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Pharmacy at the universities of the Czech Republic

Vladislav Myrsin

2 July 2023

#EDUCATION

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Pharmacy is a very perspective study choice for applicants who are interested in Chemistry and are ready for an intense study. It is a difficult and interesting speciality that has a promising future in the modern world.

The concept of the pharmaceutical education in the Czech Republic corresponds with European standards and modern trends: an emphasis is placed on the clinical pharmacology and pharmacoeconomics.

There is no such competition to the Pharmaceutical Sciences study programs as there is to the Medicine ones in the Czech universities (admission success equals 60-80%). However, studying at the Pharmacy departments in the Czech Republic is as difficult as at the Medicine ones.

A pharmacy technician is always in high demand on the labor market in the Czech Republic. The unemployment percentage among the graduates of the Pharmaceutical departments is almost zero.

The concept of the pharmacy in the Czech Republic is the development of the customized medicine

The history of the pharmaceutical education in the Czech Republic began with the establishment of Charles University in the XIV century. These days students may choose between two faculties that offer pharmaceutical education in the Czech Republic: the Faculty of Pharmacy in Hradec Králové at Charles University and the Faculty of Pharmacy at Masaryk University in Brno.

Moreover, the Faculty of Pharmacy in Masaryk University in Brno is an absolutely new faculty with modern concept. Pharmacy was taught at University of Veterinary Sciences Brno until the academic year 2020-2021.

The Faculty of Pharmacy moved due to the urgent need to make a stronger connection between education and science in the field of pharmacy with medical and natural sciences that are taught at Masaryk University.

It is worth mentioning that Masaryk University in Brno is one of the most fast developing universities in Europe. It is the place where new programs and learning frameworks are created. According to the rector of Masaryk University Martin Bareš, a strong interrelation between pharmacy, medicine and natural science is important for the development of the customized medicine, necessary for the improvement of the health and quality of life in our society, that is about to change in the age structure of the population and due to the risk of epidemics like COVID-19.

Pharmacy at the universities in the Czech Republic: about the program

The Master's pharmacy technician continuous study period in the Czech Republic is five years. The study program corresponds to the modern state of the pharmaceutical sciences and needs of the Czech and European practice, as well as meets the goals of the European Association of Faculties of Pharmacy.

Organic and Inorganic Chemistry, Biophysics, Latin, Pharmacology, and Molecular Biology are main subjects to study. Students undertake a compulsory six months pharmacy practice.

Graduates of the «Pharmacy» study program are qualified medical professionals with theoretical and practical knowledge in the field of drugs and drug products, pharmaceutical technologies, physical, chemical, biological, microbiological, and clinical assessment of drugs and drug products.

The study program allows students to choose a specialization on their own. The graduates are qualified to provide information about the drugs and consult about preventive measures and early disease diagnosis, health promotion and drug application by the health care professionals and the public.

Which is the better place for studying the pharmacy: Hradec Králové or Brno? Following the opinion of the Czech students, the faculty in Brno, first of all, is focused on the pharmacy practice, while that in Hradec Králové places an emphasis on the research.

Pharmacy at Charles University

The Faculty of Pharmacy at Charles University is one of the leading universities in the Czech Republic in terms of the scientific activities. Faculty researches are published in the most prestigious scientific magazines and fellows of Faculty are the authors of series of patents and inventions.

The entrance exam to the Faculty of Pharmacy at Charles University in Hradec Králové is conducted at one stage and consists of two tests: Chemistry and Biology (including Botanics). Each test consists of 50 questions. Applicants must show the level of knowledge of a Czech gymnasium graduate. It is allowed to use a simple calculator during the exam.

Last year, 556 applicants out of 667 ones were successfully admitted to the «Pharmacy».

Pharmacy at Masaryk University

The concept of the Faculty of Pharmacy at Masaryk University is based on a close cooperation of medicine and pharmacy, which aims to provide personalized approach to the patient. The goal is to develop perspective and rational pharmacotherapy. Masaryk University provides not only the faculty's clinics and close contact with patients to the Faculty of Pharmacy but rather a profound scientific foundation in natural sciences. It also has a Drug Plant Center.

The entrance exam consists of 4 written tests in the following areas: Biology (35 questions), Chemistry (35 questions), Physics (25 questions) and general prerequisites for learning (15 questions).

Last year, 583 applications were submitted to the Faculty of Pharmacy in Brno, 395 of them took the exam and 245 of the latter were successfully admitted.

Pharmacy in English

Studying in Czech at the universities of the Czech Republic is free. Learning Pharmacy in English is also possible but on a fee-paying basis. Tuition fee for one academic year of studying at the Faculty of Pharmacy at Charles University is 7 600 euros, while that at the Faculty of Pharmacy at Masaryk University is 6 700 euros.

Alternative options: production and drug analysis

One of the largest universities in the area of chemistry in Central and Eastern Europe, University of Chemistry and Technology, is located in the Czech Republic, Prague.

University of Chemistry and Technology does not have a specialization in «Pharmacy» but offers the study program «Synthesis and Production of Drugs» and prepare professionals for the pharmaceutical industry. This program is a perfect choice for those applicants who are interested in the Pharmacy but do not want to work in the pharmacies.

In addition, there is also a specialization «Drug analysis» that prepares drug control and registration professional.

Admittance to these programs at University of Chemistry and Technology does not require any entrance exams. In fact, applicants are admitted based on a rating compiled from their grades in Chemistry and Mathematics for the last four years of school.

Foreign applicants will additionally have to take an examination in Czech at the Department of languages. The examination consists of a written test in Czech at B2 level that includes natural science terminology and an oral test of basic terminology in Chemistry and Mathematics.

How to prepare for the admission to the Pharmacy in the universities of the Czech Republic

The key is to know unexceptionably the Chemistry program of the Czech gymnasium. You will also need good knowledge of Biology and Physics.

Preparation for the admission to studying Pharmacy relates to that of Medicine. There is no such big competition to the Pharmacy as it is to the Medicine but you will need same profound knowledge base. The program "Admission to the Medicine" prepares students for the entrance exams with help of a Czech teacher, provides necessary vocabulary and test training.

Foreign applicants are not required to provide certificates on Czech knowledge in order to apply to the Faculty of Pharmacy. However, applicants not only need to know the Czech at B2 level but also to be familiar with special terminology in order to pass entrance exams.

After the graduation

Graduates of the study program «Pharmacy» have wide employment opportunities in the Czech Republic. The graduates do not have to work in pharmacies, they may do the research or became representatives of the pharmaceutical companies.

The average salary of a pharmacy technician in the Czech Republic is 45 000 CZK. Even the first salary of a graduate of a department of Pharmacy, for instance, in the Czech Republic largest chain of pharmacies Dr. Max is 40 000 CZK.

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