Doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) is a professional degree similar to that of other health sciences (e.g., medicine, dentistry). The program is of five (5) years duration and includes a combination of classroom lectures and laboratory-based learning. Clinical experience occurs during the fourth and fifth years and provides students with experiential training both in hospital pharmacy as well as advanced clinical roles in various specialty areas of medical sciences.
Preliminary foundation courses are taught during the first professional year, which helps in the orientation of students to pharmacy profession and prepare them for understanding the basic principles of drug synthesis, formulation and mechanism of action.
The second professional year covers three fundamental core subjects of pharmacy (e.g., Pharmacology & Therapeutics, Pharmaceutics and Pharmacognosy. During this year, students learn about how various drugs affect human body and how the body deals with drugs. Students also learn about the natural products its isolation, traditional uses and therapeutic uses. To strengthen the practical knowledge of students there is a scheduled tour of collection of medicinal plants from the medicinal plants rich areas such as Swat, Dir, Galyat etc. In this year, the students also get the opportunity to have frequent visits to nearby pharmaceutical industries to observe the process of formulation of tablets, capsules, syrups, injectable and other pharmaceutical manufacturing processes.
Two core subjects (i.e. Pharmacology, & Therapeutics and Pharmacognosy) are continued in the third year to broaden student knowledge in these areas. Students are also taught about analytical instruments and techniques employed for drug testing and analysis. Additionally, dispensing, community, social & administrative pharmacy is also taught during this year
During fourth year, students learn about important pharmacy practice areas including hospital pharmacy, clinical pharmacy and also about industrial pharmacy, quality control of drugs. In this year, the students pay scheduled visits to hospital for practical clinical observations.
In final year, pharmaceutical technology, medicinal chemistry, advanced clinical pharmacy, forensic pharmacy and pharmaceutical marketing and management are taught. It is during this year that students are required to undertake clinical clerkship project in hospital setting for a period of about three months. An industrial trip to various pharmaceutical industries is also an integral part of the Pharm-D curriculum.