||Overview of Pharmaceuticals
Pharmacists don’t just sell medicine over the counter at the local pharmacy; they also do research for new drugs, work in hospitals and provide advice about dosage and drug incompatibility.
Becoming a pharmacist involves intensive study but it’s a great job for people who like helping others and have an interest in healthcare and science.
If you want to work in the pharmaceutical industry, you should do a pharmacy degree at university.
Pharmacy courses usually take six years, covering molecular biology, the chemistry of drugs, the interaction of medicines after being taken, treatment of ailments, and work placements.
The entry requirements into pharmacy courses vary but generally, you will need to have studied chemistry, maths and biology, and get a high university entrance ranking.
You also have to sit the Undergraduate Medical and Health Sciences Admission Test (UMAT) to get into Monash University’s Victorian College of Pharmacy.
After finishing your course, you need to pass your state Pharmacy Board’s requirements and do an internship with a licensed pharmacist.
Careers in Pharmaceuticals
Pharmacy jobs are divided into the areas of community, consultant, hospital and industrial.
Community pharmacists dispense prescriptions and educate customers about health issues and their medication.
Consultant pharmacists usually work with pharmacies and hospitals to review the medication regimes of patients in institutionalised care, like nursing homes.
Hospital pharmacists work as part of a team, monitoring patients’ medication, giving advice about drug usage and preparing drugs.
Last but not least, industrial pharmacists research and develop new drugs. This may involve testing, analysing, manufacturing and marketing.
The Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) expects jobs in pharmaceuticals to grow strongly in the period to 2015.
DEEWR statistics also show that pharmacists earn an average of $1250 a week.
Skills needed in Pharmaceuticals
Pharmacists need to have a strong knowledge of biology, maths and chemistry.
Community and hospital pharmacists should also have good people skills, while industrial pharmacists should enjoy solving problems.
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