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Navigating Public Policy Careers In India: A Guide For Pharmacy Students – IMPRI Impact And Policy Research Institute

Navigate Public Policy Careers in India: A Guide for Pharmacy Students

Dr Arjun Kumar

Introduction :

In a rapidly evolving global landscape, the role of public policy has become increasingly vital in addressing multifaceted challenges. For students of Pharmacy looking to make a meaningful impact beyond traditional healthcare settings, a career in public policy offers a dynamic and rewarding path. This article explores the intersection of Pharmacy and public policy in the Indian context, shedding light on potential career avenues and emphasizing the importance of specialized knowledge through platforms like IMPRI online courses.

Understanding the Nexus of Pharmacy and Public Policy  

Pharmacy, traditionally associated with dispensing medications and patient care, plays a crucial role in shaping public health outcomes. However, the impact of pharmaceutical practices extends far beyond the walls of a pharmacy or healthcare facility. Government policies and regulations significantly influence drug accessibility, affordability, and overall healthcare infrastructure. Recognizing this, students of Pharmacy can leverage their expertise to contribute to the development and implementation of effective public policies.

Key Areas of Impact  

1. Healthcare Policy Advocacy  : Pharmacy professionals can engage in advocating for policies that enhance healthcare accessibility, affordability, and quality. This includes participation in discussions on drug pricing, regulatory frameworks, and healthcare infrastructure development.

2. Public Health Initiatives  : Public policy interventions often target public health issues. Pharmacists can contribute to the design and execution of campaigns related to immunization, disease prevention, and health education.

3. Regulatory Affairs  : A deep understanding of pharmaceutical regulations is essential for maintaining quality and safety standards. Professionals in this field can contribute to the formulation and enforcement of regulatory policies.

4. Health Technology Assessment  : With the rise of innovative healthcare technologies, there is a growing need for experts who can assess their impact on public health. Pharmacy students can specialize in evaluating the cost-effectiveness and feasibility of new medical technologies.

Building a Career in Public Policy  

For Pharmacy students interested in transitioning into public policy roles, a strategic approach is essential. Here are steps to consider:

1. Education and Skill Development  : Beyond traditional pharmacy education, gaining insights into public policy is crucial. Online courses offered by platforms like IMPRI, such as “Introduction to Public Policy,” provide a foundational understanding of policy formulation and implementation.

2. Networking and Collaboration  : Building connections with professionals in the public policy domain is invaluable. Attend workshops, webinars, and conferences to meet experts and understand the current trends and challenges in the field.

3. Internships and Practical Experience  : Seek internships or projects that allow you to apply your pharmacy knowledge to real-world policy scenarios. This hands-on experience will enhance your understanding and make you more attractive to potential employers.

4. Specialisation : Consider specializing in a niche area within public policy, such as health economics, pharmaceutical policy, or regulatory affairs. This focused expertise will set you apart in the job market.

IMPRI Online Courses: A Gateway to Specialized Knowledge  

IMPRI (Impact and Policy Research Institute) offers a range of online courses designed to equip aspiring policy professionals with the skills and knowledge needed in the dynamic field of public policy. Pharmacy students can benefit from courses like:

1.  Pharmaceutical Policy and Regulation  : This course delves into the intricacies of pharmaceutical policy, providing insights into regulatory frameworks, drug pricing, and the role of pharmacy professionals in shaping policy.

2. Health Economics and Policy  : Understand the economic dimensions of healthcare and how policy decisions impact the pharmaceutical industry. This course explores the intersection of economics and public health.

3. Global Health Governance  : Gain a global perspective on health policies and governance structures. Explore the interconnectedness of health systems worldwide and the role of international organizations.

4. Public-Private Partnerships in Healthcare  : Learn about collaborative approaches to healthcare delivery and the role of the private sector in shaping public health policies.


A career in public policy for Pharmacy students in India is a promising avenue for those passionate about making a positive impact on public health. By combining their pharmaceutical expertise with a nuanced understanding of policy dynamics, these professionals can contribute significantly to shaping effective, evidence-based policies. The IMPRI online courses mentioned provide a valuable opportunity to acquire specialized knowledge and skills, paving the way for a fulfilling and impactful career at the intersection of Pharmacy and public policy.

Dr Arjun Kumar is the Director of the IMPRI Impact and Policy Research Institute, New Delhi.

Disclaimer: All views expressed in the article belong solely to the author and not necessarily to the organisation.

This article was posted by Tanu Paliwal , a research intern at IMPRI.

Read more by the author: Navigating Green Horizons: Careers in Public Policy for Environmental Studies Students in India.

  • Arjun Kumar is the Director of the Impact and Policy Research Institute (IMPRI), New Delhi. He holds a PhD in Economics from the Centre for the Study of Regional Development, School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi. With training in development economics, he specialises in quantitative and qualitative research methods, econometrics and the use of statistical software to crunch big data. He has been a Visiting Faculty at the Institute for Human Development (IHD) amongst others and has been associated with several think tanks, research institutes, governments, civil society organisations, and private enterprises. He is President of a Jharkhand based NGO (registered in 2010), Manavdhara- a youth social organisation working for humanitarian causes in backward regions and for marginalised communities. He has also taught Economics at the University of Delhi. His research interests are in the economy, development studies, housing and basic amenities, urban and regional research, inclusive and sustainable development, data and evidence-based policy, and, research methods. He has several research publications to his credit and has experience of being involved in research projects of international and national repute. He is also a member and part of various government and non-government formed committees, groups, and advisory boards overseeing the deliberation as subject matter expert and for possessing strong research acumen. He is an avid writer and frequently writes on various dimensions of economic issues, policies, and their impact for several eminent media platforms.


    IMPRI, a startup research think tank, is a platform for pro-active, independent, non-partisan and policy-based research. It contributes to debates and deliberations for action-based solutions to a host of strategic issues. IMPRI is committed to democracy, mobilization and community building.

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IMPRI, a startup research think tank, is a platform for pro-active, independent, non-partisan and policy-based research. It contributes to debates and deliberations for action-based solutions to a host of strategic issues. IMPRI is committed to democracy, mobilization and community building.


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