Pharmacists are an integral part of the healthcare industry who provide ample depth and medical assistance to the various demanding aspects within the domain. Their expertise is mainly useful in the field of control and dispensing of medications.
This post covers everything there is to know about different international licenses for pharmacists and various tips for working abroad as a pharmacist.
The ideal jobs of pharmacists include capable assistance in healthcare responsibilities like medication dispensing and provision of immunization, health screenings and determination of medicine intake levels.
Pharmacists work directly in association with physicians and general medicine profiles as they help in reviewing and understanding prescriptions. Their expertise level is on uncompromising level and is significant in providing sufficient value, as per the designed responsibilities.
Technical knowledge is part of pharmacist profiles, as is the provision and recommendation of medications according to the patient’s needs.
Clinical pharmacists are experts in recognising the value of the therapeutic use of medicines as part of healthcare recommendations. They assist in the evaluation of medication therapy and the framing of guided prescription models for both patients and healthcare practitioners.
Clinical pharmacists play a crucial role in optimizing the functions of pharmaceutical care. They are responsible for developing and promoting regulations and policies under clinical pharmacy programs.
Clinical pharmacists apply their skills in identifying issues related to individual patients. Clinical decision-making and problem-solving skills are also a part of this scenario.
Both pharmacists and clinical pharmacists are experts in the field of drugs. The primary distinction that differentiates between those profiles is in the application and impact on the healthcare industry.
Clinical pharmacists play a much deeper role compared to the general pharmacist’s role in the handling of drugs. Typical areas of operation include dosing, monitoring and medication selection.
International Licensing Exams for Pharmacists
If you are looking to shift abroad and exercise your expertise as a pharmacist, certain specific policies and regulations apply according to the norms in your target destination’s healthcare industry. Considering the scope and potential of the medical field, numerous opportunities are available.
Each country covers unique licensing exams and procedural guidelines to help you get certified in pharmacist profiles. Here, we take a look at some of the top countries and corresponding license certifications that works for pharmacists.
NAPLEX stands for North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination. It follows a structure that helps analyze the practical knowledge of pharmacy graduates and is relevant for candidates planning to shift to the USA healthcare domain. It helps the review bodies measure the candidate’s competence in completing the licensure process of pharmacist roles.
The application process for NAPLEX includes understanding the state licensure requirements and application bullet points for candidates. You can apply for a NAPLEX license online and can know about the examination eligibility.
Submit fee transcripts, purchase the exam on your e-profile after confirming eligibility permissions and schedule the exam with the nearest Pearson VUE centre. The exam includes a computerized test and covers 225 questions.
The maximum number of times for candidates to try the test is five times. Features like score transfer on exam results are possible.
The Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada (PEBC) is the one licensing and regulatory body that you need to complete your migration to Canada in a pharmacist job role. You can log in to their official website to know about all the general news and updates regarding the professional niche.
Effective for pharmacists and pharmacy technicians alike, PEBC offers an exclusive candidate portal that helps you determine your journey towards completing the shift to Canada. The entity has been in existence for more than 50 years.
PEBC assesses qualification criteria and authority regulations simultaneously from a supervisory standpoint. Apart from checking the skills and knowledge of candidates, the body helps impart guidance regarding safe and effective healthcare practices for pharmacists.
Knowledge Assessment of Pharmaceutical Sciences (KAPS) is the name of the exam that tests and provides licenses for pharmacist professionals willing to work in Australia. The exam is conducted by the Australian Pharmacy Council (APC).
Costing around $2190 per attempt, the stakes are high for this test as the competition is heavy to crack the KAPS exam. An overall score of at least 50% is mandatory for clearing the KAPS test.
Eligibility criteria strictly dictate the possession of a pharmacy course certificate from the applying candidate’s home country. The usual course duration is for six months, and the number of attempts for an individual is unlimited.
The Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland (PSI) is a governing body in Ireland for healthcare professionals and strictly focuses on candidates in pharmacy profiles. The public body establishes the validity of becoming a member of PSI first before proceeding with your professional practice.
A 21-member council decides and governs the role of PSI. Seeking the PSI license involves the principles like patient safety, regulatory risk statement, organisational quality development, business transformation programme and equality, diversity and inclusion statements.
Online application and registration are possible on the designated PSI portal. The registration renewal process requires an annual subscription fee. A certificate of registration is a must for proceeding with the pharmacy profession in Ireland.
The national department of health in South Africa determines the role of every healthcare professional practising in the country. This extends to pharmacy licensees as well.
If you are a trained pharmacist looking to migrate to the South African healthcare domain, then the answer is Foreign Workforce Management Programme (FWMP). Different documents to cover under this program are the initial letter of endorsement and the recruitment and employment programme.
You can download, fill and submit the formatted form online. It is also possible for applicants to submit all supporting documents and fulfil the eligibility criteria in the online format itself. Pharmacists who are willing to travel to South Africa should look out for foreign recruitment guidelines and policies.
Gulf countries are guaranteed candidates in providing sufficient work opportunities for pharmacists. We will look at some of the top licensing exams in Gulf countries below.
Dubai Health Authority (DHA) exam covers special license segments for helping pharmacist and clinical pharmacist candidates looking to shift to Dubai. The application procedure and registration guidelines for the DHA test include multiple steps that are detailed on the official website.
Clearing Dataflow is essential for reaching out to evaluate the documents and maintain primary source verification (PSV). The main documents required to satisfy eligibility criteria are educational and experience certificates, proof of professional registration, a passport copy and a good standing certificate.
For pharmacist roles, the subjects covered in the DHA test category are pharmacology, pharmacognosy, pharmaceutics, medicinal chemistry, alkaloid tests and clinical case studies. Both computerized and oral tests are part of the DHA license exam.
The Health Authority of Abu Dhabi (HAAD) exam helps candidates in the pharmacy profile obtain a relevant license for practising their profession in Abu Dhabi. Issued by the Department of Health, Abu Dhabi, the test pattern is difficult compared to other Gulf country pharmacist licenses.
The specialisation categories in HAAD include profiles like clinical pharmacists, community pharmacists and pharmacy technicians. The test consists of 100 MCQs with 150 minutes to answer them.
For Indians, you need more than an 80% score to pass the HAAD exam. More relevant details regarding the HAAD test are available on the official website.
For Dubai, there is a DHA license. For Abu Dhabi, there is a HAAD license. For the other five emirates of the UAE (Ajman, Sharjah, Ras al Khaimah, Umm al Quwain and Fujairah), you have the license exam from the Ministry of Health (MOH).
The MOH exam is a medical license exam for appointing healthcare professionals, and pharmacy practitioners have a special categorised segment in the test. The application can be done online with document uploads, eligibility criteria satisfaction, scheduling of the Prometric exam and PSV application.
The minimum requirements include graduation in a pharmacy course from a recognized institute. A maximum of three attempts are available for eligible candidates.
○ OMAN PROMETRIC
For pharmacist professionals planning to shift to Oman for work, the relevant medical certificate needed is Oman Prometric from Oman Medical Specialty Board (OMSB). With a rate of $900, the test is open to personnel for multiple attempts.
The Oman Prometric exam evaluates a candidate’s skill and knowledge in managing the healthcare profession. Though the exams are not easy to crack, you have three chances in a single calendar year to help you progress.
The test comprises 100 questions in MCQ format. Passing score for the Oman Prometric exam is from 60 to 65% and is valid for at least two years of practice, with renewal opportunities available in online mode.
○ QATAR PROMETRIC
All medical professionals who want to work in the Qatar Ministry’s healthcare domain should appear and clear the Qatar Prometric exam. The same applies to aspiring pharmacists who want to settle down in Qatar.
$90 is the test fee, and numerous attempts are possible for candidates planning to crack the exam. The Qatar Prometric exam helps analyze and assess the skills, knowledge and expertise of individual candidates for performing their pharmacy tasks.
You can apply for the test online, and registration facilities plus training/coaching support are available.
○ SAUDI PROMETRIC
Saudi Commission for Health Specialties (SCFHS) takes care of the Saudi Prometric exam and is open to all healthcare professionals wanting to shift to Saudi Arabia. Pharmacists who are planning to move to KSA should clear this exam and receive a license for legally working in the country.
Pharmacy technicians will have more use for this test as it is nursing-oriented, and the difficulty level is similar to that of other Prometric exams.
The passing score of the Saudi Prometric exam is 50%. The application process is available online, and fees will amount to INR 20,000. Three attempts are possible for a candidate to clear the test. A total number of 100 questions in MCQ format may be included in this test.
If you are looking for pharmacist opportunities in foreign countries, remember that it takes adequate preparation combined with skill and discipline to launch satisfactory job roles.
Pharmacists get opportunities to work in both short-term and long-term with the number of healthcare systems present across the globe. Your experience may vary according to the country of practice.
The top benefits of working abroad as a pharmacist are as follows:
- You will get more exposure to healthcare societies of international standards.
- You get the exclusive opportunity to meet and greet new people and their cultures and immerse yourself in experience-oriented lives.
- It helps you launch various sets of incentives and benefits associated with the healthcare domain.
- You get a chance to improve your expertise and engage in more meaningful medical experience provisions that deal with a global purpose.
- The different qualifications and eligibility criteria will make you stronger and smarter and help you find a better career purpose.
- It will help you raise your living standards and provide better support to your family.
The foreign opportunities for pharmacists are manyfold. The average salary for pharmacists ranges in the value of thousands of dollars. You can select opportunities based on factors like the cost of living and your personalized expenses when working abroad.
Western countries like the USA, European countries and developed economies like the Gulf region are the best options for creating a perfect work environment for potential candidates in the pharmacy field.
Digital access is available for pharmacists who can feasibly work in remote mode. You may join military joints in pharmacy roles abroad. Short-term roles will enable you to stay in different countries over various time zones.
The optimum method of application for a pharmacist role abroad is to check out the corresponding website and act according to the procedure mentioned on their application portal. Since the eligibility criteria and qualifications vary across different locations, your best bet is to study in advance regarding the appropriate job roles first.
The procedural steps for launching pharmacist profiles abroad include a particular focus on language requirements, examinations, training, license operations, health checkups, travel documents, etc.
The ideal first step is to know every detail about the job role and proceed with an online application. You can follow this up by submitting materials and documents relevant to the application process.
Take tests and license examinations as per the given guidelines and complete your payments. Wait until the results are published that reveal your application status and test performance.
For Indian pharmacists who are planning to migrate to a foreign location, the options are more than one. If you are looking at ease of migration, then Dubai, Canada and Australia are the most preferred options. For meeting salary needs to the maximum, the USA and Switzerland are the best options.
Other viable countries for pharmacists to work abroad include Saudi Arabia, the UK and other Gulf countries. You must pick the destination based on your desired lifestyle and potential to excel in the preferred spot.
Now let’s arrive at the parting thought – a question that most of you might possess. Is a registered pharmacist license required to work abroad in the pharmaceutical industry? The answer is yes.
A license issuance helps both parties (the candidate and the destination healthcare ecosystem) be on professional and legal terms for their collaboration span. It will help the partnership become fruitful and productive in all areas of interest.