How to Become a Pharmacist in India: If you’re someone who loves the combination of science, healthcare, research, and technology. Then you might find the field of pharmacy very exciting.
Who is a Pharmacist?
You are probably wondering who is or what is a pharmacist right?. Well, let’s try to break things down so that we can know what we are talking about.
Pharmacists are experts in medicines who can help you with minor health concerns.
As qualified healthcare professionals, they can offer clinical advice and over-the-counter medicines for a range of minor illnesses. These however may include cases such as coughs, colds, sore throats, tummy trouble, and aches and pains.
They are also involved in all aspects of medicine delivery to patients. They will therefore prepare and package medication that a doctor has prescribed and also sell the medication over the counter.
Note that While the pharmacist is required to hold a doctoral degree in pharmacy, he/she is not a medical doctor or physician.
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Pharmacy as a Career
A pharmacist’s job is a diverse and rewarding career, with opportunities for patient care, scientific research, and innovation.
The majority of pharmacists work in an independent or retail chain community pharmacy and provide counseling to patients on the use of prescription and over-the-counter medications.
Becoming a pharmacist is an ideal career path for anyone who wants to serve people without getting their hands dirty.
With the appropriate academic background and license to practice, most pharmacy workers earn good salaries even without prior work experience.
The average salary for a Pharmacist in India is ₹256228 per year alongside some extra rewards. Of course, these financial rewards increase even more with time.
How to Become a Pharmacist in India
To become a pharmacist in India can require quite a lot of criteria, hence there are a few things you have to be aware of.
To make a career in pharmacy, one needs to, therefore, stay updated with the information regarding medicines.
Pharmaceutical education includes a blend of theory, practical classes and examinations, and compulsory industrial/ hospital/ community training of varying periods depending upon the course selected.
Well, if Pharmacy is the career that you’re looking forward to, then here is a quick guide to pursuing a career in this field.
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Take the Science Stream in your 10+2
One of the first things you must do is to take any combination of the necessary subjects. These subjects include; Physics Chemistry Biology (PCB), Physics Chemistry Mathematics (PCM), or Physics Chemistry Biology Mathematics (PCBM).
The subject combination choice is however dependant on the school of choice.
Note that the 10+2 system is a part of the K-12 education system and is equivalent to the International Baccalaureate and GCE Advanced Levels in the west.
10+2 refers to two years of schooling post grade 10 in India since autumn 2002.
Pursue Undergraduate Education in Pharmacy
You can pursue any of the undergraduate programs, listed below after 10+2 from the science stream.
These programs differ in terms of their course duration, curriculum, opportunities, and degree. We have listed some of them below;
Diploma in Pharmacy
If you wish to open up your own drug store and become a pharmacist in India, you should at least have a diploma in pharmacy. This however is a two-year duration course with a minimum requirement of 10+2 with a science stream.
Also, students pursuing diplomas can get lateral entry to 2nd year in Bachelors of Pharmacy based on merit.
Some of the top colleges to pursue a diploma in pharmacy in India are:
Admissions in these universities happen through an Interview / Entrance Test conducted by the respective universities.
Bachelor’s Degree in Pharmacy (B.Pharm)
A Bachelor’s education in pharmacy is a must when considering how to become a pharmacist in India.
If you wish to work in the pharmaceutical industries such as Sun Pharmaceutical, Lupin Ltd, Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories, etc, you should therefore pursue a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy.
The course structure of a bachelors’ degree includes academic and practical training in the pharmaceutical industry environment.
Some of the top B.Pharm institutes in India are:
Note that to get into these universities, one must therefore pass through entrance exams such as the All India Pre-Medical Test (AIPMT), All India Manipal University Online Entrance Test (MU-OET), Panjab University Common Entrance Test (P.U. CET), and so on.
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Pursue Postgraduate Education in Pharmacy
Aside from undergraduate education, also going for a higher program is another step on how to become a pharmacist in India.
You can, however, pursue any of the programs listed below as one of your postgraduate options. This will help you specialize and also gain an understanding of one or two courses.
These programs, however, differ in terms of their curriculum, research opportunities, and degree. They are;
Master’s Degree in Pharmacy (M.Pharm)
A candidate who has completed his/her Bachelor’s degree in Pharmacy is therefore eligible to do Masters in Pharmacy.
Someone who has completed their Master’s in Pharmacy has an advantage over B.Pharm graduates in Research and Development criteria.
A few scholarships and other financial assistance in the field of Pharmacy are also given for candidates who wish to pursue their masters. Also, one needs to select one out of the ten specializations to pursue their master’s education in namely;
These courses can be studied in some specific schools in India. So the schools below are the right choices on how to become a pharmacist in India.
Some of these top institutes for a Master’s in Pharmacy are:
However, you would need to pass the Graduate Pharmacy Aptitude Test (GPAT) to get into any of these schools.
Pursue Ph.D. in Pharmacy
While this is an optional step, it is, however, highly beneficial for people looking to build a career in research.
Students who wish to pursue a Doctorate in Pharmacy (Ph.D.) should have a strong inclination towards research.
And note that the minimum eligibility for Ph.D. is a Master’s in Pharmacy. Also, the duration of the program is a minimum of 3 years.
Ph.D. programs, however, follow an integrated approach to learning. In addition to coursework and thesis research, students are made to join journal clubs, seminars, publish research articles and participate in student-student and student-faculty interactions.
Some of the top institutes for carrying out a Ph.D. in Pharmacy in India are:
Read also: Can I Get PhD Programs Without Masters?
Scope of Pharmacy in India
Besides knowing how to become a pharmacist in India, you may also want to know what possible jobs you would have right?
Well, a career in the pharmaceutical sciences is full of several opportunities ranging from individual work to organizational work.
A pharmacy professional can hence venture into:
There is a never-ending demand for pharmacy professionals. These demands vary depending on the field of work chosen, geographical location, work responsibility, skills, and experience.