How To Become A Pharmacist In Pakistan After FSC [Step-by-Step Guide]
The field of pharmacy and pharmaceutical science is continuously evolving in developing countries. Let’s have a look at how to become a pharmacist in Pakistan. Now students give it a preference over MBBS due to more chances of employment and career opportunities with other benefits also. So this article covers the following detailed topic and most common queries of students regard pharmacy :
- What is the role of a pharmacist?
- What is the salary of pharmacists in Pakistan?
- How to become a pharmacist in Pakistan?
- How to get a pharmacy license in Pakistan?
What is the role of pharmacists?
The role of pharmacists is very well defined in the countries like U.S, Australia, Switzerland, Japan, and other first world countries but Now pharmacists now become prominent figures as health care professionals in under developing countries also like India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, etc. Pharmacists are now performing a lot of functions in health care institutions as well as in community pharmacy and pharmaceutical industries.
The pharmacist is a legally qualified and a healthcare professional that is responsible to maintain the quality of the drug right from its manufacturing till the consumption of the last dose. Pharmacists assure the correct prescribing of medicines with the correct combination of incorrect dose and frequency. Pharmacists are among the front-line warriors during the pandemic of Covid19 and participate efficiently during this pandemic as well as in the process of vaccination.
Pharmacists also give their services in hospitals as clinical pharmacists. In community pharmacy as community pharmacists, in new drug development and research studies as well as in academics to help the students in to make their dream true.
Scope and growth of pharmacy in Pakistan:
Pharmacy developing scope is a valid fact that is accepted throughout the world. The technical aspects, critical issues as well as minor issues cannot be handled by a chemist or microbiologist. Slowly & gradually pharmacists are replacing chemists in the pharmaceutical industry with a valid reason that chemists cannot understand the nature of chemicals especially when it is marked as & medicinal drug” in a way as a pharmacist can.
There is a saying that
“ Every medicine is a chemical but not every chemical can be marked as medicine”.
This clearly highlights the significance of pharmacist in comparison with chemist & microbiologist
In Pakistan, the Health care system now admits the need for professionally competent pharmacists to face this challenge of overcoming antibiotic resistance, efficient multiple drug therapy, and decrease the risk of medication errors. This is the main reason that increases the scope of pharmacy all over the world. Scope of pharmacy is listed below that will further discuss in detail on the same page
- Community pharmacy
- Hospital pharmacy
- Industrial pharmacy
- Research & development
- Pharmaceutical journalism.
What is the Salary of pharmacists in Pakistan?
According to payscal.com, the average annual salary of pharmacists in Pakistan is Rs434,855. The base salary of pharmacists in Pakistan is 30K.
According to a recent survey in 2021, it is reported that in Pakistan, pharmacists can typically earn around 102,000 PKR per month. It is an average value while the salary ranges from 49,100 PKR to 160,000 PKR.
Pharmacists’ salaries highly depend on professional experience, skills, and gender. It is also worth mentioning that the monthly salary of pharmacists also includes transport facilities and other benefits.
Is pharmacy an ideal field for me?
The field of pharmacy is a unique combination of different domains of medical science that primarily focus on chemistry as well as technical aspects of pharmaceutical manufacturing. As a student you will consider as an ideal candidate to become a pharmacist if you have possessed the following qualities:
- Have a keen interest in drug development and innovations
- Want to get the title of Doctor
- Having chemistry and biology as a subject of interest
- Emphasize conceptional studies and technical aspects
What is the duration of PharmD in Pakistan?
The duration of Pharm D in Pakistan is 5 years. It consists of 2 semesters per year which means a total of 10 semesters in 5 years. While B.pharm is a 4-year degree program that is still offered by some universities.
Eligibility criteria to become a pharmacist in Pakistan
Eligibility criteria higher depends on the institute and academia where a student wants to enroll himself. Eligibility criteria may vary from institute to institute.
Stepwise guidelines about how to become a pharmacist in Pakistan
Pharm D is one of the most evolving medical fried with an increased probability of growing scope in the future years. Students who are having a keen interest in medicines aim to become pharmacists by enrolling in a pharmacy school and practice this field with professional competence. Before starting the main topic, it’s important to highlight that there are approx 32 educational boards in Pakistan with their own academics criteria and specifications. We tried to provide a generalized view with fundamental requirements that are almost similar throughout Pakistan. The 32 educational boards in Pakistan are mentioned as follows
- 01 in Islamabad
- 09 boards in Punjab
- 06 boards in Sindh
- 08 boards in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
- 03 in Balochistan
- 01 in Azad Jammu and Kashmir
As a student you belong to one of the above mentioned boards but dont no worry, this article will cover the fundamentals in a generalized manner. Here is the road map with a stepwise guide to direct you towards pharmacy careers.
Step 1 – Complete your matriculation
The first step is to complete your matriculation with flying colors. It is important to choose biology as your main subject. It’s impossible to proceed towards pharmacy by choosing “computer” in the 9th standard. In the federal or Cambridge board, matriculation is called O level, but still, biology is the mandatory requirement to study.
Step 2 – Get done with your inter/FSC/A levels with pre-medical
The next step is to complete your 2 years intermediate study from college with an A grade and pre-medical subjects that includes
- Organic chemistry
- Inorganic chemistry
The student must score a good percentage ( above 80%) or A grade. The higher the percentage you have, the greater is the probability to have seat in a government medical university,
Students who have done their intermediate with A levels or with Cambridge board must have equivalence certificate and, moreover, there is a reduction of 10% in their overall percentage. It is suggested for students from the Federal board or Cambridge board to change their educational board after matriculation or right after O levels otherwise they may face hurdles with respect to grades and percentage and the overall aggregate will be below.
Step 3 – Attempt entry test
All medical universities or pharmacy schools (either government or private ) conduct an entry test to filter the students for further journeys. The criteria for clearing the entry test varies with the institute or academia. Generally, 60& is required to attempt the entry test. The admission policy is again different for different universities.
Some universities (e.g: Dow University of Health Sciences) prepare their merit list by summing up the marks of matriculation, intermediate, and score obtained by students in entry tests. This aggregate consists of the following ratio
- Matriculation = 10%
- Intermediate = 40 %
- Entry test = 50%
So students having high aggregate are at the top of the list and according to the number of available seats, students are being admitted as a new batch in pharmacy school.
Some universities ( e.g: the University of Karachi) facilitate the students to just pass the entry test with 50 marks and prepare their merit list according to the percentage obtained by students in intermediate/FSc. In this policy, students have an easy focus on getting good marks in intermediate and they don’t have any burden to score highest in the entry test too.50 marks are enough to clear the test.
Some universities also bound students to appear in a formal interview right after attempting the entry test. The main objective of conducting an interview is just to check the confidence level and personality development by asking general questions ( name, location, career perspective) and typically it doesn’t aim to test your knowledge.
Step 4 – Enroll in university
After appearing on the merit list of universities either government or private, your journey to becoming a doctor of pharmacy begins. Now university according to its education policy asked for the submission of a few documents such as a matriculation certificate or original mark sheet of intermediate. Students must have to submit the fee for 1st semester and they are being introduced to the courses and orientation of pharmacy school.
Step 5: Complete your degree
The 5 years of journey of PharmD ends at the issuance of a degree. Here your academic life may end ( if you don’t want to pursue an MBA or Ph.D.) and your career life is about to start.
Completion of Pharmacy education and getting a degree is not an easy task. Each university has its strict protocol that follows the completion of credit hours for every course. Generally, there are 70 courses in PharmD that include both theory and lab coursework. Another key point is the CGPR requirement. Pharmacy students must have to maintain their CGPR. If CGPA is below minimum value (i,e 2.5), the degree will not be issued and the student must increase his CGPR by improving any course to score enough marks that meet the requirements of the PharmD curriculum.
Pharmacy students also have to complete their clinical training of 200 credit hours in respective clinical or hospital settings suggested by university . It is the mandatory part of pharmacy education.
Step 6: Get license and certification
License is the final step to recognize you as a pharmacist by Pharmacy Council Of Pakistan (PCOP). License is mandatory for pharmacists to run their own community pharmacy. The issuance of a license provides legal authority to pharmacists for drug dispensation of controlled items and addictive medicinal drugs. Pharmacists after receiving their license are awarded the title of RPh I,e registered pharmacists.
How to get a pharmacy license in Pakistan?
Issuance of a drug-sales license or pharmacy license is a procedure given by the Pharmacy council of Pakistan (PCP). Its steps are mentioned as follows
- Firstly download and fill the prescribed form-5 in drug rules ( click this link to download).
- Secondly, download and fill an affidavit on Rs 50 stamp paper ( click here to download affidavit)
- Submit the fee of license via prescribed challan in the bank (click here to download bank challan).
- New license fee ＝Rs 5000
- License renewal fee ＝Rs 3000
- Attach following documents with form-5
- Attach a copy of CNIC with Form-5
- Fix/ Attach an agreement copy of rental or confirmation of being a landowner of premises
- Attaching authorized or recognized agent’s copy ( It refers to an approval letter means, which medications you choose to market or sell at their importer/manufacturer/indentor’s approval letter for the sales of the drugs of their medicines).
- Attach PCDA certificate’s copy ( Pakistan chemist and druggist association) or Chambers of commerce and industries membership.
- Attach degree of qualification
- Attach Pharmacy Council registration
- Attach 4 passport size photos with Form-5
The above-mentioned documents should be submitted with the fee at your area’s EDO ( health) office or DHO office.
Top universities that offer PharmD in Pakistan in Pakistan
In Pakistan, we have Universities based on public and private sectors. Both have different fee structures, merit criteria, and educational policies.
The average government or private university fee is 40,000/semester
|Sr No||Name of university||Fee / semester|
|01||Abbottabad University Of Science And Technology||60000|
|02||The Islamia University Of Bahawalpur||82000|
|03||University Of Malakand||20000|
|05||Government College University, Faisalabad||70000|
|07||Comsats Institute Of Information Technology [isb]||60000|
|09||University Of Sindh||31000|
|10||Benazir Bhutto Shaheed University, Lyari||50000|
|11||Federal Urdu University Of Arts Science & Technology, Karachi||60000|
|12||University Of Karachi||54000|
|13||Shah Abdul Latif University||60000|
|14||Kohat University Of Science & Technology||87000|
|15||Lahore College For Women University||40000|
|16||University Of Punjab||19000|
Private average fee is 60,000/ semester
|Sr No||Name of university||Fee / semester|
|01||University Of Agriculture||114000|
|02||Liaquat University Of Medical And Health Sciences||145000|
|03||Dow University Of Health Sciences||140000|
|04||Jinnah Sindh Medical University||97000|
Pharmacy in the field of evolving medical science with an outstanding scope and employment opportunities to pharmacists. This article is designed to answer the most common queries of students,e how to become pharmacists in Pakistan or how to get pharmacy license in Pakistan?. So here we summarize each and every basic detail about the field of pharmacy and stepwise guide to become pharmacists after FSC in pakistan.