Career in Pharmaceuticals

The Indian pharmaceutical industry is one of the biggest in the world in the related vertical. The industry, which is already the world’s thirteenth largest by value and third largest in volume, ranks among the top six global pharmaceutical producers. The industry is expected to reach a sales turnover of US$85 billion by 2020 as per the Equity Master making a career in pharmaceuticals a very exciting and bright proposition.

A vast majority of patients in most developing countries depend on Indian medicines. India exports various vaccines to more than 150 countries. As per a report of Pharmaceutical Industry Analysis by Brand India Pharma, there are over 3,000 pharmaceutical companies and 10,500 manufacturing units in India. However, the Indian pharmaceutical market is highly fragmented and the major challenge it faces is that of consolidation. Some of the biggest Indian pharmaceutical industries are Dr Reddy’s Labs, Cipla, Lupin, Aurobindo Pharm, Cadila and so on.

India’s low manufacturing cost and a huge pool of researchers and scientists have helped the country’s pharmaceutical sector to attract both foreign and domestic investment. According to the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), between April 2000 and December 2014, FDI made in the industry amounted to US$12,813million. Gujarat and Telangana in particular have shown significant growth in this sector. The Government is making crores of investment in building hospitals and funding research laboratories and pharmaceutical studies implying increasing job opportunities in the field. Considering the fact that India has a population of over 1.2 billion, the pharmaceutical companies are equally investing more and more to ensure that high-quality medication is developed for the benefit of the people.

Job prospect in pharmaceutical industry

The Government of India, as per its ‘Pharma Vision 2020’ has decided to make India a global leader in drug manufacturing, the estimated human resource requirement for which is about 21.5 million by 2020 indicating numerous vacancies in various posts. Therefore, career in pharmaceutical industry is now an option that is sought after by students and young jobseekers. As the industry grows, the rate of employment will increase in pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, nursing homes, universities, research institutes and government departments. Career prospects are thus bright and varied. There are multiple role-playings in this sector and each is important in ensuring a smooth functioning of the business.

Manufacturing Chemist: This role involves personally supervising and directing the manufacturing process of medicines. Manufacturing chemists or competent technical staff must be pharmacy graduates and have working experience of minimum 18 months. They can later be promoted to higher posts like factory manager.

Quality Control Chemist: Also known as Quality Assurance Manager, this profile is responsible for checking and maintaining the quality of pharmaceutical products during and at the end of the manufacturing process. This job is suited for graduates who have aptitude in pharmaceutical analysis and handling of sophisticated instruments.

Hospital Pharmacist: Serving a range of functions like procuring medicine for the hospital pharmacy to disbursing medicine to customers is the typical job role of a pharmacist in any hospital. A Diploma in Pharmacy is enough however growth prospects are quite limited in this role.

Community Pharmacists: With the growth of pharmaceutical industry, there has been a significant increase in the number of retailers and entrepreneurs in India. There are chain-stores like Apollo Pharmacy, MedPlus or Frank Ross Pharmacy that have entered the market and transformed the way people buy medicines. A Diploma in Pharmacy is required to be a part of this retail chain.

Government Analyst: A good opening for pharmacy graduates that entails testing of medicines at government laboratories that are randomly collected from the pharmaceutical companies. Proper training from approved agencies on drug testing is required for this profile.

Drug Inspector: Right from manufacturing to the selling point, the safety and quality of medicines need to be properly monitored by the government. The pharmaceutical graduates can make this their career by clearing the Public service Commission test.

Research Analysts: An M.Pharm or a higher degree opens up the prospect of research work for developing newer drugs or improving on the existing ones. This role is much sought-after in manufacturing industry and research laboratories.

Marketing: Pharmaceutical marketing is a challenging job as the dealing is with well-qualified doctors and professional drug traders. Specialised skills and training are required to make an impression in this field. The starting level is Medial Representatives which can reach up to General Manager or even a higher rank. There is high employee turnover in this role hence, job vacancies are assured.

Teaching assignments and drug investigation are other career options that can be taken up after gaining considerable experience in the field.

With the Indian pharmaceutical market growing at an exceptional rate, new types of jobs are emerging requiring newer kind of qualification and expertise. As much as the small companies are being absorbed into the global market and big companies are becoming bigger, they are looking for highly-skilled employees who can live up to the emerging challenges. Pharmaceutical sector in India is a highly competitive one and is going to be even more so. Therefore, if you are interested to make a career in the field, consult a professional placement consultant who can guide you to make the right career moves.

Qualification required in pharmaceutical industry

The basic qualification for making a career in pharmaceutical industry in India is a two-year Diploma in Pharmacy (D.Pharm) and a hospital training course thereafter. Students can also opt for a four-year Bachelor of Pharmacy degree (B.Pharm) followed by a two-year post-graduation degree (M.Pharm) to get a better prospect. Ph.D holders generally get absorbed into research. Often particular jobs require particular degrees or special trainings. For example, even though for hospital pharmacists legally a diploma is sufficient, in government procurement system or corporate hospitals degree holders are preferred. Due to the high demand of the market, various placement services have emerged who help jobseekers get the right job.

Pharmacy courses and institutions

Presently there are various colleges and universities across India that give students an in-depth knowledge on pharmacy. To acquire a diploma you need to pass the 10+2 examination with science background. For gaining admission to a degree course, a 10+2 qualification with Physics, Chemistry and Maths or Biology is mandatory. Undergraduate, post-graduate and diploma degrees from these specialized schools are very helpful for securing jobs in operational and research field. To have a good career in pharmaceutical industry, you can opt for an institute that facilitate regular placement drives.

The pharmaceutical industry is intrinsically related to the overall wellness of a nation. Starting from research work to manufacturing and finally dispensing of medicines, the people involved in the various profiles play an important role.

If you are interested to test your career in this field or, are looking for a move then go through our job listings to find something that interests and challenges you.