The basic requirement for pharmacists to be considered for registration is an undergraduate or postgraduate Pharmacy degree from a recognized university. In most countries this involves a four-year course to attain a Bachelor of Pharmacy (BPharm) degree. However in the United States, to become a registered pharmacist, students graduating after 2005 must complete a Doctor of Pharmacy degree which takes six years from an accredited college of pharmacy. In the United States, a Bachelor of Science (BPharm) degree in Pharmacy will not be sufficient to become a licensed or registered pharmacist in any state. Any college graduate who has graduated on or prior to 2005 is grandfathered and can register, however new students after 2005 must complete the Doctor of Pharmacy program or PharmD.
In order to practice as a pharmacist, the person must be registered with the relevant statutory body, which governs the registration and practice of pharmacy within the territory of its jurisdiction. There is often a requirement for the pharmacy graduate to have completed a certain number of hours of experience in a pharmacy, under the supervision of a registered pharmacist. The statutory body will usually administer a written and oral examination to the prospective pharmacist prior to registration.
In Australia, apart from the four-year BPharm course, there is the option of a postgraduate two-year Master of Pharmacy (MPharm) course for those with undergraduate science degree background.
Pharmacists are registered by Pharmacy Boards in individual states such as the Pharmacy Board of New South Wales. In Western Australia, pharmacists are registered by the Pharmaceutical Council of Western Australia. Individual states have differing requirements for pharmacy graduates for registration, but generally graduates are required to complete approximately one year of practice under the supervision of a registered pharmacist. In addition, graduates are required to complete an approved graduate training course for that state, for example the Pharmacist Graduate Training Course (PGTC) offered by the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia NSW Branch is required in New South Wales. On meeting these requirements, graduates are eligible to sit the registration examination which may involve both written and oral components.
In Chile, students must study six years to become pharmacists. The best school of pharmacy is at Universidad de Chile in Santiago de Chile. Chilean pharmacist are very high skilled professionals, prepared not only to dispense and be able to work at clinical and communitary pharmacy, but in Pharmaceutical, Food and Cosmetic industry too at every level, including drug development (a Degree is needed here), manufacturing, management, marketing, etc., due to the very strong scientific preparation they receive, including engineering and pharmaceutical technology topics. The official title for pharmacists in Chile is Químico Farmacéutico (Chemist and Pharmacist), and their degree is Licenciado en Ciencias Químicas y farmacéuticas (Bachelor in Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sciences).
The pharmacist (Danish: farmaceut) education in Denmark takes place at the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Copenhagen.
The Bachelor of Pharmacy (BPharm) degree (Danish: bachelor i farmaci) takes 3 years. The Master of Pharmacy (MPharm) degree (Danish: cand.pharm.) takes 2 more years — a total of 5 years. To work as a pharmacist in a Danish pharmacy a MPharm degree is requested.
After graduation as a pharmacist (MPharm), you can begin the 3 year Doctor of Pharmacy (DPharm) education programme (Danish: dr.pharm.).
Beside the pharmacists, in Denmark there’s another professional group with a pharmaceutical tertiary higher education — i.e. the pharmaconomists (experts in pharmaceuticals)whose education takes place at The Danish College of Pharmacy Practice .
In France, a six-year PharmD (called “Doctorat d’Etat en Pharmacie”) must be completed. Sometimes, young pharmacists can choose a four-year post-graduate specialty like Physician. A pharmaceutical residency called “Internat en Pharmacie”. Pharmacists can specialized in Laboratory Medicine called “Biologie médicale” or in Hospital Pharmacy.
In Greece, a five-year University course must be completed. This course is offered by the University of Athens , the University of Thessaloniki and the University of Patras . The course comprises 4 years of theory and laboratory practice and a 5th year of compulsory, full-time in-service training in a community pharmacy and the pharmaceutical department of a hospital. An additional trimester placement in a pharmaceutical industry is also an option, however it does not count towards the acquisition of the license to practice. Upon successful completion of the course, a Degree in Pharmacy is awarded.
The pharmacy graduate may pursue a career in the industry after graduation. A career in this field does not require a license to practice pharmacy. However, pharmacists wishing to open a pharmacy, work in hospitals or in the National Organization of Medicines must first successfully participate in board examinations organized by the Greek Ministry of Health, in order to obtain a License to Practice Pharmacy.
In New Zealand, as with other western nations, a four year BPharm must be completed, followed by an internship at a pharmacy. Pharmacists are registered at thePharmaceutical Society Of New Zealand. The degree can be taken at University Of Otago in Dunedin and University Of Auckland in Auckland.
In the Republic of Ireland, a 4-year BPharm/BSc Pharm degree must be completed followed by one year of post-registration training. The one year of post registration training must be undertaken in a pharmacy approved by the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland and under the supervision of a Tutor Pharmacist who has received further training for this role. Trinity College, Dublin was the only university offering the BPharm course in the Irish Republic until recently. In 2003 two new Schools of Pharmacy were opened. A Pharmacy department was created at University College, Cork on the southern coast of Ireland as well as another Pharmacy school in the Irish capital, Dublin. (Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland)
In Spain, the Degree in Pharmacy (called licenciatura en farmacia) is consisting of 5 years. Last one is divided into two semesters, first one is similar as previous years (theory and laboratory practice) but second one is a full-time in-service training in a community pharmacy or at the pharmaceutical department of a hospital. This estructure is changing by another according to European Higher Education Area’s System.
After obtaining degree certificate, there is the chance of opening a pharmacy sitting an examination in order to achieve a license. There is also the chance of postgraduate programs as Masters and Doctorates and of carrying hospital/industry specialty programs out (FIR or farmacéutico interno-residente, pharmacist intern-resident) by means of an examination like medical specialties (MIR). These specialties are: “Hospital pharmacist”, “Clinical microbiology and parasitology”, “Clinical biochemistry”, “Clinical immunology”, “Clinical analysis”, “Radiopharmacy”, “Galenical and industrial pharmacy” and “Drug and medicines’ control and analysis”.
In Thailand, there are currently two kinds of programs for Pharmacy studies.
1) a regular 5 years program – Bachelor of Pharmacy
2) a 6 years program – Pharm D.
The universities in Thailand still base their teachings on the regular 5 years program while preparing itself to eb ready for the 6 years Pharm D. program. Anyone graduating with B. Pharm can take extra 2 years course to complete Pharm. D.
In the United Kingdom, integration with the European Union has resulted in the BPharm and BSc courses being superseded by a four-year course for the qualification Master of Pharmacy (MPharm). In Great Britain the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain is responsible for regulation of pharmacy affairs and in Northern Ireland it is thePharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland. Graduates must complete one year of practical training and pass a registration examination before they can be entered on the register of pharmacists, known as the register of pharmaceutical chemists.
Please see the List of schools of pharmacy in the United Kingdom which offer the MPharm course.
Pharmacists registered in other countries can also register in the UK. Overseas pharmacists are required to undertake the Overseas Pharmacists Assessment Programme (OSPAP), a one year intensive course focused on pharmacy practice in Great Britain. OSPAP authorisation can be given by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain and the course is undertaken either the University of Sunderland, Aston University or the University of Brighton. However, pharmacists that have obtained their qualifications and are registered in other countries of the European Economic Area can register with the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain without undergoing additional or pre-registration training.
The term pharmacist is protected in the United Kingdom. It can only be used by individuals that are registered with the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain.
Traditionally in the United States, the Bachelor of Pharmacy was the first-professional degree for pharmacy practice. However, in 1990, the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) mandated that a doctor of pharmacy would be the new first-professional degree beginning with the class of 2006.