Why No-one interested in studying Pharmacy in Gujarat,India?

Few days ago, we have seen headlines in Gujarati newspapers that more than half of the pharmacy seats are vacant and suddenly nobody interested in studying pharmacy. What happen to the profession of pharmacy in Gujarat, Why it was suddenly came down. Why half of the seats are still vacant in Pharmacy colleges, Should you be careful while taking admission in Pharmacy colleges in Gujarat, It is bad situation of pharmacy profession in Gujarat or in all over India, Are pharmacy graduates getting jobs, Should you join Pharmacy profession in Gujarat, India.

All these questions are raised after seeing the situation of Pharmacy colleges in Gujarat, India. The straight forward answer to all of the above questions is No one should even consider joining Pharmacy college and Pharmacy profession. Let us explain you what is actually happening in the field of Pharmacy in Gujarat and How and When it can be changed or improved.

Pharmacy education and profession are considered under paramedical sciences and should get respect in society as a elite profession to be in. People should respect pharmacy profession as they are dealing with medicines, from raw materials, testing, manufacturing, quality control to marketing of medicines. All of the tasks to be performed by sound pharmaceutical professionals as per the definition of pharmacy profession is concerned.

But the reality is not somewhat deviating from this standards, but the definition of pharmacy profession has changed completely. Below are some shocking truths, that even you might observe around.

Most of the Pharmacy Stores are running with out pharmacist
If you go to your nearby pharmacy stores and ask them that who is the Pharmacist. Most of the time, he will not be there or you might not see him ever. As per the rules, Pharmacist should be present and deal with medicines all the time since opening till closing of medical stores. What actually wrong is Pharmacist are giving their licenses for rent to some non paramedical graduates who even doesn't know writing correct in English. Pharmacist are getting rent between Rs 1000 to Rs 4000. The person who is running a Pharmacy store is highly unprofessional person and only do a business like other business. They are interested in selling medicines which give them higher profit margins irrespective of its effectiveness. Even new pharmacy graduates, who are starting their business and do marketing. These unprofessional people running Pharmacy stores are simply ignoring them by one or another reason. They just discourage you that as a Pharmacist you can't sell your own product although it's good and effective. Means being in your own pharmacy profession, some commerce graduate or non-graduate will decide that your product is good or bad. Unprofessional people judging you that you should earn money by being a pharmacist or you just feel happy to get a monthly rent on your Pharmacy License.

It really hurts. and now Pharmacy professionals have started realizing that and new students avoiding to get into this mess.

Study burden, Time spent and Tuitions fees are just not worth it as other cheap options are available
Study burden in Pharmacy is much higher than other professional fields. For example Pharmacy graduates deals with Engineering ( Engineering Drawing, Pharmaceutical Machinates, Working Principles ), Science ( Biochemistry, Microbiology, Biotechnology ), Medicine ( Anatomy, Physiology, Pharmacology, Toxicology ), Chemistry ( Inorganic chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Medicinal Chemistry ), Statistics and other field of studies. All these fields are separate and one can graduate in individual fields. Pharmacy Graduates can't excel in those fields as they are being entitled as a Pharmacy graduates and after graduation, when you are considered for job no one even consider that you have studied above subjects and you should be considered as multi talent. If you select one of the above subjects, you can graduate in each of them separately. That is much less and focused effort towards your selected profession. You are spending less time, be concentrated and thorough. So you can be genius in each of the above subjects. If you take a stance based on purely financial side, You will realize that you can graduate in other field with less amount of money as well as time spent.

For example, if you decide to be a science graduate ( B.Sc, M.Sc ) in any field, you are spending less amount of tuition fees and time  ( 3 years for B.Sc, compared with 4 years of B. Pharm ). Both the profession has same chances to get a job in private sector ( Pharmaceutical Companies ) with almost equal pay scales. So, you are loosing on both the fronts like spending more money and time to graduate and still considered same as B.Sc or M.Sc. What is the meaning to be a graduate in Pharmacy, because companies are considering science graduates specialized in individual fields of chemistry, biology, biotechnology, biochemistry, physics etc. to perform the duties in respected specialized areas.

Another example of comparing a Pharmacy Graduate with Engineering Graduate. In Engineering, If you study just diploma ( 12 +3 ) you are easily getting a pay scale in five figures, the same as if you do post graduation in Pharmacy ( M. Pharm ). Nowadays, Post graduates in pharmacy are getting 7000 as a starting scale in the open market ( Not selected from campus interviews ). If you calculate the number of years, then you are spending 3 years of diploma ( D. Pharm ), 3 years of degree ( B. Pharm )and 2 years of master degree ( M.Pharm ) means 12+3+3+2 ( 8 years of study after 12th ) and you are getting less than diploma engineer ( 3 years of study after 12th ). Right now due to the supply of so many pharmacy graduates, average waiting period after graduation is almost 2 years. You are spending more than four lakhs for B. Pharm and another four lakhs in M.Pharm in Self financed colleges. You are earning 84000 initially after waiting for two years. You have to manage everything in 7000 Rs a month including your transportation ( Approx. 3000  Rs / Month), your rent ( 5000 Rs/ Month ) because all the pharmaceutical companies are situated nearby city or town, so you have to stay in city and afford such high expenses. ( Not like someone who can survive 34 Rs a day as just not considered poor as per our Government's Planning Commission ). Other expenses are eating and drinking which will cost you around 5000 Rs a month. If you just calculate these three main expenses, you are already spending 70 % more than you are earning. How one can survive in such a high expenses.

Starting your own business will not help you as well.
We are talking of those who are risk takers and want to do something as an entrepreneur after being a graduate in Pharmacy. In Pharmaceutical business, you need to do either manufacturing by your own or contract manufacturing. In either case, the most important thing is to sell your own products in Pharmacy stores and convince physicians to prescribe your medicines. Now as we have discussed earlier that most of the Pharmacy store owners are non professionals and don't care about you, if you take your products to them. They will simply deny by saying that your offer price is too high or he can keep those medicine which nearby doctor can prescribe. Your licenses are already in the hands of non pharmacy graduates, who doesn't know the effects or side effects of prescribed medicines. They don't want you to earn money by doing pharmaceutical business. They will be one of the biggest barrier for you to sell your own medicines. Now if you go to a doctor and try to convince them, they will ask for their shares as other big companies are already giving them free trips and other articles or cash. The share is not some small amount, but ranging from 30 % to 50 % value of medicines. You will screwed up as you started a new business, so your company is not famous brand and your MRP is not as high as other branded medicines available in markets by big pharmaceutical companies. Big pharmaceutical companies can afford it, because their MRP is high. You can't afford either case ( To put MRP such a high or to give 50 % share to doctor ) Let's consider you have agreed to give 50 % to doctors for prescribing your own products, so you are squeezing your margin. But, Pharmacy Store owner ask for schemes ( up to 20 to 30 % besides a regular 20 % margin ) to put your products in his pharmacy store although doctor agreed. Again you have to squeeze your margin and you will end up with the amount of money that you have spent on your petrol to visit the doctor. It is even more frustrating and you will start compromising the quality of products to earn something decent. The outcome is you will loose your company's image as a quality product manufacturer and lined up with others to sell products as a vegetables in vegetable market.

Government policies are written by private players and Laws are only on paper.

In one recruitment advertisement for the post of Junior Pharmacist, government authority had invited application from D.Pharm, B.Pharm, M.Pharm and Ph. D in pharmacy profession. This was something that will add more criticism from professional people, as for the post of Junior Pharmacist you are considering all Pharmacy graduates from bottom to top with same pay scale. Isn't it ridiculous?

What can be done to improve Pharmacy profession?

As such even few influenced people can't change this mess, but one can start an initiatives by being aware and make people aware about this.

No one should give their Licenses to others for Pharmacy Stores.

Always encourage our profession and small entrepreneurs like you.

Make a marketing network and help our own professional people.

Unite all together on social networking sites like Facebook to share solution & discuss ( Our group page is already on Facebook ( Support Indian Pharmacist ) )

We have started an initiative to make people aware and will soon launch a campaign with a non profit organization to help Pharmacy Graduates, we wish all the pharmacists to join and help. We will announce it on our Facebook page, so please join there.

Let's help pharmacy profession together. Also Read our story The Indian Pharmacist 

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