For academic session 2019-20, All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) has approved as many as 57,747 pharmacy seats in 842 new colleges across India. With the new additions, there will now be a total of 2, 62,698 diploma,undergraduate and postgraduate seats in 3,726 pharmacy institutes this year. The surge in number of seats underlines the ever expanding Indian pharmaceutical market. This is one of the few sectors which are growing in double digit Compounded Annual Growth Rate (CAGR),say experts.
The pace has been brought about by growth drivers including the organisation of Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO), establishment of pharmaceutical manufacturing industries and growth of export and import.
Pharmacy programmes have always attracted students from the field of Biology and Mathematics. Anyone who has an interest in the healthcare sector, and wants to look for a career option apart from being a medical practitioner, can pursue a career in pharmacy, says S Samanta, professor and head, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences & Technology, Birla Institute of Technology, Mesra.
“Pharmacy is a strong interdisciplinary domain and graduates of the discipline have a better employability quotient as the education is industry-oriented. The applications of the discipline can be learnt in BPharm,” says Samanta. The course involves study of several disciplines including human anatomy and physiology, biochemistry, pharmaceutical chemistry, pharmaceutics, pharm engineering, pharmacology, pharm management etc.
Besides the traditional courses, the degree also deals with new age disciplines including data sciences and nano technology.
Traditional job roles
Pharmacy graduates take care of the manufacturing quality control of drugs and are involved with research and development to bring new novel therapeutics. These graduates are employed in varied sectors including healthcare, research, manufacturing, medical marketing, pharmacovigilance among others.
There are diverse options waiting to be unlocked, says Samanta. “ These graduates can also go for sales and management job; can join drug administration as drug inspectors and rise up to drugs controller; join hospitals as hospital pharmacist; go for <01Justify>legal practices related to drug and medicine.”
New-age job roles
Pharmacy is not just about dealing with therapeutic drugs. The face of the pharmacy sector is undergoing a change and has started to get recognised in the healthcare segment. Career in pharmacy paves way to tech-intensive research, data analysis, market intelligence roles making it a very meaningful and worthwhile employment, says Bindu Ajit, programme director, Biocon Academy.
She adds that the face of the market is bound to change with the understanding of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning and their role in drug design and discovery etc.
Pharmacists have a significant role to play in the overall health management and therefore new age jobs would demand computational, and management skills in addition to the core technical knowledge. Roles like big-data analyst, computational pharmacist health care management scientist, life cycle management scientist etc. have already started showing up.
“Soon the healthcare system will predict the compliance pattern of the patient to the therapeutic regimen and link it to the socio economic status of the patient and give a predictive buying potential of the patients for the years to come. With more and more use of New Generation Sequencing technology to predict the upcoming health issues, the sector is moving to a highly technology driven one to know and manage the wellbeing,” says Ajit.