B Pharm stands for Bachelor of Pharmacy. It is a 4 years long undergraduate course. After completing the course, graduates will obtain the ‘Bachelor of Pharmacy’ degree. After obtaining this degree, graduates may start practice as a Pharmacist in India as well as abroad! Science stream students, from both Mathematics and Biology groups, are eligible to pursue B Pharm course after completing 12th standard. In this article, you will be reading about B Pharm course details, eligibility criteria, admission process, syllabus, PG courses, career prospects and job profiles available after graduation.
BACHELOR OF PHARMACY: INTRODUCTION
One of the main tasks of a pharmacist is to prescribe medications to patients. It is evident from this very fact that the course of B Pharm focuses on the study of biology, pharmaceutical chemistry (inorganic, physical and organic), biochemistry, medicines, physiology, pharmacology, dispensing etc.
The course trains students in the above mentioned aspects and makes them ready to take on various roles in the pharmaceutical industry. Possessing the knowledge of medicines and biology, graduates may perform tasks such as prescribing appropriate medicine to patients (pharmacist), clinical research, work at pharmaceutical companies etc.
In India, the role of a pharmacist is limited. Abroad, the scenario is fully different! There, pharmacists play a far greater role and command more respect!
Bachelor of Pharmacy is an undergraduate degree course. Let us check out the course duration details now.
Duration: Course duration is 4 years. The 4 years’ duration is divided into 8 semesters, with each semester lasting for a period of 6 months. In case of each semester, students will have to face one theoretical external examination (main exam). In case of some semesters, practical examinations will also be held, with the subjects being hospital pharmacy, clinical pharmacy and community pharmacy.
Science stream students (both Mathematics and Biology groups- PCM/B), who have passed 12th standard board examination from a recognized board are eligible to pursue this course.
To get admission, candidates must satisfy the minimum marks criteria, which is 50% marks (in PCM/B subjects). Most institutes follow the merit based admission process, where deserving candidates are allotted seats based on the marks scored by them in board examination and entrance test. In case of some Deemed Universities and reputed private institutes, private entrance tests are used to allot seats to deserving students.
To get a better idea about the syllabus and nature of the course, let us go through some important course content and subjects.
1st year subjects-
Pharmaceutical Chemistry (Organic, Inorganic and Physical)
Dispensing and General Pharmacy
2nd year subjects-
Advanced Organic Chemistry
3rd year subjects-
Chemistry of Natural Products
4th year subjects-
Pharmaceutical Analysis (Advanced)
Note: Only the important subjects have been mentioned in the above list. Many subjects are recurring ones, meaning that they will appear in more than just one semester! In case of last academic year, there also will be project work involved.
Trend among B Pharm graduates these days is to pursue an MBA course! Pursuing this management course helps them acquire key management skills. The combination of management skills and pharmacy studies makes them highly employable in the pharmaceutical manufacturing as well as marketing sectors!
CAREER PROSPECTS AND JOB OPPORTUNITIES
Ample amount of job opportunities are available in Government as well as private sectors for B Pharm graduates. One of the most common job that graduates take up is that of a pharmacist. After completing the course and obtaining practice license, graduates may work as pharmacists at Government hospitals, private hospitals/clinics or private medical shops. If one has access to decent financial resources, one may also start an own medical shop!
Other than that, pharmaceutical companies are also prime recruiters of graduates. In a pharmaceutical company, graduates may work in departments such as manufacturing, quality control, packing, marketing etc.
State wise health boards also provides numerous job opportunities to graduates. Drug inspector, State owned tablets, capsules, powders and ORS manufacturing units etc are well know job providers in the Government domain.
Job profiles available in front of graduates are-
Scientist (Research field)
Teacher (Junior Lecturer)
Quality Control Officer
Clinical Research professional
Some of the well known recruiters are-
Hospitals and Clinics (Government and Private)
Medical Shop chains (the likes of Apollo Pharmacy)
State wise Drugs and Pharmaceutical Boards
Research bodies and labs
D.Pharm. admission requirements include that applicants must be at least 17 years of age at time of admission, and are required to complete the Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) or 10+2 exam in the science stream. Required subjects are physics, chemistry and biology or mathematics. A minimum of 40 percent marks are needed in each course. The cost for both B.Pharm. and D.Pharm. is varies based on institution.
Master of Pharmacy (M.Pharm) is a 2 year post graduate course. In order to be eligible for admission to an M.Pharm course, you should have a B.Pharm degree from a PCI-approved institute and should have scored at least 55% marks over the 4 years of B.Pharm.
Specialties/ subjects in which post graduate degree in pharmacy can be awarded by the Indian universities:
2. Industrial Pharmacy
3. Pharmaceutical Technology
4. Pharmaceutical Chemistry
5. Pharmaceutical Analysis
6. Pharmaceutical Quality Assurance
7. Regulatory Affairs
8. Pharmaceutical Biotechnology
9. Pharmacy Practice
12. Phytopharmacy & Phytomedicine
13. Any other specialty as may be prescribed by the Pharmacy Council of India from time to time.
The Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D) course was introduced in India only in 2008 by the PCI. The duration of Pharm.D is 6 years (5 years of study+1 year of internship/ resiency). It is a post-graduate (PG) qualification and hence Pharm.D graduates can register directly for Ph.D. All candidates being awarded the Pharm.D degree are eligible to use the prefix “Dr.” before their name and the same will reflect on the certicate issued to them by their PCI-approved institute/ university.
Eligibility to join a Pharm.D course:
You must be at least 17 years old and pass any one of the following exam:
(1) 10+2 with physics, chemistry and mathematics/ biology
(2) Completed D.Pharm course from a PCI-approved institution
(3) Any other qualification approved by PCI that is equivalent to above two qualifications