Why choose a career in pharmacy?
This guide explains the process of pre-registration training required to become a professionally registered pharmacist, with an emphasis on the careers provided by some of the leading pharmaceutical companies.
Pharmacists are highly qualified professionals with a specialism in medicines. Studying pharmacy is intellectually demanding and stimulating as you will acquire in-depth knowledge of a range of subjects from the basic and applied sciences such as physiology, biochemistry and advanced neuropharmacology to social pharmacy concepts. You will develop advanced communication and problem-solving skills as well as research skills in the laboratory or practice setting. The MPharm course provides graduates with the skills required to follow a variety of career paths.
Community pharmacy: Pharmacists use their skills, knowledge and expertise about the management and best use of medicines to support the effective delivery of primary care. They provide advice to patients, GPs and other healthcare professionals ensuring that medicines are used appropriately, safely and effectively. In addition to this, the community pharmacist’s vital role in the NHS includes prescribing medicines, reviewing treatments and monitoring how patients take their medicines.
Primary care: Pharmacists work in GP practices providing prescribing advice to GPs and nurses as well as running clinics for patients with long term conditions usually underpinned by their role as qualified independent or supplementary prescribers.
PCT: Pharmacists play a key role in managing the prescribing budget, setting up PCT-wide drug formularies to assure the cost effectiveness of prescribing. They also offer prescribing advice to GPs and non-medical prescribers.
Hospital pharmacy: Pharmacists offer patient-focused care as part of the clinical ward team who advice consultants, doctors and nurses on the safe and effective use of medicines. Other roles include medicines information and manufacturing in addition to running out-patient clinics and their core role of provision of in and out-patient dispensing.
Pharmaceutical adviser: These pharmacists work across primary and secondary care, providing guidance to community and hospital pharmacists in the planning of local pharmacy services.
Research: Other career options range from pursuing medicines research in industry or academia as an industrial or academic pharmacist respectively.