To be a pharmacist

A pharmacist is a person who has been trained to apply scientific knowledge and skills in the discovery of new and potentially active drugs and formulating them into the most suitable dosage forms through processes of identification, extraction, isolation, evaluation, etc. The pharmacist is also in the best position to determine which drug best suits a particular diseased state. Pharmaceutical Science can therefore be described as the science of making and administering drugs. This field consists of four broad categories:

Pharmacognosy: The study of the sources of drugs, of which plants constitute the main source and origin. Pharmaceutical Chemistry: The study of the various chemical tests, processes and how to apply them in the various stages of drug development, i.e. extraction, isolation etc.

Pharmaceutics: A study of the various dosage forms, the most suitable dosage form for any particular drug, and the various processes involved in the formulation of a drug - be it a tablet, a capsule, a syrup, an ointment, a paint, a cream, an injection etc.

Pharmacology: A study of the various diseased conditions, their existing drugs and the best method of administration for any particular drug. It is divided into two main categories: pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics.

Other subjects in Pharmacy include Biochemistry, Physiology, Histology, General Anatomy and Statistics. A prospective pharmacist should sit for Chernistry. Biology; Physics or Mathematics, and English in the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) examinations. He must also have at least a credit at '0' Level in all the above five subjects. The undergraduate course runs for five years, after which one becomes qualified for a 'Bachelor of Pharmacy' (B. Pharm.). Upon graduation, one is required to register with the Pharmacist Council of Nigeria (PCN) from where one obtains the license to practice as a Pharmacist in Nigeria after a year's practical training.

Employment Opportunities: This depend on one's interest: Community Pharmacy (i.e. dispensing, counseling and formulation of some 'over the counter drugs'), Industrial Pharmacy (i.e. manufacturing) and general Practice - i.e. buying and selling of drugs - wholesale or retail.

A Muslim Pharmacist: A Muslim Pharmacist should be honest and just in whatever branch of Pharmacy he chooses to practice. He should not use expired ingredients in the manufacture of drugs, neither should he purchase, sell or distribute fake, expired or adulterated drug. He should not be involved in the making, exportation or importation of drugs that are destructive to mankind, i.e. hard drugs. Above all, he must always remember that 'All knowledge is from Allah' and

"Allah has not sent down a disease without sending down its accompany in cure or remedy " (Tirmidhi)

This article was culled from the publications of Deen Communication Limited

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