Doctor of Pharmacy
A Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) is a professional doctor degree in pharmacy. In some countries, it is a first professional degree, and a prerequisite for licensing to exercise the profession of Pharmacist.
- 1 Africa
- 2 Asia
- 3 Europe
- 4 Middle East
- 5 North America
- 6 South America
- 7 References
Currently, Pharm.D is a 6 to 8 year course being offered in Ghana which started in the academic year 2012/2013 notably by the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology leading to the award of doctor of pharmacy and a pharmacist licensure to operate.An aggregate of 06 in the WASSCE results is currently the acceptable cut off point
The University of Nairobi offers a 6-8 year Pharmacist education program. During the first 4 years, students focus on studying Pharmaceutical science. The last two years are considered clinical residency in which students practice clinical pharmacy at various hospitals and community pharmacies before they graduate.
Presently, The University of Benin, Benin City, Edo State is the only institutions offering the Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D) degree which commenced in 2001. It is a six-year undergraduate program. Prior to the commencement of the program, the university offered a five-year Bachelor of Pharmacy (B.Pharm) degree program which commenced in 1970 but was gradually phased out in 2008. In the Pharm.D program, students are given extensive didactic preclinical/professional clinical preparation as well as clinical training in pharmaceutical care in various hospitals in the city. The government regulatory agency for pharmacy education, training and practice, Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN), and the national professional body of pharmacists, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), have envisaged that in the near future, Pharm.D degree will become the minimum educational qualification for fresh graduates of Nigeria's pharmacy schools to be registered/licensed to practice in the country.
The Pharm.D program has been available in Tunisia since 1975.
In Algeria, Doctor of Pharmacy degree replaced the state's diploma of pharmacist in 2011, thus concepts on clinical pharmacy and pharmaceutical care were taught for the first time.
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In Pakistan, the Pharm.D. (Doctor of Pharmacy) degree is a graduate-level professional doctorate degree.In I.R Pakistan, a total of 21 universities are registered with Pharmacy Council of Pakistan for imparting Pharmacy courses. In 2004 Higher Education Commission of Pakistan and the Pharmacy Council of Pakistan revised the syllabus and changed the 4-year B.Pharmacy Program to 5-year Pharm.D. program. All 21 universities have started the 5-year Pharm.D Program.In 2011 the Pharmacy Council of Pakistan approved the awarding of a Doctor of Pharmacy degree, a five-year programme at the Department of Pharmacy, University of Peshar. A Pharmacist holding a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D) qualification can use the prefix Dr. before their name.
Pharm.D course introduced by the Government of India and the Pharmacy Council of India in 2008. The Pharm.D program is a pre-PhD, post-graduate professional doctoral program. It was introduced to improve clinical pharmacy services in India and it is the only pharmacy service which is in direct contact with patient health care system. The first batch of Pharm.D post baccalaureate students graduated in August 2011. The Pharm.D degree requires five years of classroom and hospital based didactic study (two years didactic post-baccalaureate course), followed by one year of internship training in addition to ongoing practicals and research project. The entry requirements for this 6 year pharmD program is after 12 years of school education with maths & science sub: or diploma in pharmacy and for post baccalaureate entry is after 4 year B.Pharm undergraduate qualification. In India pharm D students and graduates are actively participating in direct patient care in hospitals. Pharm D graduation is a post graduate professional doctoral degree in India. With reference to Clarification on Pharm.D qualification, it is clarified to all universities that Pharm.D is a post graduate degree and passed out students can directly register for Ph.D From 2012. PharmD is a registered teaching degree for D.pharm, B.pharm, M.pharm & PharmD courses. 
Nepal started three years post baccalaureate Pharm.D in the year 2010 in Department of Pharmacy, Kathmandu University, Dhulikhel, Kavre. It is the first batch in Nepal pursuing the degree. The first batch is now currently involved in a 1 years internship at different well established teaching hospitals of Nepal. The students are enrolled in Manipal Teaching Hospital, Pokhara, College of Medical Sciences Bharatpur and KIST medical College, Lalitpur for their internship of 1 year. Kathmandu University has already enrolled the next two batches for further continuation of the Pharm D program .
In the Philippines, only the Centro Escolar University and University of Makati offers the degree Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD). The degree requires the completion of 52 units of formal course work and 36 units of clinical rotation done at the Makati Medical Center. It is a 2-year postbaccalaureate degree open to licensed pharmacists in the Philippines.
A four-year degree (Graduation) and a one year degree (Post-Graduation) in Pharmacy is offered in numerous universities of Bangladesh. The study material is taught in English. The text books, exams as well as thesis are also provided in English. The universities are the University of Dhaka since 1964, Jahangirnagar University since 1982, Rajshahi University, Khulna University, and Noakhali Science & Technology University. All of these are government universities. There are also 20 private universities in Bangladesh offering pharmacy education. Among them World University of Bangladesh, East West University, University of Science and Technology Chittagong (USTC), Stamford University Bangladesh (SUB), Manarat International University (MIU), The University of Asia Pacific, International Islamic University Chittagong, North South University, Northern University Bangladesh, ASA University Bangladesh (ASAUB) and university of development alternative are the top rated private universities. It is the best for home and abroad students. The B.Pharm is completed in 4 years and the M.Pharm in one year.
Czech Republic and Slovakia
In both countries, the Pharm. D. (Pharmaciae doctor) diploma can be obtained by pharmacists who have previously graduated in pharmacy (Magister, Mgr.) (the undergraduate study of pharmacy takes 5 years). Applicants must defend a research or experimental thesis, and pass a rigorous examination. The PharmDr. title is highly prestigious and written in front of the name. It is different from the postgraduate Ph.D. diploma.
In France, Pharm.D studies can only be accessed through a competitive examination ("concours", with numerus clausus) happening at the end of the first year of health studies. Most candidates hold a Scientific Baccalaureate from the equivalent to high schools (lycée). In case of failure, it is possible to retry once. Yearly success rate depends on the university's current numerus clausus and the number or registered students, ranging from 10 to 30% bearing in mind that second-time participants are three to four times more likely to succeed than students trying for the first time.
In order to obtain the state diploma of "Doctor of Pharmacy", the studies last a minimum of 6 years, or 9 years for students choosing residency (hospital pharmacy or medical biology). It is accessible through another competitive exam, even more selective. It lasts four years and gives another diploma of specialist like in medicine (DES for "diplôme d'études spécialisées" ) . Students must specialise when entering the 5th year, and choose between dispensing pharmacy, pharmaceutical industry or hospital residency. In any case, a 12-month part-time hospital externship is mandatory during the 5th year, although some flexibility is possible for students choosing industry.
In France, since the harmonization of European Union in September 2005, the student who chooses the industry/research orientation have a 6 month period of part-time hospital externship, and 3 to 6 month of full-time training in a pharmaceutical industry or a research lab.
In Hungary, pharmacists obtain their Master's degree, after 5 years of study. On the fifth year, students must undergo a professional training, that lasts for six months in a public pharmacy or a hospital. At the end of this period, the student must pass a nationwide exam to be legally entitled for practicing the profession of pharmacy, after acquiring the pharmacist work license. According to the new law in 2008, all pharmacists, who have acquired the Masters degree of Pharmacy, are entitled to the Doctor of Pharmacy.
In Italy the Master's degree in Pharmacy last 5 years, which includes a 6-months professional training in a public pharmacy or hospital. At the end of this period, the student must pass a nationwide exam to be legally entitled for practising the profession of pharmacist. The subscription to "Pharmacists Order", or in Italian "Ordine dei Farmacisti", is required for working in public pharmacies or hospitals. It is not required if the pharmacist is working in a private entity (e.g. a pharmaceutical company).
The education of pharmacists in the Netherlands requires a minimum of six years of university study. EU-harmonisation has led to division into three bachelor and three master years. A bachelor title is, however, not used at all professionally. The Dutch consider the educational level of their current (M.Sc.) Degree in Pharmacy to be comparable to the PharmD title in use in the United States. Before the harmonization a four year Master of Science was superseded by two more years of university education preparing for pharmacy practice. To become a hospital pharmacist a 4-year residency program has to completed after that.
In Portugal, Pharmacy studies consists in 4 years of basic school, 5 years of preparatory school, and three years of high school where afterward the student is submitted to nationwide exams. The process is the same for every degree the student chooses, from medicine to engineering. The student takes the Master's degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences (equivalent to the PharmD program) in one of the 9 Pharmacy faculties with their own respective numerous clausus which comprises a 6 year rigorous study (5 with the uniformities in EU teaching). Finished the degree, the academic title of Doctor of Pharmacy is issued. The graduate can then enroll in the regulatory institution for the Pharmacist profession in Portugal called, "Portuguese Pharmaceutical Society" or in Portuguese "Ordem dos Farmacêuticos". After the enrollment the title of Pharmacist is issued. Afterward, Pharmacists can start their career in a limitless number of professional areas that range from community pharmacies, drug development, fundamental or applied research, biotechnology to areas such as forensic sciences, toxicology, regulatory affairs, clinical analysis, law enforcement (scientific police), bromatology, drug marketing, regulatory authorities, university teachers, etc. The Pharmacists can also choose to become a specialist in one of following areas of activity: Pharmaceutical Industry, Regulatory Affairs, Hospital Pharmacy, and Clinical Analysis. Each specialization requires an additional 5 year professional study program guided by a tutor in the respective area of knowledge. This training includes regular evaluations by the professional order, which also requires an exam at the end of the 5 year training. After the success at the exam, the Pharmacist then becomes a specialist in its area of expertise.
In Spain, Pharmacy studies can be accessed after completing five and a half years of University College (with at least 6 months of initiation to Pharmacy Practice). The Licenciado en Farmacia or Grado en Farmacia (equivalent to the PharmD program) Spanish degree is the only title that allows to practice the profession of Pharmacy in Spain. To become a Hospital Pharmacist a person with a degree in Pharmacy must enter a selection process (national selection process called FIR) to initiate a Pharmacy Residency period of professional training during 4 additional years (including one full year of advanced clinical practice in different medical wards). Apart from the professional degrees, like with any other university studies, Pharmacy degree allows to pursue an academic career by enrolling masters and doctorates programs (MSc and PhD) in several scientific fields (pharmaceutical technology, pharmacokinetics and biopharmaceutics, biomedical sciences, cosmetics & pharmaceutical industry, pharmaceutical and organic chemistry, physical chemistry, food sciences, pharmacology, toxicology, public health, etc.). Masters usually lasts 1–2 years and PhD's no less than 4 years.
In summary, in Spain an entry-level pharmacy degree lasts 5 years and a Hospital Pharmacy Specialist needs 9.5 years of education and/or training. Hospital Pharmacy Residents are paid during their residency period. There are other residencies avalailable to pharmacists such as Medical Biology, Clinical Biochemistry, Immunology, Microbiology, Radiopharmacy, Pharmaceutical Analysis, and Industrial Pharmacy lasting from 2 to 4 years. Pharmacists usually work as retail pharmacists (private practice), hospital pharmacists, primary care pharmacists, medical biologists, scientists (private and public biomedical research institutions), as university professors (Pharmacy, Medicine, Biology, Food Sciences, Biochemistry, Veterinary, Nursing, etc.), and as technicians and exceutive managers (pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies and governmental institutions).
In 1930 Tehran University changed the Pharmacy degree from Masters to doctorate and the duration of the study was increased to 5 years. Graduates need to present and defend their theses in different fields of pharmacy and this adds another year to their studies and generally after 6 years students can graduate as Doctor in Pharmacy. The Masters degree in Pharmacy was available in Tehran University since 1926.
In Jordan, this program was first offered by the Jordan University of Science and Technology. This program is not to be confused with Pharmacy Program. When the program was first offered, students shared their first 3 years with medicine students, the last two with pharmacy students and one year of clinical work. After 2006, the program's nature had changed; a new curriculum was developed specifically for this program. Students now complete 5 years of academical work and 1 year of clinical practice to earn their Doctor of Pharmacy degree. This program is offered at public universities only, in Jordan University of Science and Technology and University of Jordan exclusively. The degree is called Bachelor in Doctor of Pharmacy
In Lebanon, the first Doctor of Pharmacy degree was awarded by the Lebanese University Faculty of Pharmacy (upon a decree by the Lebanese government) to its graduating class of 19 students in 1992. The program was first established by Dr. Anwar Bikhazi, a Pharmacy graduate of the American University of Beirut with a PhD from the University of Michigan. The 6-year entry level PharmD program at the Lebanese University adopted the US PharmD curriculum and training. Enrollment into the program is highly competitive with an average admission rate of 20% of applicants. This is the leading PharmD program in the Middle East, which was followed by other similar programs in Lebanon and neighboring countries, such as the one provided by the Lebanese American University.
In Qatar, pharmacy degrees are offered by the new College of Pharmacy at the Qatar University. Students were accepted into the 5-year BSc (Pharm) program commencing in 2007. Students will be accepted into the final year of the 6-year PharmD program in 2011. Accordingly, the first graduates of the PharmD program are expected in 2012. The program adopts a Canadian curriculum and received early accreditation by the Canadian Council for Accreditation of Pharmacy Programs (CCAPP) in February 2009. This is the first international program to undergo review and receive accreditation by this sole Canadian accreditation agency.
Started in 2001 at King Abdulaziz University, then in 2005 at Ibn-Sina University, then 2006 at KFU, then 2007 at Qassim University. In 2008, KSU College of Pharmacy at Riyadh, College of Pharmacy at Kharj, and Taif University, In 2009 at almaarefa college started their PharmD programs. The degree duration in Saudi Arabia is six years in total, including one academic year of clinical rotations.
According to the Saudi Commission for Health Specialties, if a student graduates with a (minimum six years) PharmD degree, then the graduate has the chance to further develop himself. This can be achieved by taking an Accredited Residency Training Program that is at least one year long (for a total of seven years, minimum). Upon successfully completing both the Residency program and the PharmD, the graduate can apply for Professional Equivalent (only equivalent in practice) to the Master degree in Pharmacy.
The Pharm.D degree is now offered by almost all pharmacy colleges in Saudi Arabia. This is a transitional period as this degree will replace the conventional Bachelor of pharmacy degree in near future and the old Bachelor degree will be phased out.
United Arab Emirates
Started in 2008 by the College of Pharmacy, at Gulf Medical University, Ajman. The first university in UAE to offer Pharm D and approved by the Ministry of Higher Education. This course is an advanced practice degree specialized in advanced clinical practice. Pharm D is five and half year undergraduate program for high school graduates and three year (Post Baccalaureate) program for B.Pharm graduates. The course offers community pharmacy training and Advance Pharmacy Practice Experience training with clinical and multi-speciality rotations. This undergraduate degree program is offered for school graduates after their A level, or 12th standard. All high school science students with TOEFL are eligible after an entrance exam. Pharm D graduates can secure jobs as clinical pharmacists in hospitals, community pharmacists in large chain stores, in Medical insurance companies, in clinical research organizations and Pharmaceutical industries.
Currently in Canada, the BPharm (and not PharmD) is the minimum qualification required to practice pharmacy. In Canada the PharmD program is offered in both English and French, and as a first professional degree as well as a postgraduate degree. Students enrolled in the program must have graduated from a CCAPP (Canadian Council for Accreditation of Pharmacy Programs) or an ACPE (Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education) school with an accredited teaching program or must have passed the PEBC (Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada) Evaluating and Qualifying examinations.
As of 2007, the PharmD professional degree program in French is offered at the Université de Montréal and, as of 2011, at the Université Laval. The Université de Montréal was the first Canadian university to offer the PharmD program as a first professional degree instead of the BPharm in pharmacy. In 2013, the University of Alberta would be offering a PharmD as a post-professional degree, and a BPharm is required for admission into the program. The University of Toronto replaced their entry-level BPharm curriculum with an entry-to-practice PharmD curriculum in 2011, with approval being granted in 2013.
The PharmD degree is also offered as a postgraduate degree at the University of British Columbia and the University of Toronto. However, by the year 2020, most, if not all Canadian Pharmacy schools will have changed their Entry-To-Practice programs that awarded successful graduates with a Bachelor of Pharmaceutical Sciences to Entry-To-PharmD as the scope of practice for pharmacists continue to expand and change. Once this change is implemented, UBC will no longer have a separate 2-year PharmD Program that is currently offered.
On January 23, 2013, the government of Ontario approved the University of Toronto and the University of Waterloo applications for the entry-to-practice Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) program. Students graduating in 2015 will be the first cohort under this new undergraduate PharmD program.
United States of America
In the United States, the Pharm.D. (Doctor of Pharmacy) degree is a graduate-level professional doctorate degree that offers opportunities in research as well as teaching in higher educational institutions. After completing the required prerequisites or obtaining a transferrable bachelor's degree, pharmacy school is another four years (some year-round accelerated Pharmacy Schools are only 3 years), which include at least one year of practical experience. Most schools require students to take an entrance test (PCAT) and complete 90 credit hours of university coursework in the sciences, mathematics, composition, and humanities before entry into the Pharm.D. program. Due to the large admittance requirements and highly competitive nature of the field, many pharmacy students complete a bachelor's degree before entry to pharmacy school.
Total time: (2–4 years undergraduate + 4 years doctorate + 1–2 years residency (optional) = 6–10 years). Graduate-level professional doctoral degree (Pharm.D.), in addition to the clinical experience time are required for full licensure. There is also the option of post-graduate residency which is typically 1–2 years in length. Some institutions still offer 6 year accelerated Pharm.D. programs (similar to 6 year MD programs), though in both cases the issuance of a doctoral degree in less than 8 years is controversial. Residency allows licensed pharmacists to gain years of clinical experience and research projects in a condensed timeframe. The profession is moving toward resident-trained pharmacists who wish to provide direct patient care clinical services. After graduation from a Pharm.D. program, pharmacists may also elect to go into a fellowship that is geared toward research. Fellowships can varying in length but last 1–3 years depending on the program.
Previously, in the United States, a 5 year bachelor's degree in pharmacy was the first-professional degree for pharmacy practice. Some schools and colleges of pharmacy offered a post-baccalaureate graduate Pharm.D. degree. These professional graduate level degrees became prevalent in US programs in the late 1960s.
In 1990, the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) mandated that a Doctor of Pharmacy degree would be the new professional degree. Currently all accredited schools and colleges of pharmacy in the U.S. offer the Pharm.D. degree.
For holders of BS Pharmacy degree, who are licensed in USA, there are currently 10 Universities through which they can obtain their doctorate degree (Pharm.D.) part-time, on weekends or even on-line. These programs are fully accredited by ACPE (Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education) and considered identical to the traditional Pharm.D. programs offered at the same universities.
The current Pharm.D. degree curriculum is considerably different than that of the prior BS in pharmacy. It now includes extensive didactic clinical preparation, a full year of hands-on practice experience in a wider array of healthcare settings, and a greater emphasis on clinical pharmacy practice pertaining to pharmacotherapy optimization. In the USA, legal requirements to becoming a pharmacist include graduating with a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree from an accredited college of pharmacy, serving an internship under a licensed pharmacist, and passing a national exam (NAPLEX - North American Pharmacist Licensure Exam) and a pharmacy law exam (MPJE - Multistate Pharmacy Jurisprudence Exam). The designation Pharm.D. is sometimes erroneously likened to a PhD degree which is directed towards research in this field (i.e. Ph.D in Pharmacology or Pharmaceutics) and involves a dissertation. Pharm.D. is a Doctor of Pharmacy (i.e. Doctorate in pharmaceutical patient care) and is considered a professional degree with a curriculum focused on clinical practice. Due to changing practice, there is an increasing need for counseling and medication maintenance, prompting pharmacists to take on a larger role as clinicians. This increase in the need for accessible health care information for consumers has led to significant advancement in the practice of Pharmacy. One result of this has been a change in the way pharmacy schools structure their curriculum as well as a first professional doctorate degree, which further sets the pharmacist apart as a trusted ally in a patient's health care treatment regimen. In fact, pharmacists consistently rank as one of the most trusted professionals in USA. This degree usually requires on average 8–9 years of college education in 2013, depending on which state you live in, the pharmacy school you attend, and how long it takes to obtain a bachelor degree. The former degree obtained upon completion of pharmacy school was a Bachelors in Pharmacy or BS and pharmacists with this designation were given the title BSPharm. The R.Ph. (Registered Pharmacist) is a designation given to graduates of an accredited school of pharmacy who pass both the NAPLEX and state law exam in which they plan to practice (unless part of a federal facility such as the VA). The same exams are given regardless of whether the person has a BSPharm, Master, PhD or even the terminal professional doctorate degree (Pharm.D). In other terms, a doctorate degree in pharmacy (Pharm.D.) does not exclude its bearer from licensing exams unless the Pharm.D graduate is already licensed in USA. Pharmacy is the health profession that links the health and clinical sciences with the biological, chemical, and biomedical sciences and it is charged with ensuring the safe and effective use of pharmaceutical drugs, as well as the research and teaching focused on pharmaceutical patient care.
In Brazil the title of pharmacist is awarded after completion of certified graduate studies; while the term PharmD is not formally regulated it can be used and is commonly added to the graduate's professional license (issued by the regional pharmacy (Conselho Regional de Farmacia). By law, graduates in Medicine, Law, Pharmacy, Dental Medicine and Veterinarian Medicine upon receiving their license may use the title of Doctor before their name. In the past, those degrees was awarderd as doctorate and the tradition still remain.
Many Universities award sub-titles or co-titles including Biochemist and Industrial pharmacyst. University of São Paulo and few others have awarded specialization titles for many years for their Pharmacy and Biochemistry graduate students, including toxicological and clinical analysis, food and nutrition and industrial pharmacy which are also equivalent to different degrees in the US and Europe.
Whereas Bachelor of Pharmacy takes a minimum of 4 years, the Pharmacist-Biochemist degree is completed by 4 and 1/2 years of full time studies with at least 720 hours of internship. The student can opt to get the degree during evening and it takes 6 years with Saturday classes (full day) and also at least 720 hrs of internship.
Although many Universities granted a degree of Doctor in Pharmaceutical Sciences or Doctor in Pharmacy after completion of original research dissertation, those are not professional but a post-graduated course and do not grant permission to work as pharmacist.
In Chile, the title of Pharmacist (Quimico Farmaceutico) is granted after completing 10 or 11 semesters of full time studies in an acredited University. The Pharmacist degree is a Professional Degree, awarded after finishing 5 years of study (Bachelor in Pharmacy), and then finish an internship of 6 months on the specialization area of the student (Pharmaceutical Lab, Community Pharmacy, Hospital Pharmacy).
The pharmacist can get a Master in Pharmaceutical Sciences (MSc), of 2 years, or a Doctorate in Pharmacology (PhD), of 4 years after finished the Bachelor, but these are Academic Degrees, needed for scientific career on investigation, but are not required to work in other professional areas.
- Rhodes University Masters and Doctoral courses
- Pharmacy Council of India (2008-05-10). "Pharm.D Regulations 2008". Gazette of India, No.19, Part 3, Section 4. Retrieved 2011-11-27.
- Ref. No. 14-126/2010-PCI / 28844-947; Dated: 30 Sep. 2011