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Pharmacy - Paramedical

Pharmacy is the health profession that links the health sciences with the chemical sciences and it is charged with ensuring the safe and effective use of pharmaceutical drugs.

The scope of pharmacy practice includes more traditional roles such as compounding and dispensing medications, and it also includes more modern services related to health care, including clinical services, reviewing medications for safety and efficacy, and providing drug information. Pharmacists, therefore, are the experts on drug therapy and are the primary health professionals who optimize medication use to provide patients with positive health outcomes.

An establishment in which pharmacy (in the first sense) is practiced is called a pharmacy. In addition to pharma responsibilities, the pharma offered general medical advice and a range of services that are now performed solely by other specialist practitioners, such as surgery and midwifery. The pharma (as it was referred to) often operated through a retail shop which, in addition to ingredients for medicines, sold tobacco and patent medicines. The pharmas also used many other herbs not listed.

In its investigation of herbal and chemical ingredients, the work of the pharma may be regarded as a precursor of the modern sciences of chemistry and pharmacology, prior to the formulation of the scientific method.


Pharmacists are highly qualified, highly-trained and skilled healthcare professionals who perform various roles to ensure optimal health outcomes for their patients. Many pharmacists are also small-business proprietors, owning the pharmacy in which they practice. Since pharmacists know about the chemical synthesis mode of action of a particular drug, and its metabolism and physiological effects on human body in great detail, they play a very important role in optimisation of a drug threatment for an individual.

Diploma in Pharmacy:

D Pharma means Diploma in Pharmacy. In India, students can study this education course after successfully completing pre university course (Standard Twelve)in science stream with biology as subject. The person who has completed DPharma can be employed as pharmacist in shops selling medicine (Pharmacy). It has been made mandatory that at least one person employed in pharmacy must have qualified DPharma. After completion of DPharma, a student can go for degree (under graduate) course of B Pharma in India.

Bachelor of Pharmacy:

A Bachelor of Pharmacy (abbreviated BPharm) is an undergraduate academic degree in the field of pharmacy. The degree is the basic prerequisite for registration to practice as a pharmacist in many countries. In some countries, it has been superseded by the Master of Pharmacy (MPharm) and Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) degrees. In the United States, this degree was granted as the baccalaureate pharmacy degree only at Washington State University, where it has now been superseded by the PharmD degree. The degree previously offered within the US—and still the required degree in Canada—is the Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy.

The Bachelor of Pharmacy degree is popularly known as B Pharm in India. It is a four year program with both annual and semester schemes available. In order to be eligible, one must pass with at least 50% marks in 10 + 2 (or an equivalent examination) with biology/mathematics as one of the subjects. In some states it is mandatory to give an additional pharmacy entrance examination in order to be eligible for the course. On the other hand D Pharma students are too eligible for admission into B Pharma in second year directly via Lateral entry. Colleges imparting Pharmaceutical education (D Pharma , B Pharma , M pharma or Pharm D must be approved by All Indian Council of Technical Education (AICTE ) or Pharmacy Council Of India (PCI ). For a student to be eligible for regristation as a Pharmacist the college from which that graduated must be approved PCI. B pharma is often superseeded by M Pharma and Ph D level courses. Although minimum qualification required for registration as a pharmacist at PCI is D.Pharm.

Master of Pharmacy:

A Master of Pharmacy (abbreviated MPharm or MPharm (Hons) is a post-graduate academic degree in the field of pharmacy. In many countries, it has superseded a Bachelor of Pharmacy (BPharm) as the prerequisite for registration to practice as a pharmacist. It may also refer to a postgraduate coursework or research degree in the field of pharmacy.


Specializations in M-Pharmacy are:

  • Pharmaceutics
  • Pharmaceutical Chemistry
  • Pharmacognosy
  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmaceutical Analysis
  • Pharmaceutical Biotechnology
  • Pharmacy Practice
  • Phytopharmacy and Phyto medicine
  • Pharmaceutical Analysis & Quality Assurance
  • Clinical Pharmacy


Pharmaceutics is the discipline of pharmacy that deals with all facets of the process of turning a new chemical entity (NCE) into a medication able to be safely and effectively used by patients in the community. Pharmaceutics is the science of dosage form design. There are many chemicals with known pharmacological properties but a raw chemical is of no use to a patient. Pharmaceutics deals with the formulation of a pure drug substance into a dosage form.

Branches of pharmaceutics include:

  • Pharmacokinetics
  • Pharmacodynamics
  • Pharmacoepidemiology
  • Pharmacogenomics
  • Pharmacovigilance
  • Pharmaceutical formulation
  • Pharmaceutical technology

Pharmaceutical Chemistry:

Pharmaceutical chemistry or Medicinal chemistry is a discipline at the intersection of chemistry, pharmacology, and biology involved with designing, synthesizing and developing pharmaceutical drugs. Medicinal chemistry involves the identification, synthesis and development of new chemical entities suitable for therapeutic use. It also includes the study of existing drugs, their biological properties, and their quantitative structure-activity relationships (QSAR). Pharmaceutical chemistry is focused on quality aspects of medicines and aims to assure fitness for the purpose of medicinal products.

Compounds used as medicines are overwhelmingly organic compounds including small organic molecules and biopolymers. However, inorganic compounds and metal-containing compounds have been found to be useful as drugs. For example, the cis-platin series of platinum-containing complexes have found use as anti-cancer agents and Lithium-based medicines have long been useful in treating a wide range of mental illnesses.

Medicinal chemistry is a highly interdisciplinary science combining organic chemistry with biochemistry, computational chemistry, pharmacology, pharmacognosy, molecular biology, statistics, and physical chemistry.


Pharmacognosy is the study of medicines derived from natural sources. The American Society of Pharmacognosy defines pharmacognosy as "the study of the physical, chemical, biochemical and biological properties of drugs, drug substances or potential drugs or drug substances of natural origin as well as the search for new drugs from natural sources."

The word "pharmacognosy" is used to define the branch of medicine or commodity sciences (Warenkunde in German) which deals with drugs in their crude, or unprepared, form. Crude drugs are the dried, unprepared material of plant, animal or mineral origin, used for medicine. The subject had developed mainly on the botanical side, being particularly concerned with the description and identification of drugs both in their whole state and in powder form. Such branches of pharmacognosy are still of fundamental importance, particularly for pharmacopoeial identification and quality control purposes, but rapid development in other areas has enormously expanded the subject.

Although most pharmacognostic studies focus on plants and medicines derived from plants, other types of organisms are also regarded as pharmacognostically interesting, in particular, various types of microbes (bacteria, fungi, etc.), and, recently, various marine organisms.

According to quack watch pharmacognosy is "the science of medicines from natural sources”. Other definitions are more encompassing, drawing on a broad spectrum of biological subjects, including botany, ethnobotany, medical anthropology, marine biology, microbiology, herbal medicine, chemistry, biotechnology, photochemistry, pharmacology, pharmaceutics, clinical pharmacy and pharmacy practice.

The contemporary study of pharmacognosy can be divided into the fields of

  • medical ethnobotany: the study of the traditional use of plants for medicinal purposes;
  • ethno pharmacology: the study of the pharmacological qualities of traditional medicinal substances;
  • the study of phytotherapy (the medicinal use of plant extracts); and
  • Photochemistry, the study of chemicals derived from plants (including the identification of new drug candidates derived from plant sources).
  • Zoopharmacognosy, the process by which animals self-medicate, by selecting and using plants, soils, and insects to treat and prevent disease.
  • Marine pharmacognosy, the study of chemicals derived from marine organism.


Pharmacology is the branch of medicine and biology concerned with the study of drug action.[1] More specifically, it is the study of the interactions that occur between a living organism and chemicals that affect normal or abnormal biochemical function. If substances have medicinal properties, they are considered pharmaceuticals. The field encompasses drug composition and properties, interactions, toxicology, therapy, and medical applications and antipathogenic capabilities. The two main areas of pharmacology are pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics. The former studies the effects of the drugs on biological systems, and the latter the effects of biological systems on the drugs. In broad terms, pharmacodynamics discusses the interactions of chemicals with biological receptors, and pharmacokinetics discusses the absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion of chemicals from the biological systems. Pharmacology is not synonymous with pharmacy and the two terms are frequently confused. Pharmacology deals with how drugs interact within biological systems to affect function. It is the study of drugs, of the reactions of the body and drug on each other, the sources of drugs, their nature, and their properties. In contrast, pharmacy is a biomedical science concerned with preparation, dispensing, dosage, and the safe and effective use of medicines.


The divisions in pharmacology are:

  • Clinicalpharmacology
  • Neuropharmacology
  • Psychopharmacology
  • Pharmacogenetics
  • Pharmacoepidemiology
  • Toxicology
  • Theoretical Pharmacology
  • Posology
  • Pharmacognosy
  • Behavioral Pharmacology
  • Environmental Pharmacology

Pharmacy practice:

Pharmacy practice is the discipline of pharmacy which involves developing the professional roles of pharmacists.

Areas of practice:

Areas of pharmacy practice include:

  • Disease-state management
  • Clinical interventions (refusal to dispense a drug, recommendation to change and/or add a drug to a patient's pharmacotherapy, dosage adjustments, etc.)
  • Professional development
  • Pharmaceutical care
  • Extemporaneous pharmaceutical compounding
  • Communication skills
  • Health psychology
  • Patient care
  • Drug abuse prevention
  • Prevention of drug interactions, including drug-drug interactions or drug-food interactions
  • Prevention (or minimization) of adverse events
  • Incompatibility
  • Drug discovery and evaluation
  • Community Pharmacy
  • Detect pharmacotherapy-related problems, such as:
  • The patient is taking a drug which he/she does not need.
  • The patient is taking a drug for a specific disease, other than one afflicting the patient.
  • The patient needs a drug for a specific disease, but is not receiving it.
  • The patient is taking a drug underdose.
  • The patient is taking a drug overdose
  • The patient is having an adverse effect to a specific drug.
  • The patient is suffering from a drug-drug interaction, drug-food interaction, drug-ethanol interaction, or any other interaction.

Clinical pharmacy:

Clinical pharmacy is the branch of Pharmacy where pharmacists and pharmaconomists provide patient care that optimizes the use of medication and promotes health, wellness, and disease prevention. Clinical pharmacists and clinical pharmaconomists care for patients in all health care settings but the clinical pharmacy movement initially began inside hospitals and clinics. Clinical pharmacists/pharmaconomists often collaborate with physicians and other healthcare professionals.

Clinical pharmacists and clinical pharmaconomists have extensive education in the biomedical, pharmaceutical, sociobehavioral and clinical sciences. Most clinical pharmacists have a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree and many have completed one or more years of post-graduate training (e.g. a general and/or specialty pharmacy residency). Many clinical pharmacists also choose to become Board Certified through the Board of Pharmaceutical Specialties (BPS).

Within the system of health care, clinical pharmacists are experts in the therapeutic use of medications. They routinely provide medication therapy evaluations and recommendations to patients and other health care professionals. Clinical pharmacists are a primary source of scientifically valid information and advice regarding the safe, appropriate, and cost-effective use of medications. Clinical pharmacists are also making themselves more readily available to the public. In the past, access to a clinical pharmacist was limited to hospitals, clinics, or educational institutions. However, clinical pharmacists are making them available through a medication information hotline, and reviewing medication lists, all in an effort to prevent medication errors in the foreseeable future.

Basic components of clinical pharmacy practice

  • Prescribing drugs
  • Administering drugs
  • Documenting professional services
  • Reviewing drug use
  • Communication
  • Counseling
  • Consulting
  • Preventing Medication Errors

Scope of clinical pharmacy:

  • Drug Information
  • Drug Utilization
  • Drug Evaluation and Selection
  • Medication Therapy Management
  • Formal Education and Training Program
  • Disease State Management
  • Application of Electronic Data Processing (EDP)

Doctor of pharmacy:

A Doctor of Pharmacy is a professional doctorate degree in pharmacy. In some countries, including the US, it is a first professional degree, and a prerequisite for licensing to exercise the profession of Pharmacist.

D.Pharm (2 years course) is the minimum qualification required to be a registered pharmacist in India. B.Pharm (4 years course) course is offered in various Universities. Some universities also offer Pharm.D (6 years course).

And also the Pharmacy Council of India permitted few universities to start Pharm.D (post baccalaureate) (2 years + 1 full working year internship in a 300 bedded hospital) for B pharmacy graduates. The first batch of Pharm.D students will graduate by 2011.

After B.pharm 2 years of M.phrama is available.