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Published on:March 2017
Indian Journal of Pharmaceutical Education and Research, 2017; 51(2):192-206
Original Article | doi:10.5530/ijper.51.2.25

Migration Trends of Pharmacy Students of Pakistan: A Study Investigating the Factors Behind Brain Drain of Pharmacy Professionals from Pakistan

Authors and affiliation (s):

Atta Abbas Naqvi1*, Fatima Zehra2, Syed Baqir Shyum Naqvi3, Rizwan Ahmad4, Niyaz Ahmad5, Saman Usmani3, Sehrish Badar3, Ishrat Younus3, Sarah Jameel Khan3

1Department of Pharmacy Practice, College of Clinical Pharmacy, University of Dammam, Dammam 31441, SAUDI ARABIA.

2Department of Social Sciences, Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology (SZABIST), Karachi 75600, PAKISTAN.

3Faculty of Pharmacy, Hamdard University, Madinat-ul-Hikmah, Sharae-al-Hikmah, Muhammad Bin Qasim Avenue, Karachi 74600, PAKISTAN.

4Natural Products and Alternative Medicines, College of Clinical Pharmacy, University of Dammam, Dammam 31441, SAUDI ARABIA.

5Department of Pharmaceutics, College of Clinical Pharmacy, University of Dammam, Dammam 31441, SAUDI ARABIA.


Background: Pakistan has witnessed a rise in the migration of professionals from the country in the last few years eventually leading to a brain drain. It is believed that the pharmacy students of Pakistan are ingrained with migration tendency. This study aimed to find out the factors influencing the trend, country of choice and reasons for migration. The study also looked into hurdles anticipated by the students during and after migration. Methods: A cross sectional study of 5 month duration was conducted in 3 cities of Pakistan targeting pharmacy students with a survey questionnaire. A total of 539 responses were gathered and analyzed in SPSS version 20. Descriptive statistics, cross tabs and chi square test were used. Results: The prevelance of emigration was found to be 94.06% (91.72% - 95.90% for 95% CI). The mean value of level of urgency was reported at 6.42/10 (SD 2.49). Lack of infrastructure for pharmacists and security issues in the country were major push factors for Pakistan (41.4%). Tough pharmacy license exam was reported as a major push factor for developed countries (21%). Family ties (46.2%) and desire to serve the country (33.6%) were major pull factors of Pakistan. More employment opportunities (24.7%) and lucrative salary (17.8%) were major pull factors for developed countries. USA was chosen as the most favored country for migration (24.9%) followed by Canada (21.9%). Conclusion: The pharmacy students appeared more poised to emigrate from Pakistan with high urgency. This idea was supported by pull factors of developed countries and push factors of Pakistan however, pull factors of Pakistan appeared promising in reducing the level of brain drain but it was unclear as to what extent this could overcome migration tendency.

Key words: Migration, Brain drain, Pharmacy, Students, Pakistan, Human migration, Pharmacy education, Pharmacy practice.



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The Official Journal of Association of Pharmaceutical Teachers of India (APTI)
(Registered under Registration of Societies Act XXI of 1860 No. 122 of 1966-1967, Lucknow)

Indian Journal of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (IJPER) [ISSN-0019-5464] is the official journal of Association of Pharmaceutical Teachers of India (APTI) and is being published since 1967.


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