India is in third place in the production of drugs in the world. India fulfils 60% of vaccines and 20% of generic drugs out of the total global demand. With such accelerated growth in the pharmaceutical sector, the demand for well-versed pharmacists is also enhanced. They also play a crucial role in drug discovery and development, clinical trials, and regulatory affairs. There are more than 3800 pharmacy colleges in India and about 4 lakh students are being graduated every year. A wide range of careers is being anticipated for pharmacist graduates, including working in hospitals, retail pharmacies, research laboratories etc. This blog goes through the various pharmacy courses, their tenure, eligibility, etc.
Pharmacy courses and their eligibility criteria
Pharmacy courses are mainly classified into diplomas, undergraduate degrees, postgraduate degrees, and doctoral programs. The mainstream pharmacy courses and their eligibility criteria are listed below.
- Diploma in Pharmacy (DPharm): The course lasts for 2 years. The candidates should complete +2 with science.
- Bachelor in Pharmacy (BPharm): Candidates who completed +2 with science are eligible to apply. The 4-year degree course makes the students capable of observing and analyzing resources, and quality-checking of pharmacy goods. They are also taught about the manufacturing, modification, progression and regulations of drugs and cosmetics.
- Master of Pharmacy (MPharm): The candidates should be graduated with B. Pharm with an average score of 60% from a recognized college/university. Graduates from other science disciplines with PCM/PCB at +2 stream are also eligible to apply. Through the 2-year postgraduate degree, students make a deep knowledge of medicines, their composition & dosage, and their consequences.
- Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD): Candidates who completed either +2 with science or diploma in Pharmacy are eligible to apply for PharmD. This is a professional degree with a tenure of 6 years of which 5 years are intended for theory and 1 year for the internship to get hands-on experience.
Best pharmacy courses to pursue after BPharm
- Master of Pharmacy
- Master of Cosmetic Technology (MCT)
- Doctor of Pharmacy
- MBA in Healthcare Management
- MBA in Pharmaceutical Management
- Postgraduate Diploma in Pharmacovigilance
- Postgraduate Diploma in Public Health
- PGDM in Medical Coding
- PGDM in Clinical Research
Best Pharmacy courses to pursue after MPharm
- PhD program in Pharmacy
- M.Pharm in Biotechnology
- M.Pharm in Pharmacognosy
- M.Pharm in Pharmaceutics
- M.Pharm in Pharmaceutics
- M.Pharm in Industrial Pharmacy
- M.Pharm in Regulatory Affairs
- M.Pharm in Medicinal Chemistry
And you can also go for specializations in :
- Pharmaceutical Biotechnology
- Clinical Pharmacy
- Medicinal Chemistry
- Drug Regulatory Affairs
Online Pharmacy Courses
Pharmacy courses are also available on e-learning platforms with a short time span, and it’s a good medium to advance your skills. Coursera offers 60 pharmacy courses online from globally accredited universities such as the University of Manchester, the University of California San Diego, Arizona State University and so on. While Udemy provides more than 180 pharmacy courses. Some of them are listed below.
- Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Innovations
- Drug Development
- Blockchain applications in Food Safety, Healthcare & Pharma
- Postgraduate Diploma in Clinical Research & Pharmacovigilance
- Pharmaceutical Sciences, MS – Cannabis Science and Medicine
Careers in Pharmaceutical Industry
The job opportunities in the pharmaceutical sector can be divided into three sections: (1) practice settings, (2) industry settings, and (3) other settings. The practice settings develop in hospitals, clinics and communities. Industrial job opportunities can be counted as production, quality control, packaging, sales & marketing etc. And jobs such as teaching and clinical research come under other settings.
Scope of Pharmacy in India and Abroad
The emergence of new viruses leads to corresponding inventions in order to defend them, which extends the medical field and increases the need for skilled professionals. The career scope of pharmacy in India and abroad are diverse, and there are several opportunities available for pharmacy graduates. They can work in various settings, such as hospitals, clinics, pharmaceutical companies, research organizations, regulatory agencies and academia.
Abroad, the career scope of pharmacy is even more extensive. In countries like the US, the UK, Canada, Australia, and the Middle East the demand for qualified pharmacy professionals is high, and the salary packages are so lucrative. Beyond being pharmacists, they can also practice as pharmaceutical scientists, drug development experts, regulatory affairs professionals, and so on.
In conclusion, pharmacy is a field with vast career opportunities both in India and abroad. The growth of healthcare industries and the increasing demand for quality healthcare services will likely increase the demand for qualified healthcare professionals in the future.