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A day in the life of a Pharmacist - Bangladesh

I am a graduate pharmacist from Dhaka, Bangladesh. I completed my Bachelors and Masters degrees from Dhaka University. Pharmacy is a well respected profession in Bangladesh. Here, pharmacists are working in a wide range of industries such as in factories, pharmaceutical corporate offices, universities and government services. However, after my graduation I have chosen to work in the corporate office of a UK-based multinational pharmaceutical company.

On a typical work day, I start by checking my official mails and following up these on a priority basis. the rest of the day I am involved with any of:

  • Designing promotional materials for advertising and product promotion.
  • Doing sales analysis and pointing out poorly performing territories where urgent attention is required
  • Preparing presentations for the upcoming marketing or sales meetings
  • Training sales representatives on my assigned products
  • Closely work with other internal stakeholders like regulatory, medical, training, quality, HR or finance departments in some areas to facilitate some processes related to my assigned products.
  • Occasionally I do a random market visit to understand and get real insight from the market that helps in planning.

Getting this job was by no means an easy task! More than 500 applicants applied for this job. Some were either qualified pharmacists (mostly) or doctors. Among them, 12 applicants had been called for an initial interview and presentation. 3 applicants including me were selected from this pool for the final interview with the commercial director of the company. I was lucky enough to get the job because only one candidate was selected finally, and it was me.

As per the company policy, I went through some medical tests and preparatory training to judge my physical and mental fitness for this job. After joining as a product executive, I was a probationary employee for 9 months. It has been almost 3 years today since my joining. Currently, I am working in the marketing department as a senior product executive. I work 9.00 am to 6.00 pm to make my medicine brands grow.

There are several pharmaceutical product executive jobs being advertised here every month. But the competition has grown much stronger. Employers usually expect applicants to have B.Pharm/ M.Pharm/ MBBS degree. However, they also look out for an MBA in addition to those medical degrees. MBA qualified pharmacist are more preferred.

Employers usually offer 25,000 - 28,000 BDT/month to applicants with no prior experience which equals to $266.66 - $373.33 USD/month (75 BDT=1 USD as at Oct 2014). These employees will get $450 - $550 USD/month with 2/3 years of job experience. Adding to that, every employee working in a pharmaceutical company enjoys minimum 2 festival bonuses and one profit bonus after the end of the year. This amount varies widely from company to company. Salaries are very low here compared to other developed places in the world but living costs in Dhaka are cheap too.

(this article was contributed by a guest writer: S. Saha, a pharmacist in Bangladesh).


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