Who is a Pharmacist?

Last updated on Jun 21, 2022

A pharmacist is a person who is trained to prepare, monitor and sell medicines. Under the law, a registered pharmacist1 is a person whose name is entered in the register of the State where they are residing or carrying on the profession or business of pharmacy.

A register will include the full name and residential address of the registered person, the date of their first admission to the register, their qualifications for registration, professional address,  the name of their employer etc.2

Qualifications needed to be a pharmacist

Qualifications of a pharmacist differ from state to state. The State Pharmacy Council of each state lays down certain qualifications for a person to be registered as a pharmacist. The Pharmacy Council of India approves such qualifications.


An individual of at least 18 years can be eligible for registration as a pharmacist for the first time. After paying the required fee, their name will be added to the register of the State where they reside or carry on their pharmacy business/profession,3 if they have:

  • A degree or diploma in pharmacy or pharmaceutical chemistry or a chemist and druggist diploma of an Indian University or a State Government, or a prescribed qualification granted by an authority outside India;4 or
  • A degree of an Indian University other than a degree in pharmacy or pharmaceutical chemistry. In addition, the person should have been engaged for at least 3 years in compounding drugs in a hospital, dispensary, or another place where drugs are regularly dispensed based on prescriptions of medical practitioners;5 or
  • Passed an examination recognised by the State Government for compounders or dispensers;6 or
  • Been engaged for at least 5 years in compounding drugs in a hospital, dispensary, or another place in which drugs are regularly dispensed based on prescriptions of medical practitioners. This period is calculated starting from the date for application of registration as notified by the State government.7

Other qualifications

In addition to the above qualifications, a person will be eligible for subsequent registration as a pharmacist:

  • If they are a registered pharmacist in another state.8
  • The Pharmacy Council of India can approve  qualifications granted by any authority outside India, with regard to making Indian citizens eligible for registration as  Pharmacists. The Council approves an application only after the qualification guarantees a minimum level of skill and knowledge. However, non-citizens can also qualify for registration if they come from countries where persons of Indian origin (who have the required qualifications) can practice pharmacy.9 Here, to have their name entered in the register, the person should have passed a matriculation examination or any other equivalent examination.10
  1. Section 2(i), Pharmacy Act, 1948[]
  2. Section 29,  Pharmacy Act, 1948[]
  3. Section 31, Pharmacy Act, 1948[]
  4. Section 31(a), Pharmacy Act, 1948[]
  5. Section 31(b), Pharmacy Act, 1948[]
  6. Section 31(c), Pharmacy Act, 1948[]
  7. Section 31(d), Pharmacy Act, 1948[]
  8. Section 32(1)(b), Pharmacy Act, 1948[]
  9. Section 14, Pharmacy Act, 1948[]
  10. Section 32(1)(c);Section 14, Pharmacy Act, 1948[]

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