The Bachelor of Pharmacy (B.Pharm. or B-Pharm) degree and Diploma of Pharmacy (D.Pharm. or D-Pharm) are common pharmacology programmes. The B.Pharm. degree must be accredited by the All Indian Council of Technical Education (AICTE) or the Pharmacy Council of India (PCI). The bachelor’s course is a 4 year programme, while the diploma course is a 2-year program. Both require a six-month internship.
Also read: Career as a pharmacist
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B.Pharm. admission requirements are as follows: 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. Necessary subjects are biology/ mathematics, chemistry and physics. Admission requirements vary between institutions, so in order to be considered a top candidate for admission, it is also important to get a high rank in the state or institutional entrance examination.
If a candidate wants to get admitted to the 2nd year of B.Pharm (i.e. lateral entry), he must have passed D.Pharm from a PCI approved institute.
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 AICTE conducts the Graduate Pharmacy Aptitude Test (GPAT) on a national level, for admission to ACITE-approved post graduate (PG) level courses in pharmacy. Learn all about this entrance exam: GPAT
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
Pharm.D course differs from regular pharmacy courses such as B. Pharm and M. Pharm. The main difference being that Pharm.D is clinically oriented, i.e., patient specific. Students are trained to counsel patients and inform them about the medicine/ drug dose, time and method. The course focuses on the mechanism of a drug’s actions/ side effects/ adverse drug reactions on the body, main causes for the appearance of the disease, and its possible complications that can occur if left untreated. Pharm.D also focuses on the lifestyle changes that a patient can implement to improve health. Pharm.D students generally get the “clinical pharmacist” designation.
On the other hand, B. Pharm and M. Pharm courses are industry oriented. You get to learn about drug formulation, study various drug sources, their molecular structure, methods to synthesize/ manufacture drugs, pharmacological actions of the drugs, and so on.
The duration of the Pharm.D. (Post Baccalaureate) (Doctor of Pharmacy) is 3 years (2 years of classroom studies+1 year of internship.) In order to pursue this course, you need to be a B.Pharm from any PCI-approved institute. This would be equivalent to a B.Pharm graduate getting a lateral entry into the 4th year of a Pharm.D program.