Career Counselling

Pharmacy is not just about filling prescriptions. it is about promoting health awareness and contributing to the betterment of the community.

Pharmacists may:

• Prepare or supervise the dispensing of medicines, ointments and tablets
• Advise patients on how their medicines are to be taken or used in the safest and most effective way in the treatment of common ailments
• Advise members of the public and other health professionals about medicines (both prescription and over-the-counter medicines), including appropriate selection, dosage and drug interactions, potential side effects and therapeutic effects
• Select, give advice on and supply non-prescription medicine, sickroom supplies and other products
• Develop legally recognised standards, and advise on government controls and regulations concerning the manufacture and supply of medicines
Work in the research and development of medicines and other health-related products
• Be involved in the management of pharmaceutical companies.

According to Britannica Encyclopedia Concise, pharmacy is the science dealing with collection, preparation, and standardization of drugs. Pharmacists, who must earn a qualifying degree, prepare and dispense prescribed medications. They formerly mixed and measured drug products from raw materials according to doctors' prescriptions, and are still responsible for formulating, storing, and providing correct dosages of medicines, now usually produced by pharmaceutical companies as pre-measured tablets or capsules. They also advise patients on the use of both prescription and over-the-counter drugs. Laws regulating the pharmaceutical industry are based on the national pharmacopoeia (in the U.S., the U.S. Pharmacopoeia or USP), which outlines the purity and dosages of numerous medicinal products.

Why Pharmacy as a carreer?

Pharmacists are considered one of the most visible and one of the most accessible health care professionals in the world. Every day, millions of Americans walk into drug stores and depend on pharmacists for assistance and advice for their health care needs. Pharmacists are trusted to help you with some of your most personal concerns and are trusted to help you. Pharmacists are regarded as one of the most trusted professions in the world. Pharmacy has always been an exciting and rewarding career, but has recently become on the most pursued fields in the health care industry.

Career options after completing B Pharm or M Pharm

1. Teaching - B Pharm - First Class students are eligible to teach as lecturers in the D Pharm programme, where as M Pharm, First Class students can get a lecturer’s job in pharmacy degree colleges. It takes about 5 years to reach the grade of Sr. lecturer and about 10 years to become Assistant Professor and about 12 years to become Professor or a Principal of a college. While in teaching profession they can do research in pharmaceutical field and strive to become a well-known Research Scientist.

2. Pharmacist – Being in the health-related field, the B Pharm graduate can be Health-system Pharmacist or Hospital Pharmacist or Community Pharmacist.

3. Quality Assurance Health Manager – The Pharmacy graduate can play an important role in the development of clinical care plans, can investigate adverse medication events and in some cases can suggest preventive measures. He can play a key role in spreading awareness amongst the people about AIDS and the preventive measures to be taken.

4. Medical Transcription - The B Pharm graduate can work with medical practitioners to maintain the patient treatment history, the drug to which he/she is allergic etc.

5. Analytical Chemist of Quality Control Manager – The pharmacy graduate can play a crucial role in controlling product quality. The drug and the Cosmetics Act (1945), Rules 71(1) and 76(1) says that the manufacturing activity should be taken up under the supervision of a technical man whose qualification should be B Pharm, B Sc, B Tech or medicine with Bio-Chemistry.

6. Sales and Marketing – Ambitious achievers with pleasant personality and good communication skills can opt for the job of Medical Sales Representative. The companies prefer pharmacy graduates for this job, as they have a good knowledge about the drug molecules, their therapeutic effects and the drug –drug interactions.

7. Clinical Research - B Pharm/ M Pharm degree holders can take up career in clinical research. The human testing phase is called the clinical trial. A pharmacist can work as clinical research associate or clinical pharmacist and can rise to the position of project manager. The clinical research associate plays an important role of monitoring and overseeing the conducts of clinical trials, which are conducted on healthy human volunteers. They have to see that the trials meet the international guidelines and the national regulatory requirements.

8. Data Manager - A pharmacist can seek employment as “Data Manager” to store the data in the computer and process it using software developed for the purpose.

9. Regulatory Manager - A pharmacy graduate can work as “Regulatory Manager”(RM) in companies and contract research organisation. As an RM he has to oversee regulatory documentation such as Clinical trial approval permission, marketing approval permission etc.

10. Career in Regulatory bodies - A Pharmacist can be absorbed in the Regulatory bodies like Food and Drug Administration. Pharmacist having experience in clinical trial centres can also work as an inspector to inspect the clinical trial process. For these government jobs the student needs to appear and pass the MPSC examination.

11. Biotechnology is a fast growing branch and the B Pharm graduates can opt for post graduate diploma programme in Bioinformatics.

12. They can handle the job of monitoring the conduct of clinical trials that are conducted on human volunteers. It is their responsibility to see that the clinical trials are carried out as per the international guidelines.

13. The B Pharm Science programme is considered as a paramedical programme. The B Pharm Science graduates can therefore work in hospitals as hospital pharmacist or community pharmacist.

14. Since they have a good knowledge of therapeutic effects of drugs and that of drug-drug interaction, they are more suitable for a job in clinical research. They can opt for the post of clinical pharmacist or clinical research associate in a clinical research laboratory.

Top Ten Goals for the Profession of Pharmacy

(1) Unify! Without question the one shortcoming I see with the profession of pharmacy is the lack of a uniformed voice to represent all of us regardless of practice setting or interests. Whether you are a clinical hospital pharmacist, a consultant, a community pharmacist, or if you work in one of the many other areas of our profession there should be one large and strong pharmacy organization that represents us all.

(2) Educate! Not only do we all as pharmacists need to challenge ourselves to gain more education, but we should also strive to educate the public about what we do and why we are important. Public perception does matter, and if they don’t know why we are a vital part of the healthcare system, we might be considered expendable. That just isn’t true and we should show the world why! We must also educate pharmacy students so that they are well prepared when entering the professional ranks as new pharmacists.

(3) Expand! Yes, things like medication therapy management (MTM) services can be the future of our profession. But only if we lay the foundation for providing those services on a large scale. Bringing additional services to even rural pharmacies all across the country should be a top priority. We’ve succeeded in becoming the go-to profession for vaccinations against illnesses such as the flu, so why not provide other services on a large scale? Health screenings or disease management services would be a natural extension of our responsibilities. And while these sorts of services might already be offered, they could be greatly expanded.

(4) Be Politically Active! It’s no secret that I personally feel like the profession of pharmacy is doing a poor job of making our voice heard in the political arena. Despite my personal distaste for all things political, even I can’t deny that politics matters (and I’ve written about that very subject). As a profession we should be doing more to make sure politicians don’t legislate us out of the healthcare system completely. Phone calls, letters, lobbying, and other methods of involvement can be done to help ensure our best interests are being served. There’s really no excuse for not being politically active as a profession.

(5) Promote Ourselves! No one should be a bigger cheerleader for the profession than ourselves. Promoting our services can be as important as actually doing the services in the first place. We can accomplish great things in the area of patient care. Why not promote those achievements a little more? Pharmacists do many positive things every day. There is no reason why we can’t start taking a little credit for our collective accomplishments. But in the public eye, usually you only hear about a pharmacist’s actions only if something has gone horribly wrong! Let’s work to change that.

(6) Fight negative change! Nothing needs more improvement for the profession of pharmacy than our resistance (or lack thereof) to negative changes. We often sit back and allow the world to change in a negative way and then complain about how things after the fact. We should be fighting negative change before it happen. Being proactive against negative developments can mean preventing them from occurring. But waiting until after the changes happen and becoming outraged after the fact means we’ve become involved too late.

(7) Collaborate! I know it’s difficult for pharmacists from all practice settings to meet and discuss issues that affect our profession. But even if you don’t have time for formal organization meetings, at least become connected to the social media scene. Discussing issues that affect us all can help us better understand the problems we face and come up with unique and viable solutions. Isolating ourselves away from the rest of the profession means we aren’t going to learn those valuable alternate perspectives.

(8) Stay Informed! One of the worst things about major developments affecting pharmacy is simply not knowing about them. Read and stay tuned to the news related to our profession. Visit news sites, publication sites, blogs, or whatever other sources of information you can find. Being in the know means you are more prepared to meet any challenges you will face. It’s easy to get caught up in your own individual career, but it is a big mistake to ignore the big picture. Keep up and know why things are important.

(9) Overcome adversity! No one said advancing a profession would be an easy task. Things will happen to you personally and to the profession as a whole that will negatively impact pharmacy. But it is how we all react to those negative developments that will define us as a profession. Bad things will happen. That is a fact. But they don’t have to define the profession of pharmacy or lead to our collective demise. We can learn from the negatives that come and better ourselves for the future as a result.

(10) Serve Patients. This isn’t listed last because it is the least important. In fact, if I had ranked my list by importance, I’d probably put this as number one. At the end of the day, the profession of pharmacy is a service profession. We have the opportunity to improve outcomes, lower costs, and raise the quality of life for patients with all types of medical problems and conditions. Sometimes we get caught up in all the other things related to the profession of pharmacy and we forget what really is the bottom line: patient care. A renewed focus on helping patients improve their health and well-being will only help us as a profession going forward.

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