The word pharma originates from the Greek pharmakon which means “medicine” or “drug”. The first pharma shops were established in Baghdad in the 18th century by Muslims who were distributing natural resources, syrups, confections, conserves, distilled waters, and alcoholic liquids which were used then as medicines to treat the sick and the injured. Since then the pharmacy’s focus has been expanding and introducing new tremendous opportunities for drug therapy and disease treatment and prevention. While the fundamental function of pharmacy to make drugs and medicines available remains unchanged, its goal has evolved with the new medical and pharmaceutical knowledge and technological advancements. Pharmahouses today are pharmaceutical companies that do not only dispense different kinds of medications and health care consumables, but also deal with their production, preservation, and handling. They are engaged with the complex process of drug development which involves investigating potential new medicines and then making them available for patients. For the completion of the last stage, it is necessary to assure drug safety and compliance with legal and professional standards. As a result, contemporary pharmacists have been required to acquire expertise in data storage, distribution, inventory control, data management, and drug information services. Apart from helping people get well by supplying them with the proper products for their needs, pharmacists also provide knowledge about the drugs’ composition, manufacture, and use, and collaborate with physicians, nurses and other members of the health care team to ensure satisfying patient outcomes
Pharmaceutical legal regulations are the combination of legal, administrative, and technical measures taken by governments to ensure quality, safety, efficiency as well as the relevance and accuracy of product information. The regulations of the process of testing, developing and marketing of medicines aim to defend customers’ interest. In order to be released on the market, new medicines must be given a ‘market authorization’. The regulations are compulsory for new innovations as well as for already existing products with the purpose to improve health status. The government regulators formally review the information they have been provided with and carefully make sure that it reflects the presented evidence. Details regarding the information that is required to be sent to regulators can be found on the Internet. In short, manufacturers are required to submit a document known as the Summary of Product Characteristics (SPC) which consists of detailed information about indications, dosage, potential risks, side effects, warnings, etc. If after the examination, the regulators are satisfied and the potential product meets all the guidelines and requirements, and the benefits of the medicine are more than any possible negative effects, they will eventually grant their permission. All the approved drugs are afterwards tested by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to eliminate the harmful or ineffective medications and ensure that only the safest and most effective ones arrive on the market.
There is a wide range of employment options within the pharmaceutical industry, but in order to be employed for these positions, it is necessary to meet certain requirements. The duties of the skilled professionals include sales, product management, clinical research, regulatory checks, engineering and marketing, as well as financial and general management, among others. Requirements vary according to the position, but all the staff is expected to have some knowledge of drugs, treatment, and medical conditions and clinical research. Therefore, applicants for the posts need to have degrees in the fields of biochemistry, pharmacology, physiology, nursing or toxicology. There are a limited number of pharmaceutical positions available to those who have only completed a Bachelor’s degree. Advanced positions such as jobs in clinical pharmacy or research require a Master’s and even a doctorate degree. It normally takes four years to obtain a Bachelor’s degree and additional two years for a Master’s degree. Relevant work experience in the medical, research or pharmaceutical field is of great importance. Additional qualifications include above average computer skills (database management is mandatory); a good sense of business and management principles; excellent written and verbal skills; attention to detail; good administrative and organizational skills; understanding the significance of quality clinical research and time management. The ability to work without being supervised is a great plus, as clinical research assistants, for example, work on their own and often from their homes.