What can I do with a pharmacy degree?

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Pharmacists are the people behind the making of every medicine, be it painkillers or cancer drugs.

What’s this career about?

Pharmacists deal with drugs and chemicals in the medical profession. They know all about drugs and their effects on the body. They understand how a medicine heals and how it can hurt, how it reacts with foods and other drugs.

Their work varies according to the education they have and the type of work they do. Each area of pharmacy has different educational and certification requirements, and likewise, each type of pharmacist receives a different salary and has different work conditions.

Broadly speaking, there are following types of pharmacists.

Retail Pharmacists manage the operation of the pharmacy. They are often known as Chemists. Their work includes ordering supplies, book-keeping, inventory control, supervising the sale of prescription and non-prescription drugs, surgical supplies, and other merchandise.

Hospital Pharmacists are responsible for the procurement, storage and dispensation of various medicines and other medical accessories in a hospital. They also take care of stock control, financial budgeting and account keeping for the stocks.

Industrial Pharmacists are employed by large pharmaceutical manufacturers. They may be in one of the several capacities. Some are in research to help develop new drugs or improve or find new uses for the old ones. Others may supervise the preparation of ingredients which go into the capsules, ointments, solutions or other products of the manufacturer. Some may assist with advertisement of the company’s products, to make sure that nothing untruthful or misleading is said about a drug in professional nature. Many pharmacists specialize in specific drug types, such as those for nutrition support.

The person who is employed by a pharmaceutical firm to promote the sales of its product is called a ‘Medical Representative’. They are required to contact physicians, hospitals, nursing homes, druggists, etc., in specified areas to introduce medical products of his company to promote sales.


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Dr Vibha Gupta
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Dr Vibha Gupta

Dr Vibha Gupta, a feature writer, is a Ph.D. in Mathematics from IIT Roorkee. Her book Careers: A Pathfinder and articles in various publications are an attempt to guide students in choosing a career according to their natural strengths, talents and skills.