A career in pharmacy, unfolds a vista full of opportunities leading to a golden future for a young career aspirant. The job opportunities, working conditions, job satisfaction and monetary benefits are excellent. The various vocations a pharmacy professional can opt, for, are discussed below;
Production & Manufacturing:
A pharmacy professional can be involved in the production of bulk drug, intermediates or formulations. Industries in the cosmetics, soaps, toiletries segment also hire pharmacy professionals. Other segments where opportunities exist are the field of dental products. Dental medicine is a specialized field and so is its production. These involve products dedicated to dental care and hygiene like toothpaste, mouthwashes, dental cavity fillers, etc. Blood and plasma products is another area hitherto untapped in Pakistan, but has immense potential worldwide and is coming up fast. The products involve, blood of various groups, production of blood bags, haemoglobin, plasma, serum, clotting factors, antigens, antibodies, etc. Production of biological & biotechnological products, surgical dressings, medical devices & equipment, ayurvedic/ homoeopathic / unani medicines also involve the presence of pharmacy professionals in its production. Other areas where pharmacy professionals are required are in production of veterinary medicine, perfumery, fragrances and nutraceuticals.
Research & Development:
This forms the heart of any industry, as it is the key to growth and sustenance. Mainly Pharm.D & PhDs are in great demand in the various areas of Pharmaceutical research and development (R&D). Other areas where professionals are required are:
- New Drug Discovery Research (NDDR): Discovering a new drug has assumed prime importance.
- Process Development (P&D): One of the important areas in bulk drugs industry is developing viable processes for the manufacture of drugs and intermediates for their commercial production.
- Formulation & Development (F&D): The success of any pharmaceutical company lies in the quality of its products, i.e., its formulations & dosage forms.
- Clinical Trials, Bioequivalence studies, Toxicological Studies: These are some of the areas of clinical research, which are in high demand, as they are involved in the systematic evaluation of potential drug substances prior to getting them approved by the authorities.
To practice pharmacy profession, it is strictly required that one should be graduated in Pharmacy and registered to the respective council of the country. A graduate registered pharmacist is very much needed and sought after position in hospitals or drug stores. The areas of Pharmacy Practice are as such:
- Disease-state management
- Clinical interventions (refusal to dispense a drug, recommendation to change and/or add a drug to a patient’s pharmacotherapy, dosage adjustments, etc.)
- Pharmaceutical care
- Extemporaneous pharmaceutical compounding.
- Health psychology
- Patient care
- Drug abuse prevention
- Prevention of drug interactions, including drug-drug interactions or drug-food interaction
- Prevention (or minimization) of adverse drug reaction
- Drug discovery and evaluation
- Detect pharmacotherapy-related problems, such as:
- The patient is taking a drug, which he/she does not need. The patient is taking a drug for a specific disease, other than one afflicting the patient.
- The patient needs a drug for a specific disease, but is not receiving it.
- The patient is taking a drug under dose.
- The patient is taking a drug over dose.
- The patient is having an adverse effect to a specific drug.
- The patient is suffering from a drug-drug interaction, drug-food interaction, drug-ethanol interaction, or any other interaction. These are the areas, which are in great demand all over the world whether developing or developed.
Analysis & Testing
Any drug or dosage form for human and animal use has to be of excellent quality and purity, free from any impurities. The permissible limits of impurities, which occur through either the manufacturing process, equipment, raw materials, handling or storage, are very stringent. Therefore, Quality control (QC) and Quality Assurance (QA) are the integral areas of the drug & pharmaceutical industry. Highly specialized and trained staff is required to handle sensitive analytical procedures & sophisticated equipment. M.Phils. & PhDs in Pharmaceutical Analysis (Q.A.) are highly preferred for this job.
Marketing & Management
Any business is incomplete without the marketing & sales aspect, as the universal fact is that anything produced has to be sold. The Pharmaceutical Sales & Marketing is a highly technical field & offers excellent opportunities for the pharmacy graduates. Additional qualification like M.B.A. adds to their arsenal. An aspirant of a highly bright future can enter through various openings like starting his own retail or wholesale drug store or becoming a professional sales manager to the levels of International Marketing & Exports. The monetary rewards and benefits are the best.
This concept, which is already very old in developed Western countries, is rapidly catching up the Healthcare service in our country. Through the services of community pharmacy a Pharmacist becomes a vital link between the patients and the products i.e., drugs. The pharmacist also serves a vital link between the patients and other healthcare professionals, especially the medical experts.
- Counselling the patients regarding the use of the drugs and dosage forms
- Providing up-to-date information on drugs/dosage forms to the patients, as well as, medical staff.
- Maintaining patient records & history
- Involved in the usage of self-diagnostic kits by the patients for disorders like diabetes, hypertension etc.
- Providing supply of Home care dosage forms.
Excellent opportunities for the professionals are available in teaching profession also. As per HEC norms, the minimum entry-level qualification as lecturer is Pharm.D. This is a profession associated with job satisfaction and social status as teaching is considered noble profession. The different teaching / administrative posts are Lecturer, Asst. Professor, Associate Professor, Professor, Principal and Dean. The emoluments are satisfactory. Besides teaching, Academic related opportunities involve positions on Research Posts and Training programs.
F.D.A. (Foods & Drugs Control Administration) is the main regulatory body governing and implementing the rules and regulations for the Drug & Pharmaceutical industry globally. The job opportunities for Pharmacy graduates are excellent and range from the levels of a Drug Inspector to Drug Controller. This is highly respected and sought after profession. A graduate in Pharmacy is the minimum eligibility.
Documentation, Library Information Services & Pharma. Journalism:
The Regulatory Affairs as well as, Patenting Processes and Issues involve a lot of documentation work to be done and submitted to the concerned Regulatory Authorities, in a highly specialized and technical manner. Pharmacy professionals are again fitting in the bill. Most of the major Pakistani Pharmaceutical companies have established separate Departments with a highly technical & skilled pharmacist for this purpose. Similarly, the R & D & Q.C. Departments of the Pharmaceutical Companies need a wealth of Technical information, which needs to be updated regularly, in order to match the pace of global competition. Therefore, Library Information services are another field in much demand as far as the Pharmaceutical industry is concerned. Furthermore, with the advent & boom of the Information Technology, Bio-Informatics and Electronic Data Retrieval Systems, this field is already scaling new heights. Pharmaceutical Journalism is another area filled with great potentialities. This requires specialist technical personnel like pharmacy graduates on the editorial staff to cover various aspects.
This is an ideal opportunity for experienced pharmacy professionals to earn self-employed entrepreneurs, even during retirement age. Pharmacy Consultancy services are offered in a number of areas at attractive financial rewards including following
- Regulatory Affairs
- Manufacturing Processes
- Analytical Series
- Market Surveys & Sales Promotion
- Data Management
- Information Retrieval
- Turn Key Projects, etc.
Golden opportunities galore for qualified Pharmacy professionals in various courtiers including the U.S.A., Canada, European Countries like U.K., France, Germany, African Countries like S. Africa, Nigeria, Yemen, Gulf Countries like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, South East Asian Countries like Singapore, Korea, Japan, etc. and the Australian Continent including N.Zealand.
There are plenty of higher education and research opportunities in the developed western countries along with excellent job openings. The pharmaceutical career is one of the most required and highest rewarding careers in these countries.