Thursday, 9 June 2011

Scope of pharmaceutics

Pharmaceutics… what it is related to?
There is a misconception pharmaceutics is saturated.  Whatever the branch may be, there is heavy competition due to increasing number of colleges.  Of course, I do agree that Pharmaceutics people are many in number as in every college, pharmaceutics is the first branch for which M.pharm course is started.  By this time, you all may know the two types in pharmaceutical industry.  One is related to manufacturing of bulk drugs and the other is formulations related.  Let us leave that bulk drug industry to chemistry people.  A formulation industry cannot exist without the presence of a pharmaceutics person.  People cannot take the bulk drug that is chemical as it is without making into a formulation.  So, there is life to pharmaceutics person as long as the pharmaceutical industry exists.
What is the job of a Pharmaceutics person?
I think many of you people have thinking in mind about setting up a pharmaceutical industry as you have prepared tablets using a tablet compression machine. We can prepare a tablet using any excipient. But it is the excipients used and their concentration is the key to success of particular formulation.  So, the formulation process begins with developing a successful formula. This is where the actual skill and knowledge of a pharmaceutics person is needed.  So F R&D (formulation research and development) is the dream department where a pharmaceutics person wants to join.  But, coming to the actual scenario of a person who did M.pharm in pharmaceutics is different.  As these industries have been established long back and there are very well experienced people in developing different formulations, after completing your M.pharm pharmaceutics you have to work as trainee.  Your team leader will assign you some work like doing granulation or mixing or punching etc.  A B.pharm person can also do that.  After some experience, you can try to become a team leader (higher salaries) and from here actual work starts.  You have to handle projects.  Indian industries are largely concentrating on ANDA (Abbreviated new drug application).  Some people may already know what it is.  Regulatory authorities in European countries are very strict, before approving a particular product to enter into their market; one has to show that it is similar to already existing product (innovator brand) in terms of quality, efficacy, and safety.  We have to prove that it is bio-equivalent to the already existing product.  Such filing is ANDA.  These types of projects will have to be handled after becoming a team leader.  Later, you will be promoted to higher levels depending on your knowledge.
Novel Drug Delivery systems (NDDS)
All of you may be having some knowledge on this area.  Many type of new drug delivery systems like Transdermal patches (TDDS), Medicated chewing gums, Muco-adhesive patches or tablets, different type of creams and gels with wide variety of drug release profiles like sustained, controlled, pulsatile delivery, targeted drug delivery are in research and development stage.  They have to be commercialized.  This is very interesting area.  But one needs good exposure in handling of such type of research projects.  This type of research requires high investments to commercialize and very few companies do that.   It is also difficult to find jobs in these areas.  But, if you once try for that and enter into it, attain some experience, there will be future.  Many of you may be seeing advertisements on Nicorette(helps in stop smoking) that is available as lozenges and gums. Pharmaceutics people are required in the development of such kind of dosage forms.
According to my knowledge, there is a good scope in this area and there is shortage of people with good knowledge.  All of you might be exposed to compartmental modeling in determining various pharmacokinetic parameters.  There will be two compartment modeling and even non-compartmental approach for determination of these pharmacokinetic parameters.  These are generally carried out for new drugs or dosage forms.  The concept of this type of modeling is required.  You can develop interest in this area.  And again not many companies may do this. It is difficult to find jobs in this area. But, if you can enter into it, growth will be good.
Other interesting areas are Drug regulatory affairs and Intellectual property rights. Drug regulatory affairs deals with, filing of approvals for export of drugs and pharmaceuticals to other countries.  Intellectual property rights is another department.  They deal with patenting the inventions either related to process or product.  
A Pharmaceutics person can also enter into other departments like production and quality assurance.  Your signatory power is valuable there.  With the reference of recommendations you can enter into these areas

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