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Sunday, February 8, 2009
Pharma is reckoned as a growth industry of the future. It is a fast growing sector second only to IT growing annually at 15%. Jobs in the pharmaceutical industry range from those in sales and marketing to high-end specialist R&D jobs.
Pharmaceutical science deals with the development and preparation of drugs. A pharmacist works in research laboratories to develop new drugs from natural and synthetic sources, reduce the side effects of the drugs sold in the market and ensures the quality of existing formulations.
The minimum qualification for becoming a qualified pharmacist is a two-year diploma in pharmacy. The minimum qualification is 10+2 (PCB/M). On completing the course, you must undergo practical training for three months in a recognised hospital, pharmacy or dispensary. A mere diploma will only qualify you for the job of a pharmacy technician or dispensing pharmacist in hospitals.
A four-year Bachelor's degree in Pharmacy (BPharm) leads to openings in drug manufacturing industries and food and drug control organizations. Educational qualification required for this course is 10+2 (PCM/B). Depending on the extent of study and the area you specialize in (pharmacology, pharmaceutics, hospital pharmacy or quality assurance) study, you can opt for research.
Teaching is another option after a Master's degree holder. Pharmacy graduates are also appointed by the government as drug inspectors and drug analysts. Hospitals also hire pharmacist consultants to advise physicians on the precise dosage, schedules and possible side effects of the various drugs.
While a diploma-holder can work as a pharmacist in hospitals or as a pharmacy technician, BPharm or MPharm degree-holders can apply for jobs in the pharmaceutical industry.
Although there are limited research openings in India, those with doctoral and post-doctoral qualifications find challenging avenues in R&D labs abroad. Apart from the drug manufacturing industry, pharmacists are also employed in the chemical industry and food and drug control organizations.