Pharmacy As A Career

Pharmacy As A Career

Pharmacy (from the Greek 'pharmakon' = drug) is the health profession that links the health sciences with the chemical sciences, and it is charged with ensuring the safe and effective use of medication. 

Scope of Pharmacy

Scope of Pharmacy

Fig.1: Scope of Pharmacy

The scope of pharmacy practice includes more traditional roles such as compounding and dispensing medications, and it also includes more modern services related to patient care, including clinical services, reviewing medications for safety and efficacy, and providing drug information. 

Types of Pharmacy Practice Areas 

Pharmacists practice in a variety of areas including retail, hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, drug industry, and regulatory agencies. Pharmacists can specialize in various areas of practice including hematology/oncology, infectious diseases, nutrition support, drug information, critical care, pediatrics, etc.

Wholesale Pharmacy 

It offers opportunities to a limited number of pharmacists to run wholesale businesses of drugs and medicines. The wholesalers serve as an intermediary between the manufacturer and the retailer. 

Industrial Pharmacy 

The pharmaceutical industry offers opportunities to pharmacists of all educational levels. It  provides jobs to a pharmacist in the following fields: 

I. Production 

II. Analytical and Quality Control 

III. Research and Development and New drug discovery 

IV. Medico-marketing and sales clinical trials 

V. Clinical Trials. 

I. Production: In production, the pharmacist works as a manufacturing chemist. He has to supervise the production of various types of pharmaceutical formulations, packaging,  labeling, and storage. Pharmacists with bachelor's degrees in pharmacy are absorbed as manufacturing chemists. 

II. Analytical and Quality Control: A manufacturing unit needs the service of analytical chemists in its analytical laboratory to do testing of raw materials and finished goods manufactured by it. Pharmacists with bachelor's degrees in pharmacy get jobs as analytical chemists. 

III. Research and Development and New drug discovery: Mostly Pharmaceutical  Industries have their own separate Research and Development unit. A pharmacist with having  Doctorate or master's degree in pharmacy is ideally suited for Research and Development department in pharmaceutical industries.  Research and development unit engage in the following fields:- 

(a) Synthesis of new compounds to be used as drugs, cosmetics, excipients, industrial chemicals, etc. 

(b) Isolation and purification of active principles of plant and animal tissues,  determination of their chemical composition, and its synthesis. 

(c) Preparation of drugs in suitable dosage forms and their testing to find the bioavailability of drugs. 

(d) The physical, chemical, and biological standardization of drugs. 

(e) Research on pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and toxicology of new drugs. 

(f) The stability of dosage form during its storage and finding its expiry date.

IV. Medico-marketing and sales: Pharmaceutical marketing means the performance of pharmaceutical business activities that direct the flow of pharmaceutical formulations and services from producer to consumer. Sale team consists of medical representatives, sales representatives, field officers, area managers, regional managers, and sales managers.  A pharmacist with a bachelor's degree in pharmacy, having an aptitude for sales, is best fitted in this field, because there is a lot of scope for promotion. 

V. Clinical Trials: Now a day there are enough openings in clinical trials. India has been recognized as the best place in the world to carry out clinical trials before the launch of a new drug molecule in the market. 

Pharmacy Education (Academics) 

Due to the rapid growth of the pharmaceutical industry and the expansion of health services in the country, there is a steep increase in the number of pharmacy teaching institutions in the country. To fulfill the demand, there is a need for qualified and experienced faculty members. So there is more scope for fresh pharmacy graduates to be absorbed as faculty members in these teaching institutions. 

Community Pharmacy 

A pharmacy or drug store is the place where most pharmacists practice the profession of pharmacy. A community pharmacy is a healthcare facility that can provide pharmacy services to people in a local area or community. A community pharmacy dispenses medicine and typically involves a registered pharmacist with the education, skills, and competence to deliver professional services to the community. 

Hospital Pharmacy 

Hospital pharmacists work in a hospital pharmacy service, primarily within the public sector. They are experts in the field of medicine and are not only responsible for the dispensing of prescriptions but also the purchase, manufacture, and quality testing of all medicines used in a hospital. Many hospital pharmacists are qualified to prescribe in their own right. 

Hospital pharmacists are medical experts and their tasks may include:- 

• Checking prescriptions to ensure that there are no errors and that they are appropriate and safe for the individual patient. 

• Providing advice on the dosage of medicines and the most appropriate form of medication, for example, tablet, injection, ointment, or inhaler. 

• Participating in ward rounds, and discussing treatments with patient's relatives. 

• Ensuring medicines are stored appropriately and securely.

Clinical Pharmacy 

Clinical pharmacists provide a direct patient care service that optimizes the use of medication and promotes health, wellness, and disease prevention. Clinical pharmacists care for patients in all health care settings but the clinical pharmacy movement initially began inside hospitals and clinics. Clinical pharmacists often collaborate with physicians and other healthcare professionals to improve pharmaceutical care.


Veterinary Pharmacy 

Veterinary pharmacies, sometimes called animal pharmacies may fall into the category of hospital pharmacy, or retail pharmacy. Veterinary pharmacies stock different varieties and different strengths of medications to fulfill the pharmaceutical needs of animals.

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