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Alternative Career For Pharmacist In Nigeria

Almost every blog on career opportunities for pharmacist within and outside Nigeria always outline five. They are;

  • Pharmacist in academia
  • Community pharmacist
  • Hospital pharmacist
  • Industrial pharmacist
  • Regulatory agency


Does that mean that all pharmacist that want to practice the profession must engage in only one of these five? Not really. The reason why they are popular is that they have stood the test of time. In addition, they almost cover the other aspect of the profession and they all need regulation. The other opportunities may not need regulation from Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (P.C.N).
Read Also: The Job And Duty Of A Pharmacist Explained
This blog has in some time past discussed on career opportunities for pharmacist and the job and duties of a pharmacist in the different sectors. However, this blog post is for those who may feel tire with the  the  routine of a regular pharmacy work or want a different thing from the norm. It will also outline side gigs for the pharmacist to earn does.
The pharmacy profession is a science-based one and very wide at that. There are many skills and knowledge gain over the years from study and training. These skills and knowledge can be leveraged to develop other aspects of the profession. It should be noted that the list is not exhaustive. However, the list here is putting in mind the working environment of the Nigerian pharmacist.

Alternative Career For Pharmacist


  1. Drug Marketer/Sale Representative: This is a very different business model as compared with community pharmacy. It is mostly based on importation or wholesale business. The pharmacist can work as an employee for a big company or an independent marketer for different companies. I must tell you this is very lucrative and a lot of pharmacist within Nigeria are really enjoying this business as it comes with many benefits. It involves buying in bulk, contacting potential customers by pushing the products to them. Pharmacist with good knowledge of different advertorial methods will do well here. You work at your own pace.
  2. Drug Research/Development: There are many governments owned establishment where drugs are designed and developed. However, an independent pharmacist can sell a project that has been developed from the scratch. In fact, this is one way to hit mega millions in a short time. This business is very lucrative in Nigeria as there are thousands of untamed herbs yet to be worked on which the government is ready to pay money to get a lead project. For example, if a herb is rumoured to cure malaria effectively and an independent pharmacist develops the active from the crude herb. The lead can be sold so that the big company will have the sole ownership after buying it and continue to develop it to the clinical stage. The higher the stage of selling it, the higher the pay. If the pharmacist sold the idea at extraction stage, the money paid will be smaller than when it was sold after clinical trials. However, the money invested at the clinical trial stage will be quiet high for an independent pharmacist.
    Alternative job for pharmacist in Nigeria
    Alternative job for pharmacist
  3. Journalism: And you think it is only trained journalist that works for a newspaper, then you need a new lesson. Who writes those health articles in the newspaper? A journalist? Think again. Trained health experts do most of those editorial works from pharmacist to medical doctors etc. To join a newspaper editorial group, the pharmacist may need an additional training for some weeks to months to learn the rudiments of writing for a newspaper.
  4. Medical Writer: Very close to journalism, a medical writer can write as a freelance agent for newspaper, blogs (could be personal) books etc.  The content can range from drugs and their side effects use etc. a very popular pharmacy blog if www.pharmacy-journals.com and www.pharmacytimes.com and a very popular book are where there is no doctor.
  5. Mobile Pharmacy: This is one of the fastest career opportunity happening in the world right now. Many sick persons can hardly access a drug store downhill to fill their prescription. Just as the world is moving towards home delivery, they wish their drugs could be delivered to their doorstep. They do not even consider the extra cash as it rather balances the cost of transportation to the drug store. A pharmacist that wish to succeed in this aspect of the profession must have a strong online presence where patients can order for their prescriptions to be filled.
  6. Alternative Medicine: What is going on right now is for random persons to come out as alternative medicine dealers going by the names of a doctor. The pharmacist that go into this aspect will find it fascinating, as they will be able to bring their wealth of experience into these alternative medicines, which can be herbal products. This is a very lucrative business in Africa right now as the world health organisation has shown to the world that alternative medicine (complementary medicine) is not bad. Statistics have shown that there is a recent surge in people embracing this.
  7. Health Seminars: Actually, this business model is not suitable for young pharmacist out there. Seminars are lectures delivered on occasions to people. It could be to patients or to other health professionals. Depending on the target audience, a successful pharmacist in a field of practice can be called upon to educate the audience. These lecturers are paid from their transport cost down to their feeding.

There are other alternative businesses for the pharmacist. This list is not very much but this list is the most relevant to the country of Nigeria. The others may not yield the positive result if carried out but that does not mean that it will be a total failure in the end. If you decide to carry out one of these may not guaranteed success and trying the others not listed may not lead to failure. The bottom line is that the other job opportunities for pharmacist out there. A good example that was not listed here is consultancy services. This business is not very common here even for medical doctors. For that reason, the possibility for it to work for a pharmacist is very slim.
This blog post only talked about alternative business for the pharmacist who wants to practice the profession. It does not contain business model for pharmacist outside the profession. Therefore, for pharmacist who do not want to have anything with the profession, there are other business opportunities for them using the valuable knowledge gained from the profession like analytical skills in accounting.
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