Scope of PharmD in India


Pharmacists are higher salaried professionals in US and other foreign countries, where pharmacists are allowed to practice clinical pharmacy. They have statutory system in which patient is diagnosed by physicians or doctors (which is their exact responsibility not to prescribe drugs) and then the patient sent ahead to pharmacist with diagnosis report. Pharmacist is allowed to prescribe the patient and normally who charge more than physician. Average salary in USA is 40-50 or more USD per hour in beginning….

In India also the same course called as “Pharm D” is introduced for the academic year 2008- 2009. The Pharmacy Council of India is the apex body controlling the course. Although to date there is not an exact recognition of clinical pharmacy in India but it is sure that one has the greatest & the brightest career in US after clearing the NAPLEX and may be in future in India there will be higher prospectus for the course.

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The basic requirement for pharmacists to be considered for registration is
an undergraduate or postgraduate Pharmacy degree from a recognized university. In most countries this involves a four- or Six year course to attain a Master of Pharmacy (M Pharm). In the United States, students graduating after Jan 1, 2003 must complete a Doctor of Pharmacy degree to become a licensed pharmacist; this requires completion of four years at an accredited college of pharmacy (most students applying for admission into a college of pharmacy already have an undergraduate degree; however, many schools admit students after completion
of 2 years of undergraduate pharmacy prerequisites or directly from high school into a six-year accelerated program). Any person holding a bachelor’s degree in Pharmacy who graduated before this date is grandfathered and can register.
Thus, in USA the legal requirements of becoming a pharmacist include graduating with a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm D) degree from an accredited college of pharmacy, serving an internship under a licensed pharmacist, and passing a state (NAPLEX) and law exam. The designation Pharm D is often likened to a PhD degree, however in actuality it is an advanced degree that
became the standard of practice for graduates of pharmacy schools around the turn of the 21st century (2001). The former degree was a Bachelor of Pharmacy and required slightly less schooling and different curriculum. Due to the changes to health care in today’s society and the increasing need for counseling and medication maintenance, pharmacists have taken on a larger role as clinicians. This increase in the need for accessible health care information for consumers has led to great strides in the field of pharmacy. One result of this has been a change in the way
pharmacy schools structure their curriculum as well as an advanced doctorate degree, which further sets the pharmacist apart as a trusted ally in a patient’s health care treatment regimen.

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In fact, pharmacists consistently rank as one of the most trusted professionals in today’s society.This degree requires the completion of at least five years of post-secondary schooling but usually
requires at least 6-8 years at present time, depending on which state you live in and the pharmacy school which you attend. The former degree obtained upon completion of pharmacy school was a Bachelor in Pharmacy or BS and pharmacists with this designation were given the title RPh. In the USA, pharmacists who acquire a Pharm D degree are legally allowed to add the prefix “Dr.” before his / her name. Pharmacy is the health profession that links the health sciences with the chemical sciences and it is charged with ensuring the safe and effective use of pharmaceutical drugs.

Scope of PharmD in India

Scope & Objectives of  PharmD Programme in India:

Objective of Pharm D Programme
1. To provide patient care in cooperation with patients, doctors, and other members of an inter-professional health care team based upon sound therapeutics principles and evidence-based data, taking into account relevant legal, ethical, social cultural, economic and professional issues, emerging technologies, and evolving biomedical,pharmaceutical, social, or behavioral or administrative, and clinical sciences that may impart therapeutic outcomes.

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2. To manage and use resources of health care system, in co-operation with patients, doctors and other health care providers and administrative and supportive personnel, to promote health; to provide, assess, and coordinate safe, accurate, and time sensitive medication distribution; and to improve therapeutic outcomes of medication use.
3. To promote health improvement, wellness, and disease prevention in co-operation with patients, communities, at-risk population and other members of an inter-professional team of health care providers.
4. To demonstrate skills in monitoring of the National Health Programmes and schemes, oriented to provide preventive and promotive health care services to the community.
5. To develop leadership qualities to function effectively as a member of health care team organized to deliver the health and family welfare services in existing socio-economic, political and cultural environment.
6. To communicate effectively with patients and the community.

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Pharm D Career opportunity

• The prime (No.1) sectors which need the service of Pharm Ds are the pharmaceutical industries. They make new medicines and they need the professionals first than any other sector. Then the second priority comes to the hospitals of pharmacies where it is used or distributed. Production is may be one among ten divisions of an industry where Pharm Ds may not be needed. The numerous and diverse career options available to Pharm D students:

1. Clinical Research

1. Clinical Research : Clinical research is a branch of medical science that determines the safety and effectiveness of medications, devices, diagnostic products and treatment regimens intended for human use. These may be used for prevention, treatment, diagnosis or for relieving symptoms of a disease. The term clinical research refers to the entire bibliography of a drug/device/biologic, in fact any test article from its inception in the lab to its introduction to the consumer market and beyond. Once the promising candidate or the molecule is identified in the lab, it is subjected to pre-clinical studies or animal studies where different aspects of the test
(including its safety toxicity if applicable and efficacy, if possible at this early stage) are studied. The focus of clinical research is wide enough to include important items such as data management, medical writing, regulatory consultation, and biostatistics.

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2. Pharmacovigilance

Pharmacovigilance (abbreviated PV or PhV) is the pharmacological science relating to the detection, assessment, understanding and prevention of adverse effects, particularly long-term and short-term side effects of medicines. Generally speaking, pharmacovigilance is the science of collecting, monitoring, researching, assessing and evaluating information from healthcare providers and patients on the adverse effects of medications, biological products, herbalism and traditional medicines with a view to:
identifying new information about hazards associated with medicines and
2) preventing harm to patients.

3. Research & Development

Research & Development: The phrase research and development refers to the “creative work undertaken on a systematic basis in order to increase the stock of knowledge, including knowledge of man, culture and society, and the use of this stock of knowledge to devise new applications”.

4. Medical Writing

 Medical Writing: Is the activity of producing scientific documentation by a specialized writer. The medical writer typically is not one of the scientists or doctors who performed the research. A medical writer, working with doctors, scientists, and other subject matter experts, creates documents that effectively and clearly describe research results, product use and other medical
information. The medical writer also makes sure the documents comply with regulatory, journal, or other guidelines in terms of content, format and structure.

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5. Product Managers:

A product manager investigates, selects, and develops products for an organization, performing the activities of product management.

6. Regulatory affairs:

Regulatory Affairs (RA), also called Government Affairs, is a profession within regulated industries, such as pharmaceuticals and medical devices. Regulatory Affairs professionals usually have responsibility for the following general areas:
Ensuring that their companies comply with all of the regulations and laws pertaining to their business.
Working with federal, state, and local regulatory agencies and personnel on specific issues affecting their business. i.e. working with such agencies as the Food and Drug Administration or European Medicines Agency (pharmaceuticals and medical devices); The Department of Energy; or the Securities and Exchange Commission (banking).
Advising their companies on the regulatory aspects and climate that would affect proposed activities. i.e. describing the “regulatory climate” around issues such as the promotion of prescription drugs and Sarbanes-Oxley compliance.
7. Correspondents & Trainers
8. Top level medical representatives
9. Academics

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10. Community Pharmacy:

A community pharmacy is a community-based pharmacy. The main responsibilities of a community pharmacy include appropriate procurement, storage, dispensing, and documentation of medicines.
In compliance with the vision of the community pharmacy section of the International
Pharmaceutical Federation, community pharmacists should
1. be experts in pharmaceutical care, pharmacotherapy, and health promotion.
2. be professional communicators with patients, other healthcare providers, and decision makers.
3. deliver good quality in products, services, and communication.
4. document their actions and make descriptions and publications.
The above mentioned requirement is being fulfilled by the PharmD course.

11.Geriatric Pharmacy:

Geriatrics is a sub-specialty of internal medicine and family medicine
that focuses on health care of elderly people. It aims to promote health by preventing and treating
diseases and disabilities in older adults.

12. Governmental agencies


13. Home Health Care:

Home Care, (also referred to as domiciliary care or social care), is health care or supportive care provided in the patient’s home by healthcare professionals (often referred to as home health care or formal care. Often, the term home health care is used to distinguish non-medical care or custodial care, which is care that is provided by persons who are not nurses, doctors, or other licensed medical personnel, as opposed to home health care that is provided by licensed personnel.

14. Hospital Pharmacy:

A hospital pharmacy is concerned with pharmacy service to all types of hospital and differs considerably from a community pharmacy. Some pharmacists in hospital pharmacies may have more complex clinical medication management issues whereas pharmacists in community pharmacies often have more complex business and customer relations issues. Because of the complexity of the medication use system, many pharmacists practicing in hospitals gain more education and training after pharmacy school through a pharmacy practice
residency and sometimes followed by another residency in a specific area.

15. Managed Care:

The term managed care is used in the United States to describe a variety of techniques intended to reduce the cost of providing health benefits and improve the quality of care (“managed care techniques”) for organizations that use those techniques or provide them as services to other organizations (“managed care organization” or “MCO”), or to describe systems of financing and delivering health care to enrollees organized around managed care techniques
and concepts (“managed care delivery systems”). According to the United States National Library of Medicine, the term “managed care” encompasses programs:
…intended to reduce unnecessary health care costs through a variety of mechanisms, including:
economic incentives for physicians and patients to select less costly forms of care; programs for reviewing the medical necessity of specific services; increased beneficiary cost sharing; controls on inpatient admissions and lengths of stay; the establishment of cost-sharing incentives for outpatient surgery; selective contracting with health care providers; and the intensive
management of high-cost health care cases.

16. Pharmacoeconomics:

Refers to the scientific discipline that compares the value of one pharmaceutical drug or drug therapy to another. It is a sub-discipline of Health economics. A pharmacoeconomic study evaluates the cost (expressed in monetary terms) and effects (expressed in terms of monetary value, efficacy or enhanced quality of life) of a pharmaceutical product. We can distinguish several types of pharmacoeconomic evaluation: cost-minimization analysis, cost-benefit analysis, cost-effectiveness analysis and cost-utility analysis. Pharmacoeconomic studies serve to guide optimal healthcare resource allocation, in a standardized and scientifically grounded manner. One important consideration in a pharmacoeconomic evaluation is to decide the perspective from which the analysis should be conducted (such as institutional or societal).
17. Any more opportunities that can be explored…….

courtesy: Venkat Ch

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