The pharmaceutical industry is one of the most lucrative and numerous fields such that people decide to start a career in this field every single day, and for good reasons. If you want to find out more about this topic and see if a pharmaceutical career would be suitable for you, read below for all you need to know about pharmacy programs.
• You can enroll in a college that offers pharmacy programs immediately after finishing high school. You also have the option of transferring from another college, provided that you have completed a few prerequisite courses with a curriculum similar to the ones followed at the college offering the pharmacy programs. The prerequisite courses revolve around topics such as chemistry, biology, calculus, and physics.
• The application form for pharmacy programs can be easily downloaded online. Students interested in applying have to fill it out and send it via mail post to the college offering the program, before a predetermined a deadline. Each institution that offers pharmacy programs establishes its own requirements for admission, so make sure you study them thoroughly before applying. The most common requirement is having a certain GPA (Grade Point Average), usually above 2.5. Additionally, most colleges will also require students to pass an exam called the Pharmacy College Admissions Test, or PCAT for short, before they are allowed to enroll in the program.
• A professional pharmacy program will award you the degree of Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm. D) upon successful completion of the courses. The program lasts for six years and it is divided in two sections: the first two years include pre pharmacy training course, while the remaining four years focus on professional pharmaceutical training. Transfer students from other teaching institutions will be able to enroll directly in the second section of the program.
• Throughout the six years of pharmacy programs, students will gain expertise on topics such as prescription and over-the-counter drugs, uses of medications, doses and times of administration, adverse reactions and side effects, as well as various mixtures of medicines. Pharmacy professionals will be able to work in drug stores, pharmacies, hospitals, medical facilities, department stores, or general merchandise stores.
• After completing the program and receiving the Doctor of Pharmacy degree, students will be able to schedule their examination with the pharmacy licensing board in order to obtain their license and to be able to practice as a pharmacist. Passing this exam is an absolute requirement in all states of the US and it is called the North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination (NAPLEX).
• Some pharmacy programs allow students in their sixth and final year multiple specialization options. Students can choose between Pharmacy Care, Pharmaceutical Sciences, or Health Service Research.