Course Review: Master of Pharmacy
Pharmacy is a medical field that involves the formulation, design and delivery of drugs and related medical products to patients. Pharmacists (those who study pharmacy) are highly trained medical professionals, spending at least 5 years for undergraduate training. They dispense medical prescriptions to patients and can prescribe drugs if need be. They also under go one year of internship, to become fully qualified.
A Master of Science in Pharmacy is a postgraduate degree, earned from the Faculty of Pharmacy of a qualified University. This Master degree can be gotten by both Pharmacy and non Pharmacy graduates. Because Pharmacy involves other fields like Biochemistry, Microbiology, Chemistry etc, graduates of these courses are permitted to switch to study for a Master degree in Pharmacy. Though, there is an exclusive Master in Pharmacy (M.Pharm) that can only be bagged by Pharmacy graduates.
A Master in Pharmacy has many prospects for advancement. Graduates find spaces in Universities as Lecturer or Research staff. They can also work in health organizations like World Health Organization (W.H.O), United Nations, UNICEF, Red Cross, NAFDAC etc. There are also opportunities in private practice (community pharmacy), Industry and hospitals (consultant pharmacy).
Specializations in Master of Pharmacy
- Pharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical Technology: This involves the design, production and evaluation of drug delivery systems. It also involves the design of dosage for different body sizes and dispensing to patients.
- Pharmaceutical Chemistry: It is the discovery and design of drugs from natural (plant and animal) and synthetic sources. It is also the synthesis of chemical products of pharmaceutical value. Graduates of Chemistry, Industrial chemistry and Biochemistry can be allowed to study for this Master course.
- Clinical Pharmacy: It is a branch of Pharmacy which interfaces with the patients, for optimization of medications, drug reactions and prevention of bad health. A Masters in clinical Pharmacy is normally exclusive to Pharmacy graduates.
- Pharmaceutical Microbiology: It deals with the microorganisms of pharmaceutical importance. It finds ways to eliminate microbial contamination in drug formulation, storage and use. Graduates of Microbiology, Zoology can study for this Masters course.
- Pharmacognosy: It involves the research on the chemical, biological properties of substances of natural sources for medicinal and health purpose. It also involves the search for new drugs. This Master course can be done by Botany, Plant science and related courses.
- Pharmacology and Toxicology: Studies the different classes of drugs and their toxicity.
- A Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) which is virtually to a Medical doctor in certification is offered by the University of Benin.
Nigerian universities offering Master of Pharmacy
- University of Lagos. www.pharm.unilag.edu.ng
- University of Nigeria, Nsukka. www.pharmacy.unn.edu.ng
- University of Benin. www.pharm.uniben.edu
- Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife
Popular Nigerian Pharmacists
- Pharm (Mrs) Bukky George, FPSN: She is the MD/CEO of CasaBella International and Health plus, the first integrative pharmacy in Nigeria. She is a registered pharmacist in Nigeria and the UK. She graduated with a B.Pharm from the University of Lagos.
- Pharm. (Sir) Ifeanyi Atueyi, FPSN: He is a dynamic combination of pharmacy and publishing. He is the Publisher and Managing Director of Pharmanews – West Africa’s foremost health journal. He obtained is B. Pharm in 1967 at the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University).
- Pharm. Stella Chinyeru Okoli, FPSN, OON: She is the founder and CEO of Emzor Pharmaceutical Industries Limited, an indigenous pharmaceutical company, she founded over 3 decades ago. The company has made in roads into many other West African countries. Stella Okoli earned a B. Pharm (Hons.) degree from Bradford University (1969), M.Sc. Biopharmaceutics, University of London in 1971.
- Pharm. Sam Ohuabunwa, FPSN, OFR: He is the Past Chairman, Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG). He read Pharmacy in the University of Ife, graduating in 1976. He did Postgraduate training in Business and Organizational Management at the Columbia University, USA and the Lagos Business School.
- Pharm, Ahmed Ibrahim Yakasai, FPSN: He is the founder of Pharmaplus Nigeria Ltd, Multiplus Consulting, Multiplus Resources Ltd and Nigeria-Pakistan Pharma Investment Forum. He attended Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, where he bagged a degree in Pharmacy in 1983.
- Pharm. Olujimi Agbaje, FPSN: He is the Chairman of Epic Pharmaceutical and Managing Director of Jay Kay Pharmacy Ltd, a Fellow of Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (FPSN) and West Africa Postgraduate College of Pharmacist (WAPCP). He graduated with B. Pharm from the University of Ife in 1978.