PharmaDose - Vaibhav Gupta
Name: Vaibhav Gupta (MedBound handle: @Vaibhav Gupta)
Birth Place: New Delhi, India
Educational Qualification: Bachelor of Pharmacy (B.Pharm.) from Jamia Hamdard, New Delhi (2017-2021)
M.S.(Pharm.) Medicinal Chemistry from National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER), Raebareli, Uttar Pradesh, India (2021-2023)
Ph.D. in Medicinal Chemistry from National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER), Mohali, Punjab, India (Admission Batch: 2023)
Languages you speak or write: Hindi and English
What do you do?
I am a Ph.D. Research Scholar in the Medicinal Chemistry department at the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER), SAS NAGAR, Mohali.
What’s the best part of your profession? What made you choose this profession?
Innovation: Medicinal chemists are involved in designing and synthesizing novel molecules. The ability to create something new and innovative in the laboratory can be intellectually rewarding.
Impact on Healthcare: Medicinal chemists play a crucial role in developing new drugs and improving existing ones. The opportunity to contribute to advancements in healthcare and potentially save lives can be very fulfilling.
Intellectual Challenge: Medicinal chemistry involves a complex blend of biology, chemistry, and pharmacology. For those who enjoy intellectual challenges, this profession provides continuous opportunities for problem-solving and innovation.
Interdisciplinary Work: Medicinal chemists often collaborate with experts from various fields, including pharmacology, biology, and computational science. This interdisciplinary approach can lead to diverse and stimulating work environments.
Are you happy/satisfied with the current scenario of pharmacy education in India?
Quality Institutions: India has several reputable institutions offering pharmacy education that provide a strong foundation in pharmaceutical sciences.
Global Recognition: Some Indian pharmacy programs are well-recognized internationally, and graduates from these institutions often find opportunities abroad.
Research Opportunities: Pharmacy education in India offers research opportunities in areas such as drug discovery, formulation development, and pharmaceutical technology.
Diverse Career Options: Graduates of pharmacy programs in India have a wide range of career options, including community pharmacy, hospital pharmacy, research and development, regulatory affairs, and academia.
Challenges and Concerns:
Regulatory Issues: Some critics argue that there is a lack of stringent regulation and standardization in pharmacy education in India, leading to variations in the quality of programs.
Curriculum Relevance: There is a call for pharmacy education to be more closely aligned with industry needs and international standards to produce graduates who are better prepared for modern pharmaceutical practices.
Infrastructure: In some regions, there may be challenges related to infrastructure and access to modern laboratory facilities and resources.
Employability: There have been concerns about the employability of pharmacy graduates, with some graduates facing difficulty in finding suitable job opportunities.
Pharmacy Practice: The role of a pharmacist in India is evolving, and there is ongoing debate about expanding the scope of practice and providing more clinical roles for pharmacists.
What can be done to improve education and the profession in this sector?
Improving education and the profession in the pharmaceutical sector involves a multifaceted approach that addresses various aspects of academia, industry, and regulatory bodies. Here are several key steps that can be taken to enhance the pharmaceutical sector:
Curriculum Enhancement: Regularly update and align the pharmacy curriculum with industry needs and international standards. Introduce courses on emerging areas such as pharmacogenomics, biopharmaceuticals, and data analytics in pharmaceuticals.
Faculty Development: Encourage faculty members to engage in industry collaborations and research to stay updated with current trends and technologies. Promote the recruitment of experienced professionals from the pharmaceutical industry as adjunct faculty.
Infrastructure and Research Facilities: Invest in state-of-the-art laboratories and research facilities to support practical training and research projects. Develop partnerships with industry to provide students with access to real-world pharmaceutical settings.
Regulatory Alignment: Ensure that pharmacy education programs are compliant with national and international pharmaceutical regulations and standards. Collaborate with regulatory bodies to update and adapt pharmacy education to changing requirements.
Industry-Academia Collaboration: Foster stronger partnerships between pharmaceutical companies and educational institutions through research collaborations, internships, and knowledge-sharing initiatives. Establish industry advisory boards to provide guidance on curriculum development and ensure relevance.
What are some fun facts about pharmacy that you want the readers to know?
Pharmacy is not just about dispensing medication; instead, pharmacy has a fantastic research and development (R&D) department that works in the background to design and create novel drugs and medical treatments.
What do you think about the current industry/job scenario?
People in India struggle greatly to launch their careers because there are extremely few openings for recent pharmacy graduates.
What are the challenges that you face in your day-to-day life?
The main issue is that when we tell someone we are in the pharmacy field, they often assume we solely do dispensing work. People in our country know very little about the pharmacy industry and are unaware of the variety inside the pharmacy sector.
What is the salary one can expect after completing D. Pharm/B. Pharm/M. Pharm as a fresher?
One can expect a salary of 30,000-50,000 per month, but unfortunately, the majority of people are starting their career with 15,000-20,000 per month.
What are your views on the EXIT exam for getting registered as a pharmacist?
Due to the proliferation of for-profit, underfunded colleges and universities in our nation, this issue is now very relevant. Without doing a proper evaluation, they are merely releasing students. As a result, when they enter the market, they only increase the risk to our nation and pharmacy profession. Thus, there should be an EXIT exam for getting registered as a pharmacist.
Do you think pharmacists are underpaid?
Yes, in India pharmacists are underpaid, and the reasons for the same are:
Educational Variations: The quality of pharmacy education in India can vary, and some institutions may not provide graduates with the skills and knowledge required for higher-paying positions. This can lead to wage disparities.
Market Demand: In some areas, there may be an oversupply of pharmacists, which can lead to increased competition for jobs and lower salaries. The demand for pharmacists can also vary by region.
Is there a healthy work-life balance in your profession?
A healthy work-life balance is solely dependent on each individual. So, professions can never be blamed for poor work-life balance.
Do you need to work overtime sometimes? If so, are you paid accordingly or not?
I am a Ph.D. Research Scholar, so definitely, overtime would be quite common. But since I am on a fellowship, there is no provision for overtime wages.
Do you like reading? What was the last thing you read?
Of course, but I read primarily scientific stuff. The most recent study I read focused on quinoline nucleus design, synthesis, and anti-tubercular activity.
What is your favorite dish?
Indian traditional dish: Dal Makhni and Butter Naan.
What’s one thing that people are generally surprised to find out about you?
That I am really involved in research, particularly in designing and synthesizing new drug-like molecules.
What is your favorite subject?
Science and related research.
What’s something you wish to change about the world?
Respect for each and every profession with equal economic growth, for the holistic development of the entire globe.
If your journey was/were a movie, what would it be called?
A Journey of a Researcher
Tell me something you think is true that almost nobody agrees with you on?
That in medicinal chemistry research, destiny also plays an equal role along with hard work and patience.
Securing all India rank 9 in the Ph.D. entrance examination (NIPER-JEE) against which I got a seat in a National Institute to pursue Ph.D. (One of the topmost pharmacy institutes in India).
What do you love to do in your leisure time?
Watching television, playing badminton, and performing basic domestic household work.
What do you hate the most?
Negative perspective of people towards pharmacy career.
If given a choice, what alternate career would you have opted for?
Medical Science (MBBS)
What is your dream travel destination?
Leh Ladakh (Jammu and Kashmir), India.
Where would you like to work in the future?
I would like to pursue the research and development (R&D) sector of the pharmaceutical industry.
Finally, a Quote you relate to.
Research is seeing what everybody else has seen and thinking what nobody else has thought.