Pharmacology is defined as the study of the interaction of drugs with living systems. Pharmacology is an essential component in the study of pharmacy and is included as one of the six major areas of instruction in the pharmacy degree curriculum. Student pharmacists study pharmacology to learn the effects of various doses of medicinal substances, as well as the different ways in which medicine can be introduced into the body. The effects of poisons and the means to overcome them are studied in toxicology. Generally, animal tests are required to learn the strength of drugs. Physicians know a great deal about pharmacology and toxicology; yet, as the expert about medications, the pharmacist must maintain this knowledge to an even greater extent. This subject has a fascinating history and continues to be relevant in modern times. It deals with a number of questions.

For example:

  • What is the molecular site of action?
  • What are the changes caused by a drug in the normal function of tissues and organs?
  • What is the relationship between the dose of a drug and its effect?
  • How do drugs produce their effects,?and
  • What happens to drugs once they enter the body?

Since a drug is traditionally defined as a chemical that interacts with living systems, this subject has a very broad relevance from its obvious importance in the diagnosis and treatment of disease to the impact of abuse substances or environmental chemicals on societies.

Pharmacology is a rapidly growing, highly organized profession in which the role of the pharmacist has gained considerable importance with rapid advances and breakthroughs in the global pharmaceutical industry. In the next few years there is a distinct possibility of Indian pharmaceutical firms (Ranbaxy, Cadila, Dr. Reddy’s Labs, Wockhardt, Cipla etc. embarking on a recruitment spree of pharma professionals to manage their expanding world-wide businesses.