A Bachelor of Pharmacy (abbreviated B Pharm or PharmB or BS Pharm) is an under graduate academic degree in the field of pharmacy. In many countries, this degree is a prerequisite for registration to practice as a pharmacist. Since both PharmB and PharmD are prerequisites to license in most western countries they’re considered equivalent. In many western countries, the foreign graduates with BPharm, PharmB or BS Pharm practice similarly as PharmD graduates. It is analogous to MBBS vs. MD where MBBS is foreign equivalent of MD. It is training to understand the properties and impacts of medicines and developing the skills required to counsel patients about their use.
B Pharm holders can work in several fields such as being a pharmacist, patient counseling, doing further studies such as master’s degree, working in a university as a lecturer, or working as a drug information specialist.
In some countries, it has been superseded by the Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) and Master of Pharmacy (MPharm) degrees. In the United States, this degree was granted as the baccalaureate pharmacy degree only at Washington State University, where it has now been superseded by the PharmD degree. The degree previously offered in the US—and the required degree in Canada—is the Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy. In countries including Canada, UK, Australia and New Zealand, BPharm/BS Pharm/PharmB are prerequisite for practicing as a Pharmacist. These degrees are awarded per the British tradition and considered as foreign equivalents of PharmD.
In Australia, the BPharm degree is awarded following a four-year undergraduate pharmacy program. Australian undergraduate pharmacy courses were previously three years but were increased to four years during the 1990s with an increased emphasis on pharmacy practice education. During the early 2000s, two-year postgraduate Master of Pharmacy courses were established by many universities, but to date these have accounted for a relatively minor proportion of pharmacy graduates.
As with most honours degrees at Australian universities, the awarding of a Bachelor of Pharmacy (Honours) (abbreviated BPharm(Hons)) is based on the completion of original research and a high-level of academic performance. All other graduates are awarded a pass degree. Unlike most Honours degrees in Australia, an additional year of study is not required for a BPharm(Hons) as most universities integrate research and coursework in the fourth year of BPharm(Hons) programs.
In Hong Kong, Bachelor of Pharmacy is offered by the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) under the Faculty of Medicine. The CUHK Bachelor of Pharmacy programme started in 1992 and had been the only pharmacy degree programme available in Hong Kong until 2009. It aims to train graduates to function independently as professional health care providers who, as part of the health care team, can provide first class pharmaceutical and health-related care for the health of Hong Kong citizens.
The Bachelor of Pharmacy degree is popularly known as B-Pharm in India. It is a four-year program with both annual and semester schemes available. To be eligible, one must pass with at least 50% marks in 10 + 2 (or an equivalent examination) with physics, chemistry, biology or biotechnology as one of the subjects. In some states, it is mandatory to give an additional pharmacy entrance examination to be eligible for the course, the entrance tests can be the state common entrance test or, the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (Undergraduate)(NEET). D.Pharm (Diploma of Pharmacy) holders are eligible for admission into B.Pharm second year directly via a lateral entry in India. B.Pharm holders can directly join into the 4th year of Pharm.D (PG) course.
Colleges imparting pharmaceutical education (D.Pharm, B.Pharm, M.Pharm, Pharm D) must be approved by All Indian Council of Technical Education (AICTE) and the Pharmacy Council Of India (PCI).
For a student to be eligible for registration as a Pharmacist/ Clinical pharmacist in India, the college from which he or she graduated must be approved by the PCI. B.Pharm is often superseded by M.Pharm, Pharm D (PB) and PhD-level courses although the minimum qualification required for registration as a pharmacist is D.Pharm.