So long as there is suffering, as long will pharmacy stay with us. From times bygone, man has been battling the scourge of the diseases that have been haunting the human body. The plagues in the Dark Ages, tuberculosis, cancer, AIDS, Hepatitis, all these are not only names of diseases but a bane of our existence. In every culture and civilisation one can find a pronounced research work carried out against the diseases, be it through the hands of witch doctors in Aztec or Ayurveda in India.
But pharmacy is primarily concerned with the allopathic stream of medicine. Pharmacy has come into the fore a couple of decades ago, with rapid advancement in treatment of scores of diseases that afflict the human body. It has increasingly taken a very sophisticated aspect, dealing with path-breaking research in the field of treatment.
Careers in Pharmacy Stores and Health Care Units
Pharmacists traditionally started of their career at pharmacy stores. These stores also serve as breeding ground and develop their knowledge on different kinds of medical situations and drugs that must be administered. Entrepreneurial pharmacists are known to establish their own pharmacies, which is quite a lucrative proposition.
Research and product development
Sales and administration
As health-care units get advanced and increasingly professional, the need for knowledgeable professionals at the helm of affairs is on the up. Therefore an increased number of pharmacists can take up practice in hospitals, nursing homes, extended care facilities, neighbourhood health-care centres, and health maintenance organizations. Since the pharmacist is the vital link in the treatment of a patient, he is greatly regarded for his role.
Most qualified pharmacists also work in administrative departments of hospitals and health-care units. The job involves liaison with drug manufacturers, testing and review of drugs, managing their storage and supply chain.
Careers in the Pharmaceutical Industry
As a pharmacist, one can also make a successful career in the pharmaceutical industry, directly involved in the process of new drug research and production of drugs. One can opt for a role in any of the functions mentioned below:
Many pharmacists also service the medical community as medical representatives. These representatives meet medical practitioners and introduce them to various drugs, its benefits and how they must be administered. Medical representatives play a very vital role in successful marketing and sales initiatives of pharmaceutical companies.
Medical representatives with substantial experience can be promoted as medical supervisors, managers and are given other administrative functions.
Career in Academics and Research
Pharmacists can make a successful career out of providing training to medical students. Pharmacists can function as faculties on subjects pertaining to drug management, drug research and overall drug care subjects. Pharmacists can also aid senior industry professionals in carrying out research for new drugs. To enter this field one needs at least 3-5 years of experience as a pharmacist in a drug store or as medical representative.
Careers in other related areas
With some years of experience behind them, pharmacists can step into consultants role with various government organizations. They would consults on practices of drug management and monitor the new developments and trends in the pharmaceutical industry. Here the pharmacist is also given the responsibility of being a purchaser of drugs that the government agencies distribute among the general public. A pharmacist can also make a career with an NGO that is involved in welfare of the community and can help them manage their medicine supply, purchase and advice on its usage to the general people.
It is obvious that job opportunities are unlimited for a would-be pharmacist. The ideal characteristics for of successful pharmacists are alertness, observation, organization, dedication, and responsibility.
It is a job of profound importance, as details are sometimes a matter of life and death.