Pharmacists are healthcare professionals who practice in the field of pharmacy. They are knowledgeable about drug therapy, different types of drugs (their composition, manufacturing process and properties) and optimum use of drugs (depending upon the condition of the patient). Pharmacists are also known by titles such as- druggists, chemists and Doctor of Pharmacy. Their main tasks include- compounding, checking prescriptions, dispensing drugs, advice dosage and directions to patients and checking and maintaining the drug store inventory (at hospitals, clinics or drug stores).
The pharmaceutical education has closely followed that of medical education. As the training of the physician underwent changes from the apprenticeship system to formal educational courses, so did the training of the pharmacist.
Diploma in Pharmacy is a 2 years long career-oriented, entry-level diploma course. Students who wish to pursue a long term career in the medical field of pharmaceutical sciences, starting in entry-level positions are suitable for this course. This program is designed to prepare candidates to work under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist in hospitals, community pharmacies, and other pharmaceutical-related fields.
Bachelor of Pharmacy (B.Pharm) is a four-year undergraduate program in which students study the methods and process of preparing drugs and how does the dispensing of medicine and drugs take place. Anyone who aspires to be a pharmacist today, it is mandatory for them to undertake this course so that they have thorough and in-depth knowledge of the science of medicine.
It is a four-year-long course and is mainly divided into 8 semesters, including the coursework and practical sessions. B.Pharm imparts useful knowledge about biochemical science and healthcare business. Students during their coursework perform various practical and experiments related to drug formulation, drug design and synthesis, chemical evaluation, quality assurance, drug action and interaction, preclinical evaluation, plant-based drugs and natural products, drug regulatory policies and procedures, drug information service and drug dispensing and pharmacist’s role in a clinical setting.
The regulatory body for the program is Pharmacy Council of India (PCI), which is responsible for laying down all norms and regulations for the B.Pharm course. The course enables candidates to practice the profession of a Pharmacist after graduation. B.Pharmacy degree has a lot of scope and is going to flourish more in the coming years as there is a great demand for healthcare professionals who can prepare drugs to battle a number of diseases and deficiencies.