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Medicine man

Pharmacists are health care professionals who practise in pharmacy, the field of health sciences focusing on safe and effective medication use.

education Updated: Jun 04, 2013 17:21 IST
Hindustan Times
Pharmacists,BITS Pilani,National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research

The lowdown

Pharmacists are health care professionals who practise in pharmacy, the field of health sciences focusing on safe and effective medication use. Today’s pharmacists have moved on from classic dispensary roles to being integrated members of the health care team directly involved in patient care. Pharmacists are authorised to handle medicines/drugs, right from its molecular level to its dispensing. Looking at the present scenario, the scope is very limited but with time it is highly likely to change in a positive way. As per the Drugs & Cosmetic Act & Rules in India, a pharmacist should be present at the time a drug is being procured, stored or dispensed. If this rule is strictly implemented in both government and private sector, it will open up lot of job opportunities.

8.30am: Report for duty
9am to 1pm: Preparation and review of the stock of medicines. Ledger and stock entry, dispensing
1pm to 2pm: Lunch
2pm to 4pm: Review of the stock of medicines and reports. Ledger and stock entry. Official correspondence, if any, with the headquarters
5pm to 8pm: Sum up the day’s activities, meeting and teleconferencing with the state units of Indian Pharmaceutical Association at its office. Preparation of action plan for the next calendar
8.30pm: Meeting with the other organisational bodies
9.30pm: Leave for the day

The payoff
In the government sector, an entry level pharmacist is placed in pay band 2 after the recommendation of the sixth pay commission. A pharmacist in a chemist shop can earn around Rs. 5000-Rs. 10,000 per month. A graduate pharmacist earns Rs. 20,000-Rs. 30,000 at entry level

* Sound base in chemistry and bio
* Good interpersonal skills
* A desire to help others
* Must be conscientious and pay close attention to detail
* Keen learner

Getting there
Take science in Class 12. To become a registered pharmacist one needs a diploma or a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy from a recognised university/institute approved by Pharmacy Council Of India

Institutes and URLs
* Banaras Hindu University
* National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research, Kolkata
* BITS Pilani

Pros and cons
* Pharmacists play an important role in the health sector
* Underutilised and unrecognised in the sector

In the past two years, the demand for pharmacists has increased and their true potential has been recognised -- Abhay Kumar, president, Indian Pharmacist Association, New Delhi

First Published: Jun 04, 2013 16:57 IST