Pharmacy is the health profession based on the chemical, biological, medical and social sciences. It is concerned with the design, evaluation, manufacture, storage, supply and appropriate use of medicines; and the provision of medicine related information to the patients and the public. Pharmacists have specialized roles for the safe, effective and rational use of medicines. Pharmacists are acknowledged to be as society’s experts in medicines.
Core courses of pharmacy education especially in India are: Pharmaceutics is a discipline of pharmacy that deals with all facets of the process of turning a New Chemical Entity (NCE) into a medication able to be safely and effectively used by the patients. Drug delivery is an intra-disciplinary field of pharmaceutics that covers the precise delivery of drugs to the body using principles of biomaterials and device technology. Drug delivery system (DDS), integral to the disciple of pharmaceutics, is a relatively modern term used in place of dosage form to describe a system for carrying drugs. Pharmaceutical/Medicinal chemistry is an interdisciplinary field that deals with synthesis, design, structure activity relation, analysis, assay and purity quantification of drugs as chemical compounds. Pharmacologyy is is the study of uses, actions, mechanism of therapeutic activity, side effects of drugs. Pharmacognosy is study of drugs derived from natural sources particularly plant drugs and search for new drugs from natural origin. It is also defined as the study of crude drugs (raw or crude forms of natural drugs). Pharmaceutical jurisprudence (or Foernsic pharmacy) is the study of rules and regulations of pharmacy, pharmacy practice, and relating to drugs and pharmaceuticals. Social and administrative pharmacy is the study of the social, political and economic aspects of the use of medicines.
Diversities of pharmacy eduction in India
1) 2 year 3 months curriculum: DPharm
2) 4 year curriculum: BPharm
3) 6 year Entry level curriculum: PharmD
4) 3 year post-BS: PharmD(post-baccalaureate)
5) 2 year post graduate: MPharm
Career opportunities for pharmacists in India
DPharm qualified pharmacists are practicing pharmacists in India(one needs at least a DPharm to practice as pharmacist). They have opportunities to work as hospital (both Government and private sectors) or community pharmacists (either individual or chain pharmacy). Working as pharmacists in Private hospitals and chain retail pharmacies would be challenging job and interesting to those who like the challenges of providing primary health care in comparatively excellent health care settings.
The pharmacists with a BPharm or MPharm have opportunities to work as industrial pharmacists (the curriculum is industry and product oriented). The growing pharmaceutical industry offers exciting career to pharmacists in entry level manufacturing and quality control; formulation, research and development, regulatory affairs; clinical research; marketing and medical writing.
The pharmacists with a PharmD who undergo extensive training in practice sites are expected to be employed in positions that need to provide pharmaceutical care (as being practiced in western nations) to patients.