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Career as a Pharmaceutical Engineer



What is Pharmaceutical Engineering?

Pharmaceutical engineering covers all parts of drug manufacturing, from designing a new facility to optimizing manufacturing processes and perfecting packaging solutions.


What Does a Pharmaceutical Engineer do?

In manufacturing, pharmaceutical engineers are involved in the processes that convert chemical and biological materials into pharmaceutical products and therapies. Healthcare providers or individuals then buy these products to treat a range of different diseases and medical conditions.


Due to the nature of the products that pharmaceutical engineers help develop, they often work in state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities. Those facilities use the latest equipment, processes, and software solutions to ensure the products produced are profitable, safe, and regulatory compliant. There is intense competition in the pharmaceutical industry, though, particularly in relation to research and development. As a result, the only people who often get to see inside these facilities are pharmaceutical engineers and others involved in their design, management, and operation.


Branches of Pharmaceutical Engineering:

Pharmaceutics

Pharmaceutics is one of the branches in Pharmacy which deals with the process of studying the process of creation of a new compound and its conversion into a drug which can be safely dispensed to a patient in order to treat their illness effectively. The branch of Pharmaceutics not only deals with the creation of new drug compounds but also carries out research to develop old drugs into new forms of dosage.

There are various sub-branches of Pharmaceutics which are given as follows:

Pharmaceutical formulation – in this profession the pharmacist formulates the assembled chemical compounds and combines it with another drug-making agent and formulates a final drug product.

Pharmaceutical Manufacturing – it is referred to as drug manufacturing where the raw materials are processed according to the Current Good Manufacturing Process (CGMP) into finished products at industrial scale.

Dispensing pharmacy – these are the pharmacies which we visit in health care, hospitals, and local drug store. This activity involves the several steps required to process a medication request like prescription into a safe and appropriate individualized medical supply for patients.

Physical pharmacy – it is the study of basic principles of pharmacy applying physics and chemistry in the development of a new drug product.


Medicinal Chemistry

This branch plays an important role in the latest drug development. It is a discipline with the combination of the chemistry, more significantly organic chemistry, Pharmacology, and other various biological specialties. When these combinations are used, they provide the perfect culmination of chemical synthesis, design, and development for the market of the pharmaceutical drug or agents which will be used in the further development of better medicine or drug products. Medicinal Chemistry is a multi-disciplinary form of study which involves the synthesis of a potential drug which is again followed by the testing of the interaction of the drugs with the target organ in order to understand the effects of the drug on the metabolism, healing properties and side effects on the target organ.


Pharmacognosy

The study of pharmacy doesn’t always involve the use of the synthetic drug but it also uses medicinal organic drug as we came to know in the earlier segment. The Pharmacognosy helps in understanding this medicinal and organic part of the drug-making process. It can be said as the study of medicinal drugs which has been derived from plants, animals or other natural sources. The study of Pharmacognosy involves the teaching of chemical, physical, biochemical as well as biological properties of the drugs, properties of the drugs as well as the natural ingredients present in the drugs obtained from natural sources.


Pharmacy Practice

The process of the practice of Pharmacy in the community is another important branch of Pharmacy. The Pharmacy Practice is divided into some of the following areas:

Clinical interventions – it is most commonly used in Pharmacy practice of hospitals. It the process of intervention by a pharmacist on the use of any prescribed drug which is causing problems in any patient.

Pharmaceutical Care – it is a form of drug therapy which is practiced by pharmacists on their patients to relieve them of some of the symptoms of diseases.

Communication skills – the communication skills of the pharmacists have to be very good as they always have to interact with patients, doctors as well as nurses. They have to exercise role play which reflects real-life conditions in order to improve communication skills.

Patient Care – the pharmacist always should be patient-oriented and even attend to the geriatric or pediatric care of patients in order to improve their compliance of dispensing medications


Pharmacology

It is one of the most important branches of pharmacy which is another professional career of its own known as Pharmacologists. It is the study of the interaction of drugs with all living organisms and the study of the chemical compounds which would affect the normal or abnormal biochemical functions. It helps to study the various process of delivery of the drug in the body as well as its adverse or therapeutic effects. The study includes a lot of research work and very less interaction with patients and is also further divided into a lot of specializations.

Work Place of a Pharmaceutical Engineer:

Pharmaceutical engineers work in the medication manufacturing field. They are usually employed by pharmaceutical companies, universities or laboratories.

Knowledge areas required:

Knowledge of biology, chemistry and engineering.

Pharmaceutical Engineer Required Skills:

● Prospective Pharmaceutical Engineer must have critical thinking and analytical skills, and an ability to design, maintain and operate highly specialized technology.

● They also required skills like excellent communication and interpersonal skills which are needed to work as part of a team as they have to work with a variety of people like chemical engineers and biomedical engineers.

● They also possess strong organizational skills so as to plan their own and other people's work, and to coordinate resources.


Technology Skills:

● Basic computer literacy

● Awareness of industry trends and Business skills

● Understanding of legal and regulatory matters

Abilities:

● Ability to effectively interact with peers and leaders.

● Ability to work in a challenging and fast-paced environment and multitask effectively.

● Ability to handle the pressure

Pharmaceutical engineer job responsibilities:

● It is the responsibility of pharmaceutical engineer to consult with the chemist to devise new technologies.

● They are responsible for preparation of scientific reports, data synopsis or other research documents for scientific publication or patent applications purposes.

● It is their duty to design and conduct procedures and studies to decide on the optimal conditions for the production process.

● They are responsible for advising and educating the staff laid on manufacturing about the various complex procedures and problems.

● It is their foremost duty to ensure about the quality and specification of the products manufactured and examine that all the standard procedures are complied with.

● They should keep in touch with the suppliers and provide them the specific and important information regarding the materials, instruments and equipment.

● It is their job to conduct various experiments in the production field to set a scale and method of production that helps in optimizing the product yield and minimizing the cost of production.

● If the change is required in the production process, they are responsible to initiate it and replace the obsolete process and technology with the latest technology available in the market.

● The pharmaceutical engineers are given with the responsibility to prepare plans for the manufacturing department regarding equipment, machines, facility improvement which also includes the timelines and budget estimation regarding the plan.

● It is their responsibility to coordinate the work of all sections in the production department so that the other departments work is not delayed

Personality:

● Adaptability/Flexibility

● Stress Tolerance

● Self Control

Work Styles

● Analytical Thinking

● Integrity

● Persistence

Work Values:

● Leadership

● Independence

● Innovation

Education:

Bachelor of Science minimum requirement, master's or doctoral degree in pharmaceutical engineering.

Pharmaceutical Engineer Salary

Pharmaceutical engineer with Bachelor's Degree can get anywhere Rs. 30,000 to Rs. 40,000 per month to start with and can expect as high as Rs. 60,000 to 70,000 per month with their experience in their organization.

Frequently asked Questions:

● Is Pharmaceutical Engineering a good career?

Pharmaceutical Engineering is a great subject and can be a great career path too. It sounds like you're not sure if you want to stay in the industry. Having this approach is good because it pays to be open minded and realistic about what your options are if you change your mind in the future.


● How do I become a pharmaceutical engineer?

Pharmaceutical engineers need a bachelor's degree in chemistry, biochemistry or chemical engineering, which usually can be earned in around four years. Some positions may also require a master's degree or a Ph.D.


● What is meant by pharmaceutical engineering?

Pharmaceutical engineering is a branch of engineering focused on discovering, formulating, and manufacturing medication, as well as analytical and quality control processes.


● What is the difference between Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Engineering?

Students graduating with pharmacy degrees mean that they mainly focusing on patient interaction, while pharmaceutical engineers most likely go into drug development. In a nutshell, engineers help develop the recipe for a drug and pharmacists educate patients and dispense it.

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