Career in Pharmacy

Looking for a Career Option as Pharmaceutical Teaching, Pharmacists, Pharmaceutical Manufacturing, Pharmaceutical  IT, Pharmaceutical Regulation & Pharmaceutical Scientist?

This section features Pharmacy as a career option, elaborated with reference to the job profile, personality traits required, the courses and training involved, premier institutions and future prospects.

In our day-to-day life pharmacists play an important role, as they are very much into research and manufacture of drugs. As a pharmacist. Thus, pharmacy is closely associated with scientific study.

Pharmacy as a career option has always been in demand. India being a huge nation of about a billion populations, diseases both minor and major has been a curse upon the weak and the poor. In the previous centuries and almost till the middle of the 20th century killer diseases such as acute respiratory infections, diarrhoea, depression, tuberculosis, measles, anaemia etc have been affecting thousands every year. With the advancements in medical science most of these diseases have been brought under control, with the help of high powerful antibiotics and other life saving drugs. This is where pharmacy steps in to fill the void.

Pharmacists study the chemistry of drugs, their origin, procedures for drug development, their preparation, dispensing, their effects and eventual use for prevention and treatment of disease. The complexity of drug therapy and the dangers of drug abuse has brought into focus the need of pharmacists’ special skills to maintain a rational approach in the realm of drug treatments.

Personality Traits:

Pharmacists must have a scientific bent of mind and should have interest in medicine. The academic acumen of pharmacists can range from average to superior. Pharmacists in research and industries should have excellent academic potential. An ability to work methodically, carefully and accurately is needed for work in hospitals, stores, laboratories and shop floors. Sympathetic attitude, caring mannerisms and a friendly disposition are required for dealing with patients.

Excellent communication skills are required by pharmacists engaged in marketing and in the production units of industries. Pharmacists in management positions must have effective management skills. In the retail sector, additional skills in merchandising, selling and financial management are required.

Pharmacists work in research, processing and manufacture of drugs. Biotechnological research has added a dynamic potential to the work of pharmacists. The investment in research and development is envisaged to expand the sphere of business activity, both in the country and abroad. Multinational joint venture partnerships have given a thrust to this growth, which has targeted business of almost 40,000 crores, approximately 3.8% of the market share by the turn of the century.


After Class XII (PCM/B), the study of pharmacy is at the following levels – Diploma courses are of 2 years’ duration, degree courses of 4 years’ duration.

  1. After graduate degree in pharmacy, M Pharma course of 2 years’ duration can b undertaken.
  2. Graduates in pharmacy can opt to do postgraduate study in biotechnology, particularly if they aspire to become research scientists.
  3. Diploma holders can find work work as technicians.
  4. Graduate pharmacists can opt for retail and hospital jobs.
  5. Postgraduates and doctorates are selected for research, production, quality control and management positions.

Those with B. Pharm and above can work in production section in pharmaceutical companies, product marketing, quality control, research, etc. They are also employed by large hospitals and research centres. There is a demand for pharmacists in western countries also, and many Indians have fared well in this field abroad.

Placements And Prospects:

Those opting for D. Pharm. are employed in the above organizations at a lower level, and they also find vast avenues of employment in pharmacies and medical shops, for whom it is compulsory by law to employ a pharmacist.

Pharmacists work in four areas:

  1. Hospital pharmacist – The tasks:Procure, stock, prepare and dispense medicines, drugs and other medical accessories. Undertake responsibility for stock control, storage, placing orders, labelling and financial budgeting and account-keeping for the dispensary. The pharmacists are expected to meet patients, doctors and nurses to discuss the supply of medicines and the appropriate form of drugs for administration.
  2. Retail pharmacists – The tasks:In medical retail stores, the pharmacist prepares and dispenses drugs on prescription to the general consumer With the growing availability of pre-packaged doses, the pharmacist monitors the drug sale on the basis of prescriptions and dosages, and gives over the counter advice on how to use prescribed drugs In the retail sector, pharmacists run chemist’s shops As medical representatives, they inform and educate the medical practitioners of the potential uses of the drug or health product and its administration along with side effects or precautions for its use. The job entails regular visits to medical practitioners, hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, health centres. There is usually a lot of touring to be done.
  3. Industrial pharmacists – While most firms are involved in the production of preformulated preparations, a growing number of firms are developing new formulations through autonomous research work. Industrial pharmacists carry out clinical trials, where drugs are tested for safety and effectiveness work in research and development to develop new formulations the production job entails management and supervision of the production process, packaging, storage and delivery work in marketing, sales and quality control.
  4. Research pharmacists – Research pharmacists are engaged in research activities in pharmaceutical firms, research organisations and laboratories.

For Diploma in Pharmacy

      i.        As a Pharmacist in Govt/Semi Govt/Private Hospitals.

     ii.        They can start their own Medical Store.

For Bachelor in Pharmacy

      i.        As a Medical representative or a medical detailing man.

     ii.        Marketing Managers or a Sales Manager.

    iii.        Drug Inspectors.

    iv.        Drug Controllers.

     v.        Graduate Pharmacist

    vi.        Chief Pharmacist.

   vii.        As Lecturers for D.Pharm and B.Pharm Colleges etc.

For Masters in Pharmacy:

      i.        As Lecturers for B.Pharm Colleges.

     ii.        Basic degree for Ph.D.,

    iii.        Research Assistant or Research Associate etc.

The prospects:

Registered pharmacists work in health centres, hospitals and medical dispensing stores, in pharmaceutical industry, in the manufacturing, analytical and research and development divisions. They also work in drug control administration as Drug Inspector, Analytical Chemist, in the Customs office experts on drugs and pharmaceuticals, Ministry of Supplies and Rehabilitation as Assistant Director of Supplies, medical representatives and executives in pharmaceutical sale divisions.

A number of multinational companies like Hoechst, E Merck and Smith Kline Beecham are collaborating with leading Indian companies as well as government labs, thus offering many job options for qualified professionals. Most large pharmaceutical firms have research divisions requiring skilled manpower. Fresh postgraduates and Ph. Ds are recruited as analytical research scientists/associates or as product development research associates.

The Central Drug Research Institute (CDRI) Lucknow; National Chemical Laboratory, Pune; the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and the Indian Institute of Chemical Technology, Hyderabad also employ researchers.

Drug and pharmaceutical firms employ graduates, postgraduates and doctorates with a background in pharmaceuticals as management trainees for their production units, operations, as well as for quality control and quality certification. With adequate experience, these people rise to senior management positions. More than 20,000 industries manufacturing drugs and pharmaceuticals exist in India, employing almost 1.5 million people.