Career Options in Pharmaceutical Industry
The Indian pharmaceutical industry caters to 50 per cent of the global demand for vaccines and happens to be the largest generics drugs provider worldwide. As preventive and curative care continues to gain increasing focus, the pharmaceutical sector in India has been witnessing impressive growth over the last 5 years with compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of over 15 percent.
The expansion of the industry is leading to diverse roles and new possibilities in the field of pharmacy. While many think that the pharmacy profession only involves working in dispensaries, medical stores, and chemist shops, it is one of the most reputed, well-earning, and coveted professions in India.
Based on government statistics, there are more than 300 institutions that impart diplomas or degrees to around 20,000 students in India each year.
Courses available for Pharmaceutical Studies
Those with a science stream in their 10+2 can opt for various pharmacy courses that differ in terms of duration, syllabus, opportunities, and degree.
Diploma in Pharmacy
Diploma in pharmacy is a short-term 2-year programme that allows aspirants to foray into pharmacy jobs and pharmaceutical business. The course covers basic pharmacy education such as the application of chemistry in the pharmaceutical sector, concepts of pharmacology, biochemistry, and toxicology.
Bachelor in Pharmacy (BPharm)
The Bachelor in Pharmacy or B. Pharm is a 4-year course. To be eligible for the course, a candidate must have at least 50 per cent marks in 10+2 with chemistry, physics, biology, or biotechnology as one of the subjects. This 4-year programme imparts useful knowledge about the healthcare business and biochemical science.
Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm. D)
This is a 6 years course that includes five years of clinical and theoretical studies and a year's internship in hospitals. Based on merit, individuals pursuing BPharm can take direct admission into the fourth year of Doctor of Pharmacy.
Master of Pharmacy (M. Pharm)
MPharm is a 2-year course that is structured in a way to provide students with vast technical, research, practical, and theoretical knowledge of pharmacy including modern and traditional medicines.
Career opportunities in the Pharmacy profession
Pharmaceutical sciences present a career full of opportunities to explore different domains like:
Analysis & Testing Research & Development Hospitals Regulatory Bodies Marketing & Sales
Since pharmacists are largely involved in creating and manufacturing drugs, pharmacy graduates have plenty of opportunities in different testing laboratories under the government. These testing labs conduct thorough testing of newly proposed medicines or vaccines.
Pharmacy graduates are also required in regulatory departments that approve treatments. They can even join the CDSCO and FDA to work with the national regulatory authority in regulating drugs, their distribution, and production facilities.
The marketing sector is a prospering area that requires graduates in pharmacy to ensure ethical and fair practices in the sale and distribution of vaccines and medicines.
When it comes to doing something directly for society, community pharmacy has gained increasing prevalence over the recent past. Graduates in this field are involved in counselling, and educating people especially in the rural areas about how to prevent diseases. The job also entails professionals to provide correct information on drugs, discourage self-medication, etc.
Hospital pharmacy is another place where pharmacy graduates play a vital role to make sure there is constant essential medicines supply and other items required for patient care.
Entrepreneurship ventures into e-commerce, R&D or F&D, manufacturing or sub-contracting and production of new drugs are also lucrative opportunities that await those who wish to enter the business stream.
- Article by Nikkhil K Masurkar, Executive Director, ENTOD Pharmaceuticals.