for me. When I could not do well in medical entrance, I focused on B.Pharm entrance and managed to clear it. Studying pharmacy at one of the best  institutes in India was a better option than choosing a low grade private medical college by paying hefty fees.”

Dr. Elango, Principal, JSS College of Pharmacy, Ooty points out that Pharmacy education is set to undergo a sea change in the next few years. The introduction of Pharm D, a six-year integrated postgraduate programme, is expected to take pharmacy education in India to international levels. Students can pursue careers in institutional practice; community pharmacy practice; managed care; drug information and long-term care; consultant’s role; clinical liaisons with pharmaceutical industry; patient education; and clinical trial research.
 

Job opportunities

What the Pharmacy Act says

  • Pharma industry: Work involves  formulation as well as production of medicines

  • Pharmacy stores: At hospitals, wholesale or retail outlets

  • Product Management: Post an MBA, work in the management team

  • Quality Controller: Involves checking if manufacturing of medicines conforms to set standards

  • Drug Inspector: Keep a check on whether manufacturing units adhere to government regulations

  • Medical Representatives : Interact with doctors and sell medicines

  • Academics: Lectureship and research in educational institutions

  • R&D: At research institutes, work involves development of new medicines

One needs to be registered as a pharmacist in India in order to practice hospital and community pharmacy.

Only registered pharmacists can dispense medicines prescribed by registered medical practitioners; not many consumers are aware of this.

The Drugs and Cosmetics Act requires registered pharmacists for wholesale and retail sale of drugs.

The Act also decides minimum space and equipment required to run a pharmacy.

However, no registration is required to work in other areas.

Possessing a BPharm degree from a recognised university suffices unless you want to specialise and develop new drugs.

 

 

  
 
 

“In the near future, the centre of gravity would shift from general academic courses to vocation-oriented courses”

 
 
 
 

The entrance test
Most premier pharmacy colleges give admission on the basis of an entrance test. But eligibility criteria to appear in the entrance may differ. Many B.Pharm and D.Pharm programmes are open to candidates with a 10+2 in Physics, Chemistry and Biology or Maths. In most private universities, Maths students can get admission in degree or diploma programme of pharmacy. But some institutions like Jamia Hamdard and Delhi Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research (DIPSAR) in Delhi allow only those who have Biology at 10+2. Minimum passing marks required at 10+2 level also varies from 35% to 60%. For instance, DIPSAR requires minimum 60% marks while JSS allows anyone who secures over 35% in higher secondary level.

Without giving any specific reason, many prestigious pharma colleges do not give admission to candidates who have passed 12th standard from open board. However, if you have decided to opt for a career related to medical or life sciences, it is advisable to study Biology and secure more than 50% marks in 10+2. In many states, B.Pharm entrance exams are conducted with state-level engineering tests. The pattern remains similar to medical entrance test. The test paper generally comprises questions on Physics, Chemistry, Biology and General awareness. Some institutes even test English language skill.


Fees
In comparison to other medical and allied programmes, pharmacy is not a very expensive course. Government institutions like DIPSAR charges Rs. 16,000 per annum, while private universities may charge around Rs 1 lakh per annum. Generally, B.Pharm and D.Pharm fee varies between Rs. 60,000 to 1 lakh per annum.^

Choosing a college
Like the pharmaceutical industry, pharma education is also a heavily regulated area. While AICTE is mandated to provide approval to institutions for academic programmes, the Pharmacy Council of India (PCI) is a statutory body constituted to regulate the profession and practice of pharmacy in the country. The approved pharmacy qualifications for registration as a Pharmacist under the Pharmacy Act 1948 comprise the following courses:

  • Diploma in Pharmacy (D.Pharm) - 2 years

  • Bachelor of Pharmacy (B.Pharm) - 4 years

  • Pharm.D & Pharm.D (Post Baccalaureate) - 6 years

     

Photograph: Rohit Gautam

OPPORTUNITIES GALORE Today B.Pharm students from good institutes have many opportunities to choose from.

Selecting the best college is a challenging task. “Students should look into various aspects like recognition and reputation of institutes, faculty, infrastructure and associations with the pharmaceutical industry. Being an applied subject, industrial training and exposure always matter in Pharma studies,” suggests Ashwani Kumar, Asst Professor of Pharmacy at Gurukula Kangri University, Hardwar.

PCI has approved 666 institutions for awarding diplomas and 61 for conducting courses only, 759 colleges for awarding degrees and 254 for only conducting courses. Another 100 are approved for offering Both Pharm.D and Pharm.D (Post Baccalaureate) courses. 

- Visit http://www.pci.nic.in for more info.
- View Careers360’s 
pharmacy college ranking

Job prospects
A degree in pharmacy makes you eligible not only to seek employment in various drug, chemical, biotechnology and healthcare industries but also to start your own ventures. You can join the industry in production, quality control or marketing. Pharmacists with a B.Pharm can also be appointed with drug regulatory agencies.

By becoming a manufacturing chemist, a pharmacist can rise from the position of production supervisor to production manager and vice president. There is also scope for research and higher studies. See box above on job profiles open to pharma graduates, today. Kamran Siddiqui, Businees development & In-Licensing Manager with Ranbaxy says, “The role of pharmacist is increasing with industries like cosmetics getting more regulated and new patents and clearances are calling for more manpower.”


Remuneration
Pharma professionals who work in the private sector start their career as freshers with a pay scale between Rs.12, 000 to Rs. 20, 000 per month. But with experience they can rise in the profession or think about starting their own venture. Let us hope that more qualified, experienced individuals enter this field so that the Indian pharmaceutical sector gets global status in the near future.

Institutions

Seats

Al-Ameen College of Pharmacy, Bangalore

60

Amity School of Pharmacy, Amity University, Noida

NA

Amrita School of Pharmacy, Kochi

60

AR College and GH Patel Instt of Pharmacy, Vallabh Vidyanagar

40

B.N.P.G.College of Pharmacy, Udaipur

60

Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi

25

Bharati Vidyapeeth University, Pune

100

Bharati Vidyapeeth's College of Pharmacy, Navi Mumbai

60

Birla Institute of Technology, Mesra

30

BK Mody Government Pharmacy College, Rajkot

30

Bombay College of Pharmacy, Mumbai

60

College of Pharmaceutical Science, Mohud, Berhampur

60

College of Pharmaceutical Science, Thiruvananthapuram

60

College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Andhra University

NA

College of Pharmacy, IPS Academy, Indore

60

Delhi Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences & Research, New Delhi

60

Department of Pharmacy, Annamalai University, Tamil Nadu

100

Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Dibrugarh

15

Department of Pharmaceutical Sci, RTMN University, Nagpur

60

Department of Pharmacy Sciences, M.D University, Rohtak

60

Department of Pharmacy, BITS Pilani, Pilani

60

Department of Pharmacy, Lovely Institute of Tech, Phagwara

60

Department of Pharmacy, Madras Medical College

NA

Deptt. of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Dr. H.S Gour University, Sagar

60

Deptt. of Pharmaceutical Tech, Jadhavpur University

70

Deptt. of Pharmacy, MS University of Baroda, Vadodara

40

Faculty of Pharmacy, Jamia Hamdard, New Delhi

60

GITAM Institute of Pharmacy, Vishakapatnam

60

Goa College of Pharmacy, Panaji, Goa

NA

Govt. College of Pharmacy, Bangalore

NA

Himalayan Pharmacy Institute Majhitar,Rangpo

NA

Indira College of Pharmacy, Pune

60

Institute of Chemical Tech. (I.C.T), University of Bombay, Mumbai

30

J.S.S. College of Pharmacy, Mysore

100

J.S.S. College of Pharmacy, Ooty

100

JVD College of Science and Technology, Vishakapatnam

40

K.L.E. Society's College of Pharmacy, Belgaum

100

K.M. Kundnani College of Pharmacy, Mumbai

60

KIET School of Pharmacy, Ghaziabad

60

KLES College of Pharmacy, Hubli

60

L. M. College of Pharmacy, Ahmedabad

90

M.M. College of Pharmacy, Mullana

60

M.S. Ramaiah College of Pharmacy , Bangalore

60

Manipal College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Manipal

100

Mohamed Sathak A.J. College of Pharmacy, Chennai

60

Muzzaffarpur Institute of Technology, Muzaffarpur

15

National lnstitute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER), Ahmedabad

NA

NIMS Institute of Pharmacy & NIMS College of Pharmacy, Jaipur

60

NIPER, Hajipur

NA

NIPER, Hyderabad

NA

NIPER, Kolkata

NA

NIPER, Mohali

NA

NIPER, Rai Bareli

NA

Nirma University – Institute of Pharmacy, Ahmedabad

60

NMIMS (Pharmacy Department), Mumbai

NA

NSHM College of Pharmaceutical Technology, Kolkata

60

PES College of Pharmacy, Bangalore

60

PRES Pravara Rural College of Pharmacy, Ahmednagar

60

PSG College of Pharmacy, Coimbatore

60

Pune University (Pharmacy Department), Pune

NA

Punjabi University (Pharmacy Department), Patiala

60

S.R.M College of Pharmacy, Kattankulathur

100

Sagar Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Sagar 

60

Sagar Institute of Research & Technology-Pharmacy, Bhopal

60

School of Pharmacy, DAVV, Indore

60

SGS Institutes of Technology & Science, Indore

60

Singhad Technical Education Society, Pune

60

Sri Ramachandra College of Pharmacy, SRMC&RI, Chennai

60

University College of Pharm. Sci., Kakatiya University, Warangal

60

University College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Warangal

NA

University Dept. of Pharmaceutical Sci., Utkal University, Orissa

NA

University Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Panjab University

NA

University Institute of Pharmaceutical Technology, Annamalai

60

VEL's College of Pharmacy, Chennai

100

Vinayaka Mission's College of Pharmacy, Salem

100

First Published On : 23 Jul 2013 01:32 PM IST

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