Pharmacy Career: Jobs, Salary, Colleges, Degree Courses
A pharmacist is responsible for dispensing and managing medications, educating patients on correct usage of drugs and potential drug side effects, and managing the overall health care or well-being of patients/customers in the setting of pharmacies and dispensaries. Pharmacists must know how to handle medications for patient safety and how to give correct dosages. Interaction with patients is common, so pharmacists may need to answer questions about medication. Furthermore, it is the duty and legal obligation of all pharmacists to know and follow the laws pertaining to the prescribed medication, and make sure that no medication is dispensed to a patient that would create a medical/drug interaction with any other medications that the patient is also taking. Staying abreast of new research in pharmaceutical developments and their safety is of vital importance in pharmacy jobs.
Pharmacists should be skilled at communicating safety instructions, potential side effects and giving general advice regarding over-the-counter as well as prescription drugs. As pharmacists work with sick patients on a daily basis, they should also be patient, calm, reassuring, understanding and compassionate. They must also have analytical skills and an interest in pharmacy research, so that they stay up to date about information regarding the drugs they are dispensing. For pharmacists who work in hospitals, the ability to work with doctors as well as nurses can be important, so basic medical terms and a clinical attitude, when appropriate, may be helpful.
The minimum requirements to become a pharmacist are generally a Diploma of Pharmacy (D.Pharm.), a two-year program and/or a Bachelor of Pharmacy (B.Pharm.), a four and a half-year program. Both pharmacy courses require a six-month pharmacy internship. The degree/diploma must be from accredited, Pharmacy Council of India approved pharmacy colleges, and upon completion of training and education, the graduate must register with his/her state’s Pharmacy Council. It’s also possible to continue your education by getting a Master of Pharmacy (M.Pharm.) or Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.), but this kind of pharmacy degree tends to be needed for research and/or teaching positions rather than pharmacist positions.
Pharmacy Career Prospects
Pharmacists in India work in community and/or Ayurveda, Yoga, Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH) dispensaries, in both private and public hospitals, as well as in retail pharmacies. Pharmaceutical companies will pay them well for work in marketing and quality control of their products, as well as research.
The salary for pharmacists varies based on experience and location, but the minimum startup salary for a pharmacist who has just finished his/her training is generally about Rs. 25,000 according to one source, Medspan International Pharmacist Training. An average annual salary falls somewhere between Rs. 71,422 and Rs. 4,93,286, according to PayScale.com.
Government hospital salaries start at Rs. 5000; medical representatives about Rs 5000 – Rs. 10000, not to mention incentives; lab researchers may command between Rs. 15000 – Rs. 40000 a month. Manufacturing units are paid in handsome figures.
Pharmacy Colleges in Major Cities
Pharmacy Colleges in Various States