The difference between pharmaceutics and pharmacology
If you are considering whether or not to make a move to become a pharmacist, it’s likely that you have many questions on your mind. You may be thinking about the academic side of things, for example. You could be wondering whether the training course you plan to do is going to be intellectually challenging. You may also be thinking about the level of responsibility that the position brings, and whether you are up to the challenge of ensuring that safe and legal medical dispensation takes place.
However, one thing that few people consider before they make a move into this field is the precise terminology involved – and one way that this manifests itself is in terms of the differences between pharmaceutics and pharmacology. If you are new, or relatively new, to the profession, then it’s entirely possible that you don’t currently have a grasp of the difference here – and it’s important to take that step. This blog post will explain more.
Pharmaceutics: creating the item
Before looking at the subtle differences between these two overlapping disciplines, it’s important to first look at the core definitions of each one. The world of pharmaceutics is interesting because it focuses in particular on the overall process of creating a drug. Pharmaceutics takes into account the process involved: it looks at the design, as well as at the way that they are consumed. A pharmaceutical expert is likely, for example, to gather evidence about what happens when a drug is taken doithuong.
They may want to look in particular at the way that the drug is likely to be marketed and consumed. They may, in this scenario, use their knowledge to write up instruction booklets for the inside of the medication’s packaging. Or they may wish to specialize in the creation of drugs, in which case they would be answering interesting questions about the way that a drug gets made and how it is tested on people.
Pharmacology: the science behind it
Pharmacology, in short, is a more scientific approach to the question of drugs. It looks specifically at how drugs work, in terms as elemental as their chemical reactions, and then specifically at how these impact on the people who consume the medicines. A lot of different skills are required here: it’s necessary to have a scientific knowledge of what the different components of a medicine do, and it’s also necessary to have the clinical acumen to determine the physical and physiological reactions they have on patients.
The difference between the two
As has been outlined above, then, there are some clear differences between these two types of approaches to pharmacy. Pharmaceutics takes a more holistic viewpoint, while pharmacology is clearly more in the realm of the exact science of medical drugs. But what exactly are the differences between these two approaches?
The focus on the research side of things is definitely a key distinction. For those who are pharmacologists, it’s normal for much of the working day to be taken up with experiments. Those who are working in pharmaceuticals are likely to be interacting with people, often buyers. And there’s also an economic dimension. Those who are interested in the business side of the pharmaceutical industry are definitely more likely to go for the pharmaceutical route, as this is where the business development and marketing side of the profession is to be found. Those who are less interested in the money and more interested in the drugs themselves, meanwhile, are likely to find themselves not focusing on money.
What skills do pharmacists need?
In terms of employment outcomes, those who study pharmacology often find themselves going into research. This makes sense, as this part of the discipline is particularly focused on the science. Those who study pharmaceutics, on the other hand, often find themselves with a broader range of career options. Some of them may go to work in a non-community-focused role, such as marketing. However, this also tends to be the route that people choose if they are thinking about practicing in the community as a pharmacist.
However, in more general terms, pharmacists also need to have a community focus in their work. They have to be able to connect with people. This is because pharmacists are often the first port of call when people have health concerns. The reason for this is that pharmacists are often based in the communities in which they work, perhaps in the local supermarket or in the town center or row of city stores. While some people with pharmacological and pharmaceutical skills may choose to specialize in laboratory or research work, many people with these skills tend to go into the world of actual practice.
In that sense, then, pharmacists need a bit of everything, and this is reflected in the diversity on offer from the pharmacy online programs run by the University of Findlay, for example. Pharmacists need to be able to understand the pharmaceutical process of how a drug comes into being in legal and economic terms, while they also need to be able to know the depth of the chemical process – and, on top of that, have the social skills to essentially be a community practitioner.
Overall, there are clearly plenty of differences between pharmaceutics and pharmacology. So, while it’s definitely the case that they are part of what is ultimately a similar discipline, the truth is that the subtle differences between them are worth knowing about whether you are a patient or a practitioner. And if you are a trainee, meanwhile, it’s extra important that you are certain that you know the difference – otherwise, you could find yourself making a commitment to a type of practice that isn’t exactly what you want.