Pharm.D (Doctor of Pharmacy)
What is Doctor of Pharmacy?
Doctor of Pharmacy or Pharm.D is a professional pre-Ph.D. postgraduate doctorate of six years introduced by the Government of India and Pharmacy Council of India in 2008. Being the only pharmacy service, which is in direct contact with the patient health care system, the Doctor of Pharmacy was introduced with the aim to improve clinical pharmacy services in India. Students enrolled for the course are required to complete five years of classroom and hospital based didactic study programme, followed by one year of internship training in hospitals along with ongoing practicals and research projects. Pharm.D is a postgraduate degree and students can directly enroll for a P.hD program after completing the course. Student graduates in Pharm.D are entitled to prefix their name with “Dr.”. Doctor of Pharmacy is a degree that prepares students to be practice-ready, as they already have spent a significant amount of time training in areas related to direct patient care and research.
Types of Doctor of Pharmacy
Doctor of Pharmacy is a Ph.D. degree which is pursued by those students who are interested in the healthcare industry. There are a number of courses that are offered by the Pharmacy Council of India. The duration of the course usually takes around six years to complete. Candidates enrolled for the Doctor of Pharmacy are required to study subjects such as pharmacy ethics, public health practices, pharmacology, and the best techniques for effective business management.
Pharmacy offers a variety of degrees on different levels each aiming to provide different health services. Doctor of pharmacy is one of the various types. Candidates are required to complete their bachelor's degree in order to be eligible for the program. Pharm D. is a postgraduate degree recognized by the PCI and MCI does not recognize the course in India. The candidates with Pharm D. degree are eligible to work as a Clinical pharmacist. Also, the DIC (Drug Information Centre) is to be handled by the clinical pharmacist. And the minimum qualification for the cadre is Pharm.D
Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D) Eligibility
Eligibility criteria can be defined as a set of parameters that are required to be fulfilled by the candidates in order to be eligible for a particular course. In order to get admission in Pharm D. course, candidates are required to fulfill the following eligibility criteria:
Candidates must have passed 10+2 from a recognized board with physics, chemistry, and biology/maths as compulsory subjects.
Candidates must have graduated with a bachelor’s degree B. Pharm from a recognized university.
Candidates studying D. Pharm (diploma of pharmacy) are eligible for lateral entry to the program.
Doctor of Pharmacy Admissions
There are various universities and colleges offering admission in Pharm.D courses across the country. The admission procedure and eligibility criteria might differ from university to university. Although, most universities consider GPAT scores as a parameter to admission for this programme. Students who clear the first stage of admission by legitimate GPAT scores are required to undergo counselling and personal interview. While there are some colleges that offer admission based on the merit qualification of a student which are the marks in bachelor’s degree in the same stream as pharm.D course. Also, there are colleges that conduct separate entrance examinations in order to admit students for the Pharm.D course.
Top Pharm.D Examination
There are a large number of both government and private universities that offer admission based on various entrance tests conducted by government as well as private institutions. Some of the most prominent entrance examinations in India that grant admission to Doctor of Pharmacy course:
Graduate Pharmacy Admission Test
All India PG Super Speciality Common Entrance Test
Uttar Pradesh State Entrance Exam Pharmacy
Punjab Pre-Medical Entrance Test
BITS HD Pharmacy
Uttar Pradesh Combined Pre-Medical Test [UPCPMT]
Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D) Specializations
Students enrolled for the Pharm.D program are required to study a standard syllabus as prescribed by the Pharmacy Council of India. However, after completing the study of Doctor of Pharmacy, there are various specializations available for the candidates that they can choose as per their interest and preferences. The Doctor of Pharmacy focuses on the streams like pharmaceutics, medicinal biochemistry, pharmaceutical microbiology, pharmacognosy & phytopharmaceuticals, pharmaceutical analysis, and clinical research. After studying all the mentioned fields, candidates can choose the following fields in accordance to their own interests:
Pharmaceutical technology: Pharmaceutical technology involves the implementation of scientific knowledge to develop new methods of producing drugs and processes.
Pharmaceutical chemistry: Pharmaceutical chemistry involves the study of drugs and their development. Drug discovery, delivery, consumption by humans, and their metabolic reactions form a part of this field. Biomedical analysis, pharmacology, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacodynamics form a part of pharmaceutical chemistry.
Drug discovery and development: In drug discovery and development, new drugs are discovered by recognising an active constituent from a traditional medicine or a remedy or by discovery as with penicillin.
Industrial pharmacy: Industrial pharmacy deals with the manufacturing, development, promoting and distribution of drugs to the end users.
Pharmacology: Pharmacology is that branch of pharmaceutical sciences which deals with the study of drug and its medication. It involves the science of drugs and their effects on the human body.
Doctor of pharmacy (Pharm.D) Courses
Doctor of pharmacy is a doctorate course. The education for pharmacy in India is regulated by the Pharmacy council of India. Candidates who pass Doctor of Pharmacy are entitled to suffix “Dr.” to their names. The course structure of Pharm.D is designed in a manner to make students competent to meet the global demand in patient medication therapy while trying to improve patient outcomes.
Through the course of Doctor of Pharmacy, students gain clinical knowledge along with skills to manage patients with chronic or acute illness in addition to learning how to collaborate with other healthcare organizations in the pharm.D course. As soon as the candidates complete the course, they have profound skills in selection and therapeutic application of drugs, diagnosis and treatment of diseases and monitoring of patients among several other things.
Doctor of Pharmacy Syllabus
The syllabus for course of Doctor of Pharmacy prescribed by the Pharmacy Council of India is mentioned below
Human anatomy and physiology
Internship or residency training including postings in Pathophysiology
Pharmacognosy & Phytopharmaceuticals
Pharmaceutical organic chemistry
Pharmaceutical inorganic chemistry
Remedial mathematics/ biology
Biostatistics & Research Methodology
Biopharmaceutics & Pharmacokinetics
Pharmacoepidemiology & Pharmacoeconomics
Students should independently provide the clinical pharmacy services to the allotted wards
Clinical Pharmacokinetics & Pharmacotherapeutic Drug Monitoring
Six months in General Medicine department and Two months each in three other speciality departments
Project Work (Six months)
Following is the eligibility criteria for students to appear in the course examinations as prescribed by the Pharmacy council of India: Only such candidates who offer certificates from the Head of the Institution in which he or she has undergone the Pharm.D.(Post Baccalaureate) course, in proof of his or her having regularly and satisfactorily undergone the course of study by attending not less than 80% of the classes held both in theory and in practical separately in each subject are eligible for appearing at examination.
Mode of examinations
Theory examination must be conducted for three hours and practical examination must be of four hours duration.
Candidate who fails in theory or practical examination of a subject is required to re-appear both in theory and practical of the same subject.
Practical examination must also consist of a viva –voce examination.
In the case of clerkship examination, oral examination must be conducted after the completion of clerkship of students. An external and an internal examiner is required to evaluate the candidates. Candidates might be asked to present the allotted medical cases followed by discussion. Candidate’s capabilities in delivering clinical pharmacy services, pharmaceutical care planning and knowledge of therapeutics are required to be kept in analysis.
Salary of Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D) Graduates
The salary of a candidate is purely a subjective matter and depends on various aspects such as qualification, skills- both soft skills as well as technical skills, and experience of the candidate. In India, the starting salary of a pharmacy graduate ranges from Rs. 15,000 to 25,000 a month. The average salary for a Pharmacist in India is 3.5 lakhs per year. The candidates having their own medicine shop will be able to make more. Salary allotted to pharm.D candidates varies according to their skills and the organization they are working for. For instance, Accenture technology solutions provide a salary package of 5,20,000 Rs. per year, Indegene offers an annual salary of Rs. 3,40,000 per year, whereas Quintiles offers an annual package of 2,70,000 INR per year. The salary of the candidates also depends on the post they have been appointed for. There are various posts available in pharmaceuticals and the payscale varies accordingly. For record, the average salary of a clinical pharmacist is around 4,20,000 INR per year, the average salary of pharmacologist is approximately 4,00,000 INR per year, the payscale for clinical research associate is around 3,80,000 INR per year, Drug safety associates are paid as high as 5,10,000 INR per year from beginning of their jobs, Pharmacist and data analyst are paid and average salary between 3,20,000 INR to 3,50,000 INR per year and Research Scientist are paid between 4,70,00 to 5,00,000 INR per year.
2 lakh to 3.5 lakh per annum
4 lakhs to 5.5 lakhs per annum
6 lakhs to 8 lakhs per annum
Scope of Pharm.D
Career scope in the field of pharmacy is huge. After completing Pharm D. course, students can choose for a P.hD programme. There is wide scope to work abroad in pharmaceuticals for Pharm D. candidates. They are required to work with doctors, and pharmacists which bring them a sense of responsibility for the medication therapy management. As a Pharm D. graduate, one can work in the following fields:
Oncology: Cancer patients are dependent upon many different drugs to help them fight their illnesses. As cancer treatment is one of the most convoluted and ever-changing disciplines of the pharmacy industry, professionals in this area are in demand to help assist medical specialists and advise cancer patients. They may also be required to support monitor patients who are part of experimental drug treatments.
Nuclear Pharmacy: Nuclear pharmacy is that category of pharmacy which is connected to radioactive drugs. These types of drugs are used for methods such as PET scans or for different treatment procedures for diseases like cancer. Those who specialize in nuclear pharmacy have the knowledge and skills to manage and expend these drugs carefully.
Psychiatric Pharmacy: Pharmacists who specialize in psychiatric medications prospect how these drugs interrelate with other drugs, and help advise medical specialists who authorize these drugs which supports them to properly identify those conditions where the drugs will be efficient and beneficial. They are educated in the specializations of psychiatric drug side effects and treatment plans, and they are also knowledgeable about the expenses of these types of drugs and how to support and assist individuals make cost-effective options available.
Pediatric Pharmacy: Those candidates who choose to specialize in pediatric pharmacy are required to gain specialized knowledge of drugs for children under the age of 18. They are required to learn how to adjust a dosage amount for a child and what drugs are accurate to give to children. These specialists also work to educate families on health and wellness problems affecting children.
Careers Opportunities after Pharm.D
The candidates who complete their study of Doctor of pharmacy are offered a variety of jobs according to their job interests and skills they possess. They help support daily practices of pharmacists by supporting in their preparation of prescriptions, assisting with problem solving, and helping out with the daily running and on-going programs of the pharmacy.
Candidates who are interested in the healthcare industry choose to study Doctor of Pharmacy. There are various opportunities for Pharm D. graduates under various organisations, and research centers and across various posts. Some of the major employment fields in pharmacy for both government as well as private sector include the following:
Hospital Pharmacy Director
Hospital Staff Pharmacist
Pharmacist in Charge
Retail Staff Pharmacist
Drug Interaction Specialists
Job opportunities for a Doctorate of Pharmacy course graduate consists of a community specialist who is authorized to prescribe medications for chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, and cardiovascular disorders. Pharm.D course candidates who have graduated have become an economical and logical alternative to medical graduates for many small-scale industries.
There is a high number of employment available for Pharm.D course graduates in medical coding, medical billing, and the health insurance organizations. Business Process Outsourcing, Knowledge Process Outsourcing and state level government medical industries such as Tamil Nadu Medical Services Corporation, Kerala Medical Services Corporation and West Bengal Medical Services Corporation etc employee Pharm.D course graduates for various positions. Aspirants can discover a huge scope of jobs in leading global industries such as Novartis, Cognizant, Quintiles, Thomson Reuters, Global Hospitals, Biocon, Pfizer, Accenture, GlaxoSmithKline, GE healthcare, TCS, Dr Reddy’s, iGate Patni, Ranbaxy, TTK healthcare, etc.
Frequently Asked Question (FAQs) - Pharm.D (Doctor of Pharmacy)
Question: Is Pharm.D candidate a doctor?
Pharm.D is an abbreviation for Doctor of Pharmacy degree. It is a doctorate level degree obtained in pharmacy school by prospective pharmacists, similar to an MD for a physician. Other countries vary in the requirements to be a registered pharmacist, including Canada where the required degree is a bachelor of pharmacy.
Question: Which is better - B Pharmacy or Doctor of Pharmacy?
D degree is actually better than a B.Pharm degree even though both are undergraduate courses. Pharm.D stands for doctor of pharmacy and it is a 6 year academic program. It comprises more clinical aspects of pharmacy than B Pharm.
Question: What Does a Pharm D. candidate do?
Pharm.D graduates who work in this field of pharmacy provide medications, such as intravenous antibiotics, pain management medication, nutritional supplements and chemotherapy. Pharmacists also monitor the patients' progress and adjust therapy as needed.
Question: Is pharm.D equal to MBBS?
Yes, Pharm.D graduates can legally use the title - “Dr”. Pharm.D may be considered equivalent to M.pharm but cannot be compared to MBBS. For Research equivalence, you can see the CSIR equivalence or DAE equivalence for JRF,SRF,RA .
Question: Can I open a medical store after Pharm.D?
Requirement to run a medical shop is a registered pharmacist, so after Pharm.D you need to be registered at your state pharmacy council and obtain a certificate (which will take around 45 days after registration) and then you can start a medical shop.