Is pharmacy marketable in Kenya?

Here is a quick one: is pharmacy marketable in Kenya?

I’m asking this because we have been receiving various emails about the marketability of the course.

Well, that is the question I will be answering in this article and it’s my answer to all those who have sent me the following questions:

  • Is diploma in pharmacy marketable in Kenya?
  • Is bachelor of pharmacy marketable in Kenya?
  • Is pharmacy degree marketable in Kenya?
  • Is pharmacy a marketable course in Kenya?
  • Is pharmaceutical technology marketable in Kenya?

Of course, it is important for you to read it to the last word if you’re thinking of pursuing a pharmacy in Kenya.

 

Is pharmacy marketable in Kenya?

Now, in my opinion, pharmacy is no longer among the most marketable courses in Kenya…I know that this is not what everyone else thinks but it is the painful truth (at least from my research)..

Yeah, this course was very marketable in the past years but it appears that the market has changed dramatically over time.

Why?

Kenyans rushed to do the course making the course significantly flooded at the moment.

Subsequently, many of them have been forced to open private chemists all over the place..

And that explains why today there are chemists even deep in some remote villages in Kenya..

Others have had to do other hustles which are not even related to the course..

In fact, I know of a few friends who have done pharmacy and are yet to find work- one of them sells Mtumba clothes- and this has made me very pessimistic about the course.

In short, and contrary to what many people think, Pharmacy is one of the least marketable medical courses in Kenya, if you ask me.

I repeat..I know it’s a controversial opinion but that is what I believe…you are more likely to end up holding poorly paying jobs in privately-owned pharmacies than that prestigious chief pharmacist position you crave (unless, you have a very powerful network of people who can help you get a well-paying job).

So, is it a bad course?

Not at all…no course is terrible because there is always something you can do to earn with it.

However, if what you have in mind is a prestigious job in a huge hospital, you will probably hustle for a while.

So bear that in mind when weighing your options..

Having answered the question “Is pharmacy marketable in Kenya?”, let us now look at what you need to do the course including the best university to study pharmacy in Kenya

Entry requirements for degree in pharmacy in Kenya

Here are the minimum degree in pharmacy requirements in Kenya

KCSE Mean Grade: C+

Minimum Cluster Subject Requirements

Biology C+
Chemistry C+
Math / physics C+
English / Kiswahili C+

Universities offering degree in pharmacy in Kenya

Here now are the KUCCPS registered Universities offering pharmacy in Kenya:

  • JKUAT University
  • Kabarak University
  • Kenya Methodist University
  • Kisii University
  • Kenyata University
  • Mt Kenya University
  • Maseno University
  • University Of Nairobi

As always, you can apply to these universities via KUCCPS if you were a candidate in the last KCSE exams to study under government sponsorship(please note that Pharmacy is still a highly competitive course and you might need to have better grades- better than C+- to be placed by KUCCPS).

Otherwise, you should apply directly to the university you prefer – you can Google their websites and apply online or visit the institutions physically.

 

Diploma in pharmacy requirements in Kenya

If you did not meet the above grades, your next available option is doing a Diploma.

Here are the minimum requirements:

KCSE Mean Grade: C Plain

Additional Subject Requirements

English or Kiswahili: C Plain

Chemistry/Physical Science: C Plain

Biology / Biological Sciences: C Plain

You must also have a C plain in one of Mathematics or Physics/Physical Sciences

Colleges offering Diploma in Pharmacy in Kenya

When it comes to a Diploma, I recommend that you take your course at KMTC. I noticed that they have one the lowest diploma in pharmacy fees in Kenya not to mention that KMTC certificates are widely recognized.

Go here to learn how to apply to KMTC.

You can also take the course under KUCCPS sponsorship at Kisumu National Polytechnic (Call 0723 446 773 to enquire about the next intake).

What else do employers ask for?

Now, besides having a Diploma or a Degree in pharmacy, employers ask for the following extra requirements when hiring for most pharmacy jobs in Kenya:

Registration with Pharmacy and Poisons Board– Very few employers will consider you if you do not have a practicing license from the Pharmacy and Poisons Board(it is the body that regulates the profession) so be sure to register with them once you’re done with the course.

Leadership and Integrity compliance– For government jobs, you usually have to meet the Leadership and Integrity requirements as required by Chapter Six of Kenya’s Constitution

What do pharmacists do?

Most of us are familiar with the work of pharmacists – it is mainly to dispense medicine.

But for purposes of clarity, here are some of the Duties and Responsibilities you will be performing as a pharmacist:

  • Provide technical pharmacy/pharmaceutical advice and services to the hospital.
  • Implement work plans and/or work schedules in pharmacies.
  • Receive patients and dispense medicines as well as other pharmaceutical materials/accessories to them.
  • Provide proper care of the medicines (and other medical items) in the pharmacy.
  • Coordinate pharmaceutical operations in the pharmacy to ensure that they’re meeting the expected standards.
  • Carry out trainings and development programs for junior pharmacy staff and student/ interns with the goal of enhancing their performance productivity.
  • Keep records of the movement as well as the consumption of medicines and supplies along with an up-to-date drug register.
  • Implement all duly established policies, procedures, and processes concerning the pharmacy and drugs.
  • Participate in various facility management committees in your health facility
  • Help in research.

ALSO READ:

Is physiotherapy marketable in Kenya?

Is medical laboratory science marketable in Kenya?

 

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CPA John Gitahi is a former college lecturer and has been involved in education all his life. He's passionate about helping young people make great career choices. He studied Commerce and ICT at the University and runs several successful online entreprises. He is also an avid traveller.

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