Story: "The Indian Pharmacist"

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The Indian Pharmacist:

As we know, Health Care sector, called a recession proof sector from a market point of view,most people believe that and most of the time it stands true as well, but not all the time. When we compare India ( second fastest developing economy ) and developed countries, we realize that its good not to be pharmacist  " The Indian Pharmacist ".

Here are some interesting facts and controversies which define two words called "The Pharmacist " and "The Indian Pharmacist".

In India, especially in Gujarat (One of fastest developing state) an average pharmacist salary starts from 3500  Rupees ( 77 USD ) to 5000 Rupees (110 USD) per month. While in USA pharmacist can get 55 USD per Hour to 65 $ per Hour. It is one of highest paying jobs in the health care sector in USA. In India, 5 years ago, students after completing High School ( 12th ) dream to get into pharmacy school, and those who got selected felt lucky. Now, he gives his dedicated time to study everything related pharmaceutical, from formulation, clinical aspects of diseases, treatment available and handling emergency. He acquired extensive knowledge related to public health. He either dreamed to join an industry where he will get a starting package of 5000 Rs to 7000 Rs per month ( Still higher than a retail pharmacist ) or he might be a retail pharmacist.

Now we move forward with other class of highly qualified persons, or even labor workers. If we see a graduate people who studies B.Com or B.A or B.Sc, their starting salary will be in the range from 5000 Rs to 7000 Rs same as an pharmacy graduate in industry or retail pharmacist. They are graduates but not related to public health who deal with Human lives. They might not have to be so competitive as pharmacist, but they get equivalent salary scale without hard times,spending more money on education.

Engineering graduates are earning 12000 Rs to 20000 Rs per month almost double than a pharmacy graduate and jump to 35000 Rs to 50000 Rs ( Per Month ) with 2 years of experience. It is worth to spend money on Engineering.

Forget about these well educated classes, Let's consider that pharmacist are labors a sophisticated one, a labor who doesn't know even how to read and write gets an average wage of 150 to 250 Rs per day means he earns 4500 Rs to 7500 Rs per month or sometimes 10000 Rs per month same or more than pharmacist. What a tragedy ! 


If we see the cost of living of an average person, a family of 2 people spend monthly 1000 Rs Milk ( 34 Rs/Liter ), 3000 Rs on Gas/Petrol ( 62 Rs/ Liter ), 2500 Rs on vegetables, 3000 Rs on grains and other food items, 300 Rs Electricity, 600 Rs Mobile Phone and 2000 Rs miscellaneous expenses, which add up around Rs 12,400 that means an average person has to manage this much amount of money monthly, excluding mortgages and loan payments.

Post Graduation ( M. Pharm )

To cop up with above situation, pharmacy crowd have started pursuing higher education Post Graduation or M.Pharm Education, so they can get higher post in industries and salary, too,  but even after M.Pharm education, pharmaceutical companies keep offering a salary of 8000-12000 Rs per month, regardless of his performance and potentials, because of more graduates available and less choice of industries. After joining such a low scale they hardly reach 14000 -16000 Rs per month after 2 years of experience. They are also facing competition from M.Sc ( Masters of Science ) graduates although they have spent only 5 years and not even studied as hard as a pharmacy graduates. Most companies prefer to take M.Sc graduates as they are available to work with such a salary because they don't have a high amount of  study loan to be paid or even study debt because of cheap M.Sc education.

Be an Entrepreneur:

Next option for a Pharmacist or M.Pharm graduate is to be an entrepreneur. But, first of all you have to meet regulatory requirements in the field of pharmaceutical manufacturing or marketing. Now, due to the boom in the real estate in India ( Gujarat ), it is hard to start a manufacturing by renting a space, which average cost around ( 15000 Rs - 30000 Rs ) per month excluding utilities, plus if you meet the minimum requirements, still you won't get approval from government authority until unless you spend  time and money on them, too. If you consider to overcome these factors, you required a loan or credit facility from the bank. Banks might not give you more than 1,50000 Rs loan as you are a pharmacist and your capacity of earning is very low. Now, to solve above two issues you need at least 3,00000 Rs initially, after that you need to add instruments, maintenance, inventory and other costs. In short, new players with low money can't come up in the market and develop their ideas, although they are innovative or even competitive. You have to just keep working for big companies whether they make you feel good or bad.

If we see foreign countries, they have very transparent and encouraging policies to be an entrepreneur, easy credit policies and support from private investors or venture capitalists. These factors can help to found future Google or Facebook in young companies. These countries deserve people like Mark Zuckerberg,the youngest billionaire ( Founder and CEO of Facebook ) to be in USA and many more like him as they came up with disruptive ideas that affect the world and got support as well. If you have enough talent, you don't have to spend same amount of time in industry to follow the senior persons and reach higher designation at the age of retirement. World are not going to change at that age, but you might end up with thought that I might be  a part of these countries rather than India.  In india, rich are getting richer and poor are getting more poor by such a policies and still India is great as we think and believe. If we see some of the big private players, they are still hesitating to come to india for business or to invest in small firms because of such a stringent norms, lack of transparency and no encouragement from government.

Foreign Study ( MS ):

Some pharmacy students have moved to foreign countries either to study or to work in hope to get settled there as those countries have a value for pharmacist, even it is one of highest paying job in the Health care sector. These countries recognize foreign education as well, means a person having a graduate degree in India can pursue Masters degree or Pharm D degree or other higher education or even get a job based on education. These countries have an independent set of rules and agencies who evaluate your credentials and provide equivalency certificates, so foreign graduates can pursue further study and get a job based on foreign degree. Due to these policies, foreign countries have got benefited of world's best talents, while India keep loosing its talents.

Another Chance( Economic Crisis ):

But, there was a twist happened in 2008, Economy was crashed in those developed foreign countries, while India wasn't affected that much or even a little. Foreign talents have started losing their jobs and considering to return back to India. It was a good time to call country's talents back to home by providing an encouragement, easy policies and attractive offers, but none of the Pharmaceutical Industries have implemented such policies. Moreover, they are rejecting foreign talents by considering them overqualified as they don't want to move forward with upcoming Pharmaceutical Research and Technology. They are considering a fresher M.Pharm from india to start with 10000 Rs a month salary and spend same amount of time to get to the desired higher position in industry as other qualified people have spent. They don't want to spend money on research ideas, innovations which can change the future of pharmaceuticals rather they wait for patents to expire. 

Also, Government doesn't want to look in to the matter or even think about it. As per the AICTE ( All India Council of Technical Education ), policies, foreign education MS degree is not equivalent to M. Pharm and there is no even guidelines or criteria or an agency where foreign graduate can get equivalency certificate and join academics as a lecturer. In Short,  government don't care about health care or health care professionals and rather than protecting their value, government wants them to go away and give services to foreign countries.

From an Indian Pharmacist point of view, It is even better not to study and work as a labor rather than being an Indian Pharmacist.

These discouraging policies from government, government authorities and private sectors, make pharmaceutical education as a least choice nowadays. Government might protect their Health Care Professionals and put some minimum wage bar for Pharmacists to hire. Government might help the struggling professionals to regain their value as a pharmacist and be proud to be the pharmacists " The Indian Pharmacist "

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