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Pharmacy as a Career

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Title: Pharmacy as a Career


1
Pharmacy as a Career
2
Introduction
  • Pharmacists work in the community and in
    hospitals as members of the health care team and
    have special responsibilities for the use of
    medicines.
  • Pharmacists in the pharmaceutical industry work
    with other disciplines in producing medicines of
    the highest quality and safety. A pharmaceutical
    qualification is an excellent basis for achieving
    posts of responsibility up to the most senior
    level.
  • The administration of health services by the
    Health Boards also provides many opportunities
    for pharmacists, particularly in the area of
    community care.

3
Community Pharmacy
  • Pharmacists in community practice occupy a unique
    position. Advice from a pharmacist is readily
    available to the public. For that reason, the
    community pharmacy is the most immediately
    available and frequently used source of
    information on the use of medicines as well as
    general health matters.
  • The pharmacist supervises the compounding and
    dispensing of prescriptions, and supply of
    medicines. Pharmacists give advice on health
    services, family planning, drug misuse and abuse,
    and other related topics. They represent the
    final link with the public for both prescription
    and non-prescription medicines. Professional
    control is necessary since patients needs must
    be matched to the most effective, appropriate,
    safe and economic treatment.

4
Community Pharmacy cont.
  • Most pharmacies have experienced support staff
    who work under the personal supervision of the
    pharmacist. Therefore, community pharmacists, by
    far the largest segment of the profession,
    require scientific, administrative, supervisory,
    counselling and pharmaceutical skills of a very
    high standard. Salaries for community pharmacists
    are generally quite attractive.

5
Hospital Pharmacy
  • The professions concerned with healthcare work
    together as a team, particularly in the hospital
    services. A person taking up the career of
    hospital pharmacist can be assured of a
    challenging and interesting job, one that changes
    rapidly in response to developments in the
    healthcare field.
  • A primary role of the hospital pharmacist is the
    dispensing of medicines to patients. The quality,
    safety and use of medicines must be closely
    monitored by the pharmacist. This entails
    involvement at ward level. Ward and clinical
    pharmacy is progressing rapidly and requires
    constant up-dating to keep abreast of the many
    new advances in the medical and pharmaceutical
    world. Medication may have to be individually
    prepared for particular patients. Pharmacists
    retain the traditional compounding skills to meet
    these requirements. Compounding skills are
    particularly important in the preparation of
    sterile products in hospitals.

6
Hospital Pharmacy cont.
  • The hospital pharmacy is the centre of drug
    information. Pharmacists are expected to lecture
    to nurses and medical students on the action of
    drugs, dose rates, side effects and related
    problems. They act on drug and therapeutic
    committees where overall policy is determined in
    relation to drug usage, new products, clinical
    trials, infection control, the hospital
    formulary, etc. The pharmacist increasingly plays
    a vital role in clinical budgeting and on finance
    committees. There is a set career structure in
    all hospital pharmacies. Salary levels compare
    very favourably with other specialised hospital
    services.

7
Pharmaceutical Industry
  • The Pharmaceutical Industry, both in terms of
    manufacturing and marketing, has grown
    dynamically over the last 20 years. It continues
    to grow and, on the manufacturing side, is
    fundamentally export-orientated. Within both
    manufacturing and marketing, all the major
    international pharmaceutical companies are
    represented and, moreover, the industry extends
    into the area of non-pharmaceutical health care,
    including medical devices and diagnostic
    products.
  • Pharmaceutical companies, depending on their size
    typically include a multi-disciplinary team and
    pharmacists by virtue of their qualifications can
    find employment in the areas of sales and
    marketing, research and development, production,
    quality control, administration and management.
    In many cases pharmacists pursue additional
    post-graduate courses to enhance their prospects
    in the industry.

8
Pharmaceutical Industry
  • The work of the production pharmacist involves
    the manufacture of pharmaceuticals and, as such,
    offers the pharmacist the opportunity to employ
    both technical skills and management expertise.
  • Before any batch of a medicinal product is placed
    on the market, a number of tests are carried out
    on samples of the batch to ensure that the
    product meets certain standards. These tests are
    carried out by the quality control department and
    the Qualified Person is responsible for
    authorising the release of the product on the
    market. Pharmacists, by virtue of their training
    are in an excellent position to undertake the
    role of Qualified Person.

9
Pharmaceutical Industry
  • All human and veterinary medicines must have a
    product authorization prior to being sold. The
    pharmacist in the registration department
    prepares documentation about a new product in a
    specific format for submission to the Irish
    Medicines Board. Pharmacists in the Technical
    Services Department provide information to
    doctors and pharmacists about the companys
    products. They may also be involved in areas such
    as the training of the company representatives
    and the compilation of technical booklets.
  • Success in the pharmaceutical industry, as in any
    other industry, entails a long-term commitment.
    Pharmacists with the right personal qualities and
    dedication can look forward to excellent career
    prospects, a good salary and other benefits.

10
Pharmaceutical Wholesaling
  • Pharmaceutical wholesalers provide a link between
    manufacturers and a network of pharmaceutical
    outlets including community pharmacies, hospitals
    and Health Boards. All pharmaceutical wholesalers
    must hold a license which places certain
    obligations on the wholesalers with regard to
    what classes of medicines may be stocked, the
    type of premises, staff and equipment and records
    to be kept. In general, the practice in
    pharmaceutical wholesaling is to appoint a
    pharmacist to be responsible for the ordering,
    storage and supply of medicines. Experience and
    training in management can lead to additional
    responsibilities at the highest levels.

11
Higher Degrees in Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Pharmacy graduates are eligible to apply for
    registration as graduate students for the degree
    of M.Pharm., M.Sc., or Ph.D., in Pharmaceutics,
    Pharmacology, Pharmaceutical Chemistry, and
    Pharmacy Practice. Candidates are normally
    required to possess a good honours degree. Higher
    degrees in a pharmaceutical science are usually
    required for appointments to academic posts.

12
Working in Other Countries
  • E.C. Directives provide for the free-movement of
    pharmacists within the European Union a
    pharmacist registered in a member State is
    entitled to work in another Member country. The
    Irish qualification is also recognised in
    Australia and New Zealand.

13
What Qualifications Do I Need?
  • A student who wishes to become a pharmacist must
  • (a) obtain preliminary registration with the
    Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland,
  • (b) enrol at University College Cork for the
    four-year course leading to the Degree of
    Bachelor of Pharmacy, or at another bachelors
    degree programme in Pharmacy in Ireland
  • (c) complete twelve months practical training in
    an approved establishment under the supervision
    of a tutor pharmacist
  • (d) pass the Societys Licence Examination.

14
Pre-registration training
  • All graduates are required to undergo twelve
    months pre-registration training after they have
    completed the four year B. Pharm. course. All
    practical training must be carried out under the
    supervision of a pharmacist who has undergone
    special training in order to act as a tutor. At
    least six months of the year must be spent in a
    hospital or community pharmacy while the other
    six months may be spent in community, hospital,
    industrial or academic pharmacy.

15
PHARMACY DEGREE COURSE at UCC
  • B.Pharm Degree CAO Code CK703
  • Duration 4 years
  • Provision of health services is now a team effort
    involving many professions and the degree of
    Bachelor of Pharmacy at UCC is offered by the
    School of Pharmacy within the Faculty of Medicine
    and Health in collaboration with the School of
    Medicine and departments in the Faculty of
    Science. The pharmacist is the member of the
    Health Service team specifically concerned with
    drugs and medicines. Pharmacists have legal and
    professional responsibilities. Modern medicines
    are strictly controlled by law and it is the
    pharmacist's responsibility to see that the
    regulations are implemented. Instruction in the
    law relating to pharmacy is an essential part of
    the pharmacist's education.

16
Entry requirements
  • The UCC courses currently provides fifty places
    annually, and because of demand, applicants
    generally will require qualifications which are
    substantially higher than the minimum. Applicants
    are ranked on the basis of their Leaving
    Certificate subjects.
  • Minimum Grade HC3 in Chemistry and in either
    Physics or Biology and passes in four other
    subjects at H or O level in Irish, English,
    another language and Mathematics in the Leaving
    Certificate.
  • 2003 555 points required.

17
Course Outline
  • The course involves the following major areas of
    study Pharmaceutical and Medicinal Chemistry
    Drug Design and Formulation Studies Drug Action
    in the Body and the Practice of Pharmacy.
  • Pharmaceutical and Medicinal Chemistry concerns
    the application of basic pharmaceutical sciences
    as an aid to the understanding of physiological
    processes responsible for the absorption,
    distribution and elimination of drugs. In first
    year emphasis is given to essential chemistry for
    pharmacy including its relevance to living
    systems and the environment. In second year the
    molecular logic of life and principles of
    metabolism are studied. This leads to the study
    in third and forth year of the characterisation
    of the chemical structures of drugs and
    relationship of drug activity to chemical
    structure.

18
Course Outline cont.
  • Drug Design and Formulation Studies concerns the
    formulation and manufacture of medicines. The
    principles underlying the manufacture of
    medicines are introduced in first year. This is
    followed in second and third year by a detailed
    study of the ways in which drugs are formulated,
    prepared and packaged e.g. tablets, injections,
    lotions and the factors which influence their
    efficacy. In fourth year, good manufacturing
    practice adopted in the pharmaceutical industry
    is covered as well as quality assurance and
    licensing of medicines.

19
Course Outline cont.
  • Drug Action in the Body is the study of the cells
    and organs of the body and the actions of drugs
    upon them. In the first year students study the
    physiology of each body system and in the second
    year are introduced to the fundamental principles
    of pharmacology. This is followed in years three
    and four by a study of the use of drugs in
    disease. For each class of drugs, the reasons for
    their use are stressed, along with the main
    contra-indications and side effects. Particular
    emphasis is given to the mechanisms of drug
    action at the cellular level.
  • The Practice of Pharmacy concerns the
    professional aspects of pharmacy in both
    community and hospital pharmacy. These studies
    deal with law relating to pharmacy, the
    importance of ethical standards, the role of
    pharmacy in health care and education, the
    response of the pharmacist to patient symptoms,
    screening services available in the modern
    pharmacy and the over-the-counter sale of
    medicines in a pharmacy.

20
Summary of Programme
  • Year 1. Students are introduced to pharmaceutical
    chemistry and to biochemistry, to human biology
    including basic physiology and anatomy, and to
    formulation science and pharmacy practice.
  • Year 2. Further courses are offered in
    pharmaceutical chemistry, biochemistry and
    physiology and new courses are introduced in
    pharmaceutics (drug formulation and delivery),
    pharmacology (drug action), pharmacognosy
    (pharmaceutical agents derived from plant
    products), microbiology (the biology and
    pharmaceutical control of micro-organisms) and
    pharmacokinetics (mathematical modelling of
    pharmaceutical interactions).

21
Summary of Programme
  • Year 3. Most of the second year subjects are
    developed to greater depth and new subjects are
    commenced in areas such as the principles and
    practice of analytical chemistry, medicinal
    aspects of pharmacology, microbiology and
    immunology. A course in clinical pharmacy
    provides basic guidelines in eliciting and
    responding to symptoms of illness and injury and
    addresses the option for management and remedy.
  • Year 4. Students take courses in drug evaluation
    and industrial pharmacy, drug design, clinical
    pharmacology and therapeutics, veterinary
    pharmacology and therapeutics, good professional
    practice for pharmacists. Each student undertakes
    a research project through which the good habits
    and methods of independent research are
    introduced and the nature and reliability of
    results is considered.
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