Pharmacy is a versatile, dynamic, and fast-growing profession with a wide range of professional opportunities. With the enormous advancement in this field, it became one of the primary pillars of global healthcare. Centrally regulated education policies in India, pharma education became more specific in its target. Pharmacists contribute to their workforce in different areas of healthcare and society starting from medical shops to research and development. Maximum therapeutic benefit from their treatment and medicine is the primary concern of a pharmacist. Many pharmacists work behind the screen to run a smooth healthcare system and face the unbound challenges of healthcare. The pharmacy profession has been ranked by Gallup poll (USA) as one of the trustworthy professions. The third-largest professional to provide healthcare services in the world is the pharmacist.
The pharmacy word has been coined from the Greek word ‘Pharmacon’ which means drug. The demand of a defined pharma education has increased by identifying the complexity of medicine and their formulations and the criticality of making the medicines. In the ancient era, pharmacists are entitled to help physicians. Nearly at 1240 AD, the pharmacy has separated from medicine to fulfil the requirement of skill, knowledge, and responsibility to manufacture medicine. There are other systems of medicine also in practice in India like Ayurveda, Sidha, and Unani where the separate skilled pharmacist demand also came into existence. Pharmacy education in India was certified level offered in Goa by the Portuguese in 1842 and the university level education started in 1937 at Banaras Hindu University (BHU). Since then, several universities, and colleges are offering courses across the country. The first Pharmacy college in Asia was established in 1842 in Goa, India. Prof. M L Schroof is called the father of Pharmacy education in India. The Pharmacy act 1948 regulates the Pharmacy profession in India and as per Sec 3 of this act the Pharmacy Council of India (PCI) has established which regulates the Pharmacy education in India. The courses like Diploma in Pharmacy (D. Pharm), Bachelor of Pharmacy (B. Pharm), Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm. D.), and Master of Pharmacy (M. Pharm) is offered by different colleges in India.
Diploma in Pharmacy: Minimum requirement is 10+2 Science stream. It’s a 2-year full-time course with 500 hours of hospital training.
Bachelor of Pharmacy: Minimum requirement is 10+2 Science stream (PCM/PCB/PCMB). It’s a four years full-time course. After D. Pharm 3 years course (Lateral entry at 2nd year)
Doctor of Pharmacy: Minimum requirement is 10+2 Science stream (PCM/PCB/PCMB) or D. Pharm. It is a six-year course including one year internship. After B.Pharm direct admission of 4th year of Pharm D.
Master of Pharmacy: Minimum requirement is B. Pharm from a PCI-recognized institution. It’s a two years full-time program. The specializations are Pharmaceutics, Pharmaceutical Analysis, Pharmacology, Pharmacy Practice, Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, Industrial Pharmacy, Pharmacognosy, Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Regulatory Affairs, and Quality assurance.
Ph.D. in Pharmacy: Minimum requirement is M. Pharm. It can be full-time or part-time. The minimum duration is three years.
The Pharmacy education in India is well defined with wide range of career opportunities. It is also a divine profession associated directly with core healthcare system. The professions also include production of medicine, direct health care manger as clinical and hospital pharmacist, educationist, government job, research and development, analytical chemist etc. Choosing Pharmacy profession is definitely a wise decision towards a perfect career and a divine job.