Top Pharmacy Schools

Becoming a pharmacist is one of the most rewarding and fulfilling jobs there is in the medical industry. The efforts and hardships endured for its education are well paid off when you start earning your income at work. So when you start deciding to become a pharmacist, it’s only natural that you choose the best school that the country could offer you.

The U.S. News and World Report have ranked top pharmacy schools in the United States every year. They measure the Pharm. D. programs of the school through its system of teaching, the performance of its students, as well as the results of the licensure exams. They have named different schools with competent and quality education and graded them of which 5 is the highest score.These are only 8 of the many schools with high standard programs. If you enroll in one of these universities, you’ll definitely be receiving education of high caliber. The programs given in these schools provide students with the optimal learning experience they can receive, provide opportunities to conduct research studies, have the chance to develop interpersonal and leadership skills and be molded to simply become experts.

Usually, the Pharm. D. program can run for four to five years depending on the school and perhaps the student’s diligence. In the schools mention, most of them require that students first finish college pre-requisite courses (that would generally run for 2 years) and pass the school’s Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT) before being eligible for entering pharmacy school.

The schools listed, as well as the many more that were not, have specific differences with regards to the programs they offer. Some have research study available, while some may not. So you really need to research more on the school that you have set your eyes on. Choose the school that entices your yearning to learn, taking into consideration its facilities, its professors, its campus, its location, as well as its financial requirements.

Although certain schools have shown the best results, you don’t necessarily need to force yourself to study there. While certain schools may give the best out of you, at the end of it, you yourself have a major role in your own development. What’s more important is you strive to do your best in your studies and be discipline enough to finish your course works.

Pharmacy Continuing Education

The road of a pharmacist doesn’t end after graduating from the Pharm. D. degree program. In fact, it should be continuous process of learning. A degree holder pharmacist should take and pass the North American Pharmacist Licensure Exam (NAPLEX) and the Multi-State Pharmacy Jurisprudence Exam (MSJE) in order to work in the United States. Even then, they need to participate in pharmacy continuing education by attending seminars, trainings, and workshops in order to keep working as a pharmacist.

Pharmacy continuing education is required by law in the United States so that pharmacist will be updated of the changes and innovations concerning the health care industry. There are always changes, new drugs, new diseases, new interventions, new research studies, new problems, and more being published every day. And pharmacists, being a key player in the patient treatment, need to know those changes because they’re important in the delivery of quality and safe health care.

Aside from the necessity concerning quality and safe health care, the license of a pharmacist also requires Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for its renewal. CEUs can be obtained by attending seminars, trainings and workshops being offered by different schools and organizations. These programs must be accredited by the American Council of Pharmaceutical Education (ACPE) or be recognized by the state board of pharmacy for them to be awarded with CEUs. Most states required a certain amount of CEUs which is approximately equal to 15 hours each year. These units can also be secured by attending local or national meetings, engaging in home study certificate courses, thesis writing, and from articles present in professional journals.

The scope of topics in continuing education is broad. It can encompass everything related to pharmacy. Some example topics could be specific changes to drug incompatibilities, newly discovered drug effects on certain diseases, frequent pharmacist errors, and a lot more new interventions and issues. Therefore, pursuing continuing education is never necessarily a hassled dull moment since it will always contain new insights for licensed pharmacists. Pharmacists can also attend continuing education programs of other allied health professions. Since health care is never a singular effort and is geared towards team work, the learning gained from those programs may be applied by the pharmacist in her own work.

The pharmacist continuing education is an important responsibility of a licensed pharmacist as well. In order to avoid becoming stagnant with out-of-date information and prevent unnecessary damages, pharmacists should continually improve themselves, in their knowledge and skills, and not be left out by the times. Take note that obsolete knowledge from yesterday can cause problems that could have been prevented by today’s knowledge.



Pharmacology is derived from the Greek word meaning drug and is the branch of medicine involving the study of drug action in the human body. Substances with medicinal values are considered pharmaceuticals. Pharmacology is related to pharmaceuticals as it is the study of interactions between these chemicals and living organisms. It is important to understand pharmacology’s far different from pharmacy. Pharmacy refers to a profession involving the preparation and dispensing of pharmaceuticals while pharmacology is the study of the drugs dispensed and how they interact with the human body. In the field, there are two different area: pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics. While there have been significant advances in the field of pharmacology, the need for this type of study has never been greater.

Pharmacodynamics are studies of what a drug does to the living body. It involves the physiological effects on both the living body and parasites or living organisms the substance was developed to destroy or fight. Most drugs are created to mimic normal physiological processes or inhibit vital processes of microbial processes. Drugs act in one of the following ways: stimulating, depressing, destroying cells, irritation, or replacing. Scientists will study the interaction and acts to monitor desired and undesired effects for the best outcome during studies and clinical trials and product development.

Pharmacokinetics studies drug interaction in the opposite way. While Pharmacodynamics studies what a drug does to the body, Pharmacokinetics studies what the body does to the drug. Mechanisms of absorption, the rate it takes a drug to act and how long the effect lasts, and chemical changes of the drug in the body are all administered in this type of pharmacology. This study is also broken up into several different areas of study including: liberation, absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion. The absorption rate studies is extremely important in diagnosing the proper amount of a drug and how often to take the drug.

Pharmacologists must have in-dept training and education and passion for biology and chemistry. Experimentation and all branches of pharmacology are extremely important in today’s society. With the growing demand for pharmaceuticals and the impact of the industry in the nation, pharmacology keeps the population healthy.

Pharmaceutical Sales Jobs

While entering the world of pharmaceutical sales may not require the high-level of education which is required in other pharmacy related careers, not everyone can join the sales force and succeed. The sales environment in the pharmaceutical industry is fast-paced with a high-turnover rate. In order to make it past entry-level, the right candidate must possess persistence, assertiveness, knowledge, confidence, and interpersonal skills, just to name a few. While some of these skills can be taught in a learning environment, most are inherent within the person. Sales representatives will be responsible for selling pharmaceutical products to physicians, hospital personnel to increase the saturation of their companies presence on the market.

There are three types of sales positions available depending on experience. An entry-level position will be necessary to build knowledge and familiarity with the market for individuals changing careers or just graduating college. These positions will generally involve contacting practitioners and primary care physicians and are sometimes called mass-marker sales positions. Once this is mastered, other positions in the specialty and hospital divisions will be available.

Pharmaceutical sales is a territory-oriented business. Because income strongly relies on the employees ability to sell, the commission-based structure can be extremely stressful and create pressure that not all individuals are able to cope with. The right candidate must be able to balance their career, social life and family time without burning out. Although there is a lot of pressure, the job is extremely addictive because of the chance for high commissions on many brand-name products. While it may not be required, most reps committed in their profession will eventually take advanced courses in pharmacology to build a knowledge which can give them selling power in the field.

If you believe this is the career for you, begin searching jobs on Internet and get a feel for the what employers are looking for. Having a background in science and/ or sales will give candidates an advantage when applying. While a college degree is standard in the field, some employers are willing to overlook this with extensive sales experience. If you feel this is a position for you, take a proactive step to achieving your goals and becoming successful.


Pharmaceutical Companies Jobs

Employees of pharmaceutical companies are of diverse kinds in terms of their careers and field of expertise. There are researchers, nurses, marketing staff, office assistants, pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, engineers, web developers, designers and publishers, chemists and a lot more. The company relies on various professionals in order for them to achieve the goals and objectives of the company.

A pharmaceutical company mainly operates around the business of medications, creating drugs, manufacturing them, providing information about them, promoting and selling them. To succeed in these, these companies have different departments to fulfill the respective roles.

Research is an important department in which their role is to conduct studies to create better medicines and reexamine drugs in cases of unexpected side effects. This department needs competent researchers to handle the job. Such professionals fit for the job could include chemists and licensed pharmacists. They can also include research aides, laboratory technicians and medical technicians.

After drugs are made, it needs to be mass produced for the consumption and use of the clients. The manufacturing department of a pharmaceutical company is usually situated with equipment for the manufacturing process that also includes the reformulation of the drug into tablets, creams, sprays, etc. In there, engineers may be needed to handle the needed equipment, as well as more lab techs that are trained in this certain industry.

When drugs are packed and ready, it will be the role of the commercial department to market these products, promote them to hospitals through counseling and programs, and make ways to appeal the consumers. People that are experts in sales marketing are needed and more prominent than the rest, they are called medical or sales representatives.

Of course, the brand names, its indications for use, its adverse effects and contraindications must be made known to the public to prevent misuse or abuse. The pharmaceutical company needs people who can handle information systems to relay important information to the public. These information can be made available through proper labeling of drugs, published articles on websites and medical journals. They can also be responsible for publishing research studies.

Like any big company, pharmaceutical company jobs also include those in higher offices, attending to different administrative operations. They can include sub departments such as financial, legal, human resource, and more. In here, they require people with managerial backgrounds, business managers, office assistants and more. They can also take advantage of medical personnel with exceptional years of experience in their field.

No matter what course you might have studied, there is a high chance that you can find a pharmaceutical company job since this type of company is pretty complex and deals with a lot operations. You just need to be equipped with the right credentials and qualification because you will definitely find competition in finding pharmaceutical company jobs.


Pharmaceutical Careers

There are a lot of pharmaceutical careers that you can enter into, most often involving in a pharmaceutical company. The pharmaceutical industry is a complex industry that needs a variety of workers. Since it encompasses a broad scope of operations such as research, manufacture and supply, marketing and sales, information section, and administrative head office affairs, the company needs to rely on different types of careers to make use of their knowledge and skills in the achievement of their goals.

Research is an important role in the pharmaceutical industry. Researchers need to conduct studies to create better medicines, perform tests that examine drug potencies on human beings and also take charge in reexamining medicines that have caused problems to clients. The manufacturing section mainly involves workers who manufacture the drugs, and these may include licensed pharmacists, chemists, and even engineers that handle manufacturing machines. When drugs are made available for the public, it is the responsibilities of the marketers who create venues for consumers to avail of the medications. Sales representatives are the prominent careers in the marketing industry, promoting their brands to practicing physicians and hospitals. As for the benefit of the public, information dissemination is necessary and so pharmaceutical companies also need people who are experts in this field. And like any large business establishments, pharmaceutical companies also need different kinds of professional staff in the offices, such as human resource staff, legal issues staff, and so on.

So depending on your field of expertise as well as your qualifications, you can find work in many pharmaceutical companies and be hired as nurse advisors, in medical equipment sales, healthcare sales, product managers, laboratory technicians, researchers, manufacturing engineers, web publishers, sales representatives, and senior licensed pharmacists or pharmacy technicians among others. The only common point that connects all these different types of careers is that you will be working with a pharmaceutical company, which is engaged in the medicine business. So expect yourself to work with pharmacological and medical terms, from medication brand names, to their effects, to the diseases that the medicine is used for, even with previous legal issues of similar drugs and more.

There are many pharmaceutical companies throughout the United States and in other countries, and the competition of these companies in the market are one of the most dynamic ones there is. Finding a job at any of them will be easy, so long as you present yourself with the right qualifications that put you at the top of your own career.

Online pharmacy school

Online Pharmacy SchoolPharmacy schools have traditionally held their pharmacy programs through campus based settings. But due to the innovations and the need for new ways of education, some pharmacy schools have opened up online Pharm. D. programs to reach students who cannot be physically present for class. These schools possess accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) to guarantee the same quality of learning since online education is an unfamiliar experience for some students.

Online pharmacy school is just the same with the campus setting, only that you are not inside the corners of a classroom but at the comforts of your home. Many types of people go for the online school, but most are pharmacy technicians or people with bachelor’s degrees who would like to pursue a Pharm. D. while continuing on with their regular work. This helps them take the education and work on their jobs at the same time, rather than focusing on campus lectures which take up a lot of time and effort.

Like regular students, online students can participate in classes through live online audio and video streaming, or have flexible schedules with teachers for one on one sessions, or group sessions through virtual conferences. The course outline is the same, having courses in the science of pharmacology, biochemistry, laws and professional ethics, business management and more. Since laboratory work is also a part of the program and it obviously cannot be done at home, schools have different approaches in regards to this issue. Usually they require students to come to the campus for a certain period of time just for laboratory work. Internship is also done but schools have varying set of methods to accomplish this.

The students of online pharmacy programs will be engaged in virtual conferences at home most of the time. They control their hours of class and can even set irregular schedules at their convenience. This would be a good choice for people who cannot be bothered to go to school due to some reasons. However, although schedules are convenient, online students have to face the unaccustomed way of an online program. There are no classmates usually and so social support is limited. You may only have yourself to remind about going to class. And sometimes you may even feel discontented without the physical meetings.

The online pharmacy school is best for people who are highly motivated to learn and have the diligence and patience to sit in front of the computer for hours. So if you plan on taking this course, be prepared for the new learning environment you will be experiencing.


Lab Technician Jobs

Laboratory technicians, as their name says, are professionals trained to perform fundamental tests in various sciences depending on their chosen expertise. They provide ways to improve the world of modern science and medicine by conducting the needed experiments to produce scientific explanations. They are important key persons in any scientific team.

Because there are numerous settings that require laboratory works, lab techs are on demand by a lot of establishments, mainly those that deal with life sciences. They can be employed in hospitals, clinics, blood banks, research facilities, culturing facilities, etc. They working condition will vary depending on the size, type, and the scope of their job in their employed setting.

In the healthcare setting, lab techs have the crucial role of detecting, diagnosing, and treatment of disease by examining and analyzing body fluids, cells, organs, and other kinds of samples. They search for the presence of microorganisms that indicate and infection and determine the extent of the damages done. They examine body fluids and see their chemical content to know if there are any rise and fall of normal values. They detect for AIDS and other blood-borne diseases that might be positive in blood components for transfusions, as well as test drug levels in the blood.

Most of the time laboratory technicians will be familiarized with the use of microscopes, cell counters and some other laboratory equipment. In some facilities, they have the opportunity to use automated laboratory machines that make the lab work more efficient and quicker, as it greatly reduces the chance for human errors. If there are any malfunctioning devices, they have to communicate with their superiors to get the fix done. When experiment results are at hand, it is part of their job to relay the information accordingly.

Due to the improvements in technology, most facilities now handle automated machines and using computers to do most of the work. Technicians now have less hands-on activities and perform their job more analytically. The difficulty of the tests they do, the level of judgment needed, and the responsibility they shoulder depend greatly on their education al background and years of experience in the field. For some procedures and perhaps to achieve higher positions in the industry, laboratory technicians need to become laboratory technologists. Lab technologists are more advanced in terms of the education they have earned and are allowed to perform more complex tests.

Part of the laboratory technician jobs is to maintain all these lab equipment and ensure that they are functioning properly. They have to abide with safety guidelines to prevent any mishaps like breaking the sterile fields and the spread of microorganisms, as well as chemical accidents. They have to wear proper safety gears such as masks, gloves, goggles, and gowns because usually they deal with infectious organisms and samples.

Laboratory Technician

Laboratory technicians are scientific professionals that deal with laboratory-based activities, which usually include sampling, measuring, testing, recording and analyzing test results from biological, physical, chemical life sciences. Their jobs is geared towards maintaining the functionality of the laboratory, whichever kind it is, and provide technical support to keep it secured and effective while performing procedures and observing safety guidelines.

Lab techs handle fundamental tests and are also indispensible members in the scientific team. These tests pave ways for the improvement of medicine and science, as well as help directly in the diagnosis of patients in relation to health care services.

In order to become a laboratory technician, applicants should earn a bachelor’s degree with a major in medical technology or one of the life sciences. This program is available at various community colleges, hospitals, vocational or technical schools, or even at the army. In the United Sates, around 479 programs for medical and clinical laboratory technicians, and other similar programs like programs for histotechnologists, cytogenetic technologists and molecular scientists, are accredited by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Science (NAACLS).

The courses covered in this program usually include chemistry, biological sciences, math and statistics, microbiology, and other relevant skills training that may be performed in a clinical laboratory. Aside from the formal training, some lab techs can still work even with just a combination of education and on-the-job training given by their employers. The Clinical Laboratory Improvement Act however requires laboratory techs to earn an associate degree if ever they will perform highly complex tests.

Lab techs have the freedom to get certified as licensed laboratory technicians. To be eligible for licensing, lab techs need to have at least a bachelor’s degree and pass the required exams. Associations that offer certification include the American Medical Technologists, the Board of Registry of the American Association of Bioanalysts, the Board of Registry of the American Society for Clinical Pathology, and the National Credentialing Agency for Laboratory Personnel. Each organization has varied requirements and application procedures so applicants should first know about them.

However, the need for certification is different from state to state, as some places require licensed personnel while others do not. Then again, having a certification will always be an advantage compared to another who has none.

Technicians can choose to advance in their careers and become technologists. This can be done through additional education and experience. Usually, having been certified and earning a degree hastens the process. Specialization courses are offered by many organizations if applicants are interested in focusing their career on a specialty area. With the right training and qualifications, laboratory technicians can even rise to supervisory positions and become chief laboratory technicians and managers.

Certified Pharmacy Technician


The pharmaceutical industry is always moving forward, with new drugs in the market, new studies being made, and new regulations to consider. And as these changes continue, the need for better pharmacy technicians have increased to sustain the necessities of the ever changing health care world.

Certified pharmacy technicians are those that have passed the certification exam called the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) or the Examination for Certified Pharmacy Technicians (ExCPT). The test has pre-requisites that the applicant must possess before they will be eligible to take it. The applicant should have graduated from high-school and have obtained a diploma, have passed the General Education Development (GED) test or any foreign equivalent, have no past records of any felonies or convictions related to drugs, and must not have any restrictions from the State Board of Pharmacy. Any deficient with the following requirements will result to the rejection of the application.

The exam will test out the applicant’s knowledge regarding the job of a pharmacy tech. It will cover three basic knowledge functions: assisting the pharmacists in serving patients, maintaining medication and inventory control systems, and participating in the administration and management of pharmacy practice. Passing the test will grant the applicant with the credential of Certified Pharmacy Technician (CphT) and will open her to a lot of career opportunities.

After certification, certified pharmacy technicians need to maintain their certification by way of continuing education. A 20 hours’ worth of continuing education is required which must be completed every two years. In those 20 hours, at least 1 hour must be dedicated to pharmacy law. Continuing educations benefits the pharmacy technician because it allows for continued growth in regards to their knowledge about current events concerning the field of pharmacy.

Currently throughout the United States, having certification isn’t a requirement for pharmacy technicians to practice. Many still accept pharmacy technicians without certification, even those who only took on-the-job training pharmacy technician programs. But there are some hospitals, especially those that cater high class individuals, which require pharmacy techs to be certified. These hospitals have strict rules that employees need to follow for the purpose of providing quality health care to its patients. Still, you shouldn’t take the trouble for acquiring the certification for granted. By earning the certification, you have increased you bargaining power in the eyes of employers. The title Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPht) proves that the holder is competent and knowledgeable enough to practice pharmacy technician jobs without the doubt of committing errors. This will be a valuable advantage for you in terms of employment, as well as the salary rates.