What are the higher study options in Pharmacy?
The minimum eligibility prescribed for admission to B.Pharma. Course is a pass in higher secondary or equivalent examination with at least 50 per cent marks in biology, mathematics, biotechnology or computer science. The student should also score at least 50 per cent marks in physics, chemistry, biology/ mathematics/ biotechnology/ computer science put together. Students who belong to the socially and economically backward category and whose annual family income does not exceed Rs.4.5 lakh can avail a relaxation of five per cent in the qualifying examination.
They need to score only 45 per cent marks in mathematics/ biology/ biotechnology/ computer science and 45 per cent marks for optional subjects put together. Candidates belonging to Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe communities need pass mark in the qualifying examination.
The applicant should have completed 17 years of age. Biology is not a compulsory subject for B.Pharma admission. Students can choose B.Pharma degree course or six-year Pharma D. course for higher study. Aspirants should have a scientific bend of mind and have interest in medicine.
Students can choose from two year diploma course (D. Pharm.), four year degree course (B.Pharma), two year Master’s degree course (M.Pharma), six year integrated doctorate degree programme (Pharma D.), three year Pharma D. course (post Baccalaureate), and Ph.D. courses in pharmacy as part of their higher education options.
Students who have passed their Plus Two are eligible to study D.Pharma, B.Pharma and Pharma D. courses.Trial allotment will be conducted to given an idea about the chances of students getting seat to a particular course and college based on the options made and the rank.
In the government sector, College of Pharmaceutical Sciences under the government medical colleges at Thiruvananthapuram, Kottayam, and Kozhikode offer B.Pharma. Courses. In the private sector, there are several pharmacy colleges and institutes that offer B.Pharma. Courses.
Approval of Pharmacy Council of India (PCI) or State Pharmacy Council and university affiliation should be ensured before admission. The list of PCI approved colleges or institutes can be obtained from the official web site of the PCI.
There are two categories in Pharma D. course — one for Plus Two students and the other for B.Pharma degree holders.
The duration of Pharma D. course is six years (five years of study and one year of internship or residency). The internship or residency training during sixth year involves posting in specialty units. The entry qualification is a pass in Plus Two/ equivalent examination with physics and chemistry as compulsory subjects along with mathematics or biology or a pass in D.Pharma.
The subjects to be taught will include human anatomy and physiology, pharmaceutics, medicinal biochemistry, pharmaceutical organic chemistry, pharmaceutical inorganic chemistry, remedial mathematics/ biology, pathophysiology, pharmaceutical microbiology, pharmacognosy and phytopharmaceuticals, pharmacology, community pharmacy, pharamacotherapeutics, pharmaceutical analysis, pharmaceutical jurisprudence, medicinal chemistry, pharmaceutical formulations, hospital pharmacy, clinical pharmacy, biostatistics and research methodology, clinical toxicology, clinical research, pharmacoepidemology and pharamacoeconomics. Internship consists of clinical pharmacy practices which include six months in general medicine department and two months each in three other specialty departments. The course should be approved by the Pharmacy Council of India.
Higher study Master’s degree programme in pharmacy (M.Pharma.) shall be a main stream higher study option for graduates in pharmacy. Specializations are pharmacology, quality assurance, hospital pharmacy, pharmaceutics, clinical research, pharmaceutical chemistry, pharmaceutical management and herbal drug technology. The AICTE has introduced Graduate Pharmacy Aptitude Test (GPAT) for admission to M.Pharma Course.
Pharmacy graduates who pass the GPAT will be eligible for scholarships/ fellowships for their M.Pharma. education. The National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER), SAS Nagar, Mohali offers excellent study facilities for meritorious pharmacy graduates. MS Pharma, M.Tech. (Pharma), MBA Pharma are some of the notable programmes of the institutes.
In countries like USA, Pharma D. is mandatory for working in pharmacies. The course emphasizes clinical practice which will enable the Indian pharmacists to go abroad.
In countries like the USA, students who have passed Plus Two examination can also pursue six years integrated Pharma D. programme.
Job prospects in India
India is fast becoming a leading player in the global pharmaceutical sector. So plenty of opportunities will be in the offing and good students will be able to find jobs abroad. M.Pharma and Ph.D. holders are in great demand in different fields of pharmaceutical research and development. Quality control and quality assurance are important areas in the drug and pharmaceutical industry where highly qualified pharmacy professionals are required. Those with M.Pharma and Ph.D. in Pharma analysis, quality assurance are preferred for these jobs. Pharma marketing offers excellent opportunities for the smart pharmacy graduates and MBA (Pharma) degree holders. B.Pharma. holders can work as medical sales representatives. Hospitals provide job opportunities for qualified pharmacy graduates. M.Pharma and Ph.D. holders can also opt for a teaching career. Jobs such as those of drug inspectors and drug controllers are also options for those who have studied pharmacy.
Edited and updated on 28th July 2015