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The Main Differences Between B. Pharm. And Pharm. D. Degree In Pharmacy

Pharm. D. Vs B. Pharm.
There is only one school in Nigeria that run the Pharm. D (Doctor of Pharmacy) program. That is the University Of Benin (U.N.I.B.E.N). Many pharmacy students are curious to know the difference between B. Pharm and Pharm. D. in Nigeria and other parts of the world. Some even ask which is better. If you are one of those, you are at the right place.

Both B. Pharm and Pharm. D programs are job oriented medical courses available in many parts of the world including Nigeria relating to the field of pharmacy.


Pharm. D. is a doctor of pharmacy equivalent to a Post Graduate Doctorate Degree program while B. Pharm. is just a bachelor of pharmacy. It is an undergraduate degree.

Job Title

Pharm. D. holders can use the title Dr. in addition to their name. However, it is not so with a B. Pharm holder.

Course Duration

Pharm. D is a six years course while B. Pharm is five years. However, B. Pharm students who wish to acquire the Pharm. D degree can apply to study (post Baccalaureate) which will take them three years on a part time basis or two years full time in University of Benin (U.N.I.B.E.N) or in foreign country where it is acceptable.


B. Pharm. curriculum is more on industry and research. Pharm. D. has the added advantage of having courses on the concept of pharmacy, clinical health care studies, pharmacy practice, and pharmaceutical care.

Pharm. D. program have a clerkship program that is usually longer than that of B. Pharm. Some rumours have it that those schools such as Delta State University (D.E.L.S.U) who are already doing Pharm. D. curriculum under B. Pharm. curriculum will spend one-year less to get Pharm. D.

This curriculum is very important in hospital practice where patient care is high. Other opportunities are in the clinical research organisation.

Job Profile

B. Pharm. can work in a variety of settings like in the hospital, owning a pharmaceutical shop, pharmaceutical industry etc. Pharm. D. have an added advantage of being a health care professional, consultant, research profession, and clinical scientist.

Many developed country minimum practice requirement is a Pharm. D degree.

Academic Pursuit

Pharm. D. holders can go for their Ph.D, unlike B. Pharm. that must first get their M. Pharm. in a related field before going for PhD.

M. Pharm is master of pharmacy, which can be obtained within a space of 2 years after getting a B. Pharm degree.

Note: Pharm. D. must never be confused with D. Pharm. D. Pharm. is a diploma degree in pharmacy that is obtained from some polytechnic or other accredited institutions in a period of three years which we will discuss at a later date.


The salary structure of Pharm B. and D. Pharm is same in most establishments in Nigeria. This maybe because the new D. Pharm degree is not yet well recognized in this country. With time, this is going to change. However, there are some establishments that do offer a level higher pay for D. Pharm than B. Pharm.


B. Pharm. holders can operate as a general pharmacist. D. Pharm. students do drug dispensing, patient counsel, compounding, patient history and record keeping, maintain records of medicines and its effects, advice on safe use of drugs and administer drugs.

Pharm. D. holders are trained to counsel patients and inform them about the medicine/drug dose, the best time, and method to use. The course focuses on the mechanism of drug actions/side effects/adverse effects (drug reaction). Others include cases for the appearance of diseases and possible complications if left untreated. Not all diseases can be treated with drugs. That is where lifestyle modification comes in. To sum it all, it is clinical oriented (patient centered). However, they also learn what is taught in B. Pharm. There are so many diseases a Pharm. D. holder can diagnose and treat, including appropriate selection and therapeutic usage of drugs, monitoring patients.

M. Pharm. and B. Pharm. on the other hand are research and industry based oriented. They deal with drug formulation, drug sources, molecular structure, and method to synthesize and manufacture drugs including the pharmacological action of the drugs.

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Nice write-up. I am a B. Pharm holder from Madonna University. I can't help but comment that the B. Pharm you described is alien to me. I am speaking only for my alma mata and not any other school of pharmacy (great they all are but). My last days in school were filled with statements like "abeg, you get complete T.B?"; "who has complete migraine? I need to update mine". Other students look at us--Pharmacy students in awe but these are completely understood has different BULKY handouts in our cycle. Pharm. D is of course a higher qualification (and I hope to further), but I tell you, no Pharmacy graduate from Madonna University, Elele fits into your description of B. Pharm. A nice attempt anyway. Kudos. -Orogbo Uthman B.
Sarah Obomure said…
Many schools offering B. Pharm have adjusted their curriculum to look like the D. Pharm curriculum. That is why it is like that. I understand. At Delsu, it is almost similar to the UNIBEN cirriculum. However, I wanted to explain the differences years ago when B. Pharm curriculum was complete. I tell you that most of the courses you did were from D. Pharm curriculum

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