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Power of pills

Pharmacy is a noble profession that helps in understanding various diseases and ways to cure it.

education Updated: Sep 22, 2011 11:31 IST

Pharmacy is a noble profession that helps in understanding various diseases and ways to cure it.

The lowdown
Pharmacists can work in different fields, which include formulation, design, development and delivery of drugs, drug regulatory affairs for submission of dossiers, clinical trials, bio-centres for bioavailablity and bioequivalence studies, analytical research for testing and stability of dosage forms, manufacturing, and intellectual property, where they suggest non-infringing routes, design around strategies, protect invention, and provide complete litigation support. In hospitals, a pharmacist dispenses medicines and provides guidance on dosage administration, food interactions etc. Pharmacy is a noble profession that helps in understanding various diseases and ways to cure it

It is a growing profession and offers many opportunities for BPharm graduates. After graduation, one can opt to continue research or work
Dr Gaurav Kumar Jain, assistant professor, Department of Pharmaceutics, Jamia Hamdard, Delhi

Clock Work
The average work day of a professor of pharmaceutics:
6am: Wake up
7.30am: Leave home
9am: Start the day at the university
9.30am: Conduct classes
1pm: Lunch break
2-5pm: Resume classes
5-7.30pm: Conduct research and provide guidance to MPharm scholars
8 pm: Leave office

The Payoff
A pharmacy professional into research joins as trainee research scientist, then goes on to become research scientist, team leader, group leader, manager, general manager, vice president of a pharmaceutical company, etc. Pay in R&D is Rs2 lakh-Rs3 lakh a year (junior level) and and increases to Rs40 lakh - Rs50 lakh a year as a VP

. Must be very competent to work in R&D
. Be up to date with new developments in the field
. Knowledge of computers and English a must
. Ability to put in loads of hard work
. Logical thinking, analytical ability and observation skills
. Be very innovative
. Patience for research work

Getting There?
There are various universities and institutions in India and abroad offering undergraduate, postgraduate and PhD programmes in pharmacy. The minimum qualification in India is a diploma in pharmacy, but there are chances of the Pharmacy Council of India elevating it to the BPharm level. So, it is advisable to have BPharm as the minimum qualification and later pursue an MPharm and a PhD degree.

For admission to Diploma in Pharmacy (DPharm), you have to pass Class 12 or equivalent exam with physics, chemistry, maths or biology. Candidates who have passed Class 12 with physics, chemistry and maths or biology can take admission in a four-year BPharm programme. At the Bachelor’s level, there is no specialisation. At the Master’s level (MPharm), students can specialise in pharmaceutics, pharmacognosy, pharmaceutical chemistry, biochemistry, pharmaceutical engineering, etc. After an MPharm degree, go for a doctorate. Main entrance tests for pharmacy courses include the All India Engineering Entrance Examination (for degrees), and Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (for postgraduate programmes)

. Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, Delhi
. Delhi Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences & Research
. Panjab University, Chandigarh
. Institute of Chemical Technology, University of Mumbai

Pros and Cons
. Work really hard
. R&D takes time to show results
. Constantly upgrade your knowledge
. The profession is highly demanding. Only those who are very meticulous should take it up