DNB Pharmacology: Admissions, Medical Colleges, Fee, Eligibility Criteria details

DNB Pharmacology or Diplomate of
National Board in Pharmacology also known as DNB in Pharmacology is a Postgraduate
level course for doctors in India that is done by them after completion of
their MBBS. The duration of this postgraduate course is 3 years, and it focuses
on the study of the effects of various types of drugs on different parts of the body. It involves the application of pharmacological methods and principles in the study of drugs in humans.

The course is a full-time course pursued at various accredited
institutes/hospitals across the country. Some of the top accredited
institutes/hospitals offering this course are- Associated
Hospital Government Medical College-  Kathua, Jammu and Kashmir, Government Medical College, and Associated Hospital- Anantnag, Jammu and

Admission to this course is done through the NEET PG Entrance exam
conducted by the National Board of Examinations, followed by counselling based
on the scores of the exam that is conducted by DGHS/MCC/State

The fee for
pursuing DNB (Pharmacology) from accredited institutes/hospitals is Rs 1,25,000 to Rs 2,40,000 per year.

After completion of their respective course, doctors can either join the
job market or pursue a super-specialization course where DNB Pharmacology
is a feeder qualification. Candidates can take reputed jobs at positions as
Senior residents, Junior Consultants, Consultants, etc. with an approximate salary
range of Rs. 4 Lakh to Rs 13 Lakh per

DNB is
equivalent to MD/MS/DM/MCh degrees awarded respectively in medical and surgical
super specialties. The
list of recognized qualifications awarded by the Board in various broad and
super specialties as approved by the Government of India are included in the
first schedule of the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956.

The Diplomate
of National Board in broad-specialty qualifications and super specialty
qualifications when granted in a medical institution with the attached hospital
or in a hospital with the strength of five hundred or more beds, by the
National Board of Examinations, shall be equivalent in all respects to the
corresponding postgraduate qualification and the super-specialty qualification
granted under the Act, but in all other cases, senior residency in a medical
college for an additional period of one year shall be required for such
qualification to be equivalent for the purposes of teaching also.

What is DNB in Pharmacology?

Diplomate of National Board in Pharmacology, also
known as DNB (Pharmacology) or DNB in Pharmacology is a three-year postgraduate programme that
candidates can pursue after completing MBBS.

Pharmacology is the branch of medical science
dealing with the application of pharmacological methods and principles in the study of drugs in humans.

The National
Board of Examinations (NBE) has released a curriculum for DNB in Pharmacology.

The curriculum governs the education and training of DNBs in Pharmacology.

PG education intends to create
specialists who can contribute to high-quality health care and advances in
science through research and training.

The required training done by a
postgraduate specialist in the field of Pharmacology
would help the specialist recognize the community’s health needs. The student
should be competent to handle medical problems effectively and should be aware
of the recent advances in their speciality.

The candidate should be a highly
competent specialist in Pharmacology possessing a broad range of skills that will enable her/him
to practice Pharmacology
independently. The PG candidate should also acquire the basic skills in the
teaching medical/para-medical students.

The candidate is also expected to
know the principles of research methodology and modes of the consulting
library. The candidate should regularly attend conferences, workshops, and CMEs
to upgrade her/ his knowledge.

Course Highlights

Here are some of the course highlights of DNB in Pharmacology

Name of Course

DNB in Pharmacology



Duration of Course

Three years

Course Mode

Full Time

Minimum Academic Requirement

MBBS degree obtained from any
college/university recognized by the Medical Council of India (now NMC)

Admission Process / Entrance Process /
Entrance Modalities

Entrance Exam (NEET PG)

Course Fees

Rs 1,25,000 to Rs 2,40,000 per year

Average Salary

Rs. 4 Lakh to Rs 13 Lakh per year

Eligibility Criteria

The eligibility
criteria for DNB in Pharmacology are
defined as the set of rules or minimum prerequisites that aspirants must meet
in order to be eligible for admission, which includes:

  • Candidates must
    be in possession of an undergraduate MBBS degree from any college/university
    recognized by the Medical Council of India (MCI) now NMC.
  • Candidates should have done a compulsory rotating
    internship of one year in a teaching institution or other institution which is
    recognized by the Medical Council of India (MCI) now NMC.
  • The candidate must have obtained permanent
    registration of any State Medical Council to be eligible for admission.
  • The medical college’s recognition cut-off
    dates for the MBBS Degree courses and compulsory rotatory Internship shall be
    as prescribed by the Medical Council of India (now NMC).
  • Candidates who have passed the final
    examination, leading to the award of a Post Graduate Degree (MD/MS) from an
    Indian University, which is duly recognized as per provisions of the National
    Medical Commission (NMC) Act, 2019 and the first schedule of the IMC Act can
    apply for the DNB Final examination in the same broad specialty.

Admission Process

The admission process contains a few steps to
be followed in order by the candidates for admission to DNB in Pharmacology. Candidates can view the complete admission
process for DNB in Pharmacology
mentioned below:

  • The NEET PG or National Eligibility Entrance
    Test for Post Graduate is a national-level master’s level examination conducted
    by the NBE for admission to MD/MS/PG Diploma Courses.
  • The
    requirement of eligibility criteria for participation in counselling towards PG
    seat allotment conducted by the concerned counselling authority shall be in
    lieu of the Post Graduate Medical Education Regulations (as per the latest
    amendment) notified by the MCI (now NMC) with prior approval of MoHFW.



Eligibility Criteria



50th Percentile


SC/ST/OBC (Including PWD of SC/ST/OBC)

40th Percentile



45th Percentile

Fees Structure

The fee structure for DNB in Pharmacology varies from
accredited institute/hospital to hospital. The fee is generally less for
Government Institutes and more for private institutes. The average fee structure for DNB in Pharmacology is Rs 1,25,000 to Rs 2,40,000 per year.

Colleges offering DNB in Pharmacology

Various accredited
institutes/hospitals across India offer courses for pursuing DNB (Pharmacology).

As per the National Board of
Examinations website, the following accredited institutes/hospitals are
offering DNB (Pharmacology) courses
for the academic year 2022-23.



No. of
Accredited Seat(s)

Hospital Government Medical College
Nh1a , Kathua,
Jammu and Kashmir
Jammu and



Medical College and Associated Hospital
Janglat Mandi,
Jammu and




in Pharmacology is a three years specialization course which
provides training in the stream of Pharmacology.

The course
content for DNB in Pharmacology is given in the NBE Curriculum released by the National Board of
Examinations, which can be assessed through the link mentioned below:

The post-graduate students in D.N.B. (Pharmacology) shall undergo a 3 – year (6 terms of 6 months each) training that will comprise of the following:

1. Theory: (lectures, seminars, group discussion, journal review, etc.)

2. Practical training

3. Thesis and Dissertation

4. Teaching Skills


Theory covering the following broad topics:

a. Basic & molecular pharmacology

b. Biochemical pharmacology

c. Clinical pharmacology

d. Clinical Pharmacokinetics

e. Drugs acting on Synaptic & Neuroeffector junctional sites

• Autonomic Nervous System

• Peripheral Nervous System

• Central Nervous System

f. Drugs modifying renal function

g. Drugs acting on cardiovascular system and haemostatic mechanisms

h. Reproductive Pharmacology

i. Pharmacology of endocrines

j. Agents effecting calcification and bone turnover

k. Autacoids and related pharmacological agents

l. Gastrointestinal drugs

m. Pharmacology of drugs affecting the respiratory system

n. Chemotherapy of microbial and parasitic diseases

o. Chemotherapy of neoplastic disease

p. Dermatological pharmacology

q. Ocular pharmacology

r. Immunomodulators – immunosuppressants and immunostimulants

s. Pharmacology of drugs used in metabolic syndromes

t. Evidence based medicine and rational use of medicine

u. Herbal Drug

v. Drug delivery systems

w. Heavy metals and heavy metal antagonists

x. Non-metallic toxicants – Air pollutants, pesticides etc.

y. Research methodology and biostatistics

z. Environmental Pharmacology

aa. Basic and Clinical Toxicology

bb. Pharmacoeconomics

cc. Pharmacoepidemiology

dd. Pharmacovigilance

ee. Pharmacogenomics

ff. Gene therapy

gg. Stem cell research

hh. Pharmacometrics-Methods of Evaluation

ii. Medical education techniques and technology

General Pharmacological Principles & Allied Sciences

Theories and mechanism of drug action, Pharmacokinetic principles and parameters, Factors modifying drug action, Pharmacogenetics, Chronopharmacology, Adverse effects of drugs, Drug dependence, Toxicology, Dose response relationships, Structure-activity relationships, Physiological and biochemical basis of drug action, Etiopathogenesis of diseases relevant to therapeutic use of drugs, basic microbiology, Immunology and molecular biology, History of pharmacology, sources of drug information and Use of information technology.

Systemic Pharmacology, Chemotherapy and Therapeutics

Pharmacology of drugs acting on autonomic, peripheral and central nervous systems; cardiovascular, endocrine, respiratory, renal, gastrointestinal and haemopoietic systems, treatment of diseases affecting these systems. Pharmacology of anti- microbial and anti-parasitic drugs and treatment of infective diseases; cancer chemotherapy, immunopharmacology, gene therapy and evidence based medicine.

Experimental Pharmacology, Bioassay and Statistics

Experimental methodologies involved in the discovery of drugs (in vivo, in vitro, ex vivo). Animal handling and animal care. Methods of anaesthetizing animals and methods of euthanasia. Restraining and blood collection methods. Drug screening methods.

Instrumentation in Drug Analysis

Qualitative testing, titrimetric analysis. Beer and Lambert’s law. Basis and working principle of colorimeter, ultraviolet, atomic absorption spectrometers, Fluorescence spectroscopy, NMR, and Mass Spectroscopy. Basics of Chromatography. Partition, absorption and ion exchange chromatography.

Clinical Pharmacology Recent Advances

Development of new drugs, protocol designing, phases, methodology and ethics of clinical trials, clinical pharmacokinetics and phramcodynamic studies, post marketing surveillance, therapeutic drug monitoring, pharmacovigilance, ADR monitoring, Drug information service, drug utilization studies, therapeutic audit, essential drug concept and rational prescribing, GLP and GMP. Recent advances in understanding of mechanism of drug action and treatment of diseases; new drugs and new uses of old drugs.

Clinical Trials

• Clinical trial for a new investigational drug in India. Methods involved in the assessment of drugs in human volunteers and bio-equivalence studies. Key points in drafting protocol for a large scale multicentric drug trial in India.

• Practical skills: Draft a protocol to conduct phase II clinical trial for a newly discovered non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug.

Therapeutic Drug Monitoring (TDM)

• Basic principles of TDM. Therapeutic index. Trough level monitoring and dosage adjustments. Practical skills: Calculation of the next dosage of drug to the patient whose plasma drug level has been estimated Therapeutic audit: Drug utilization studies, essential drug concept, rational prescribing

• Drug delivery systems: sustained release, enteric coated formulations and liposome etc.

• Pharmacovigilance, Pharmacoeconomics, Pharmacogenetics and Drug Information


• Experimental Pharmacology: In vitro (including bioassays), in vivo (including common methods of drug evaluation) experiments and toxicity tests

• Biochemical Pharmacology: Identification of drug/toxin by using chemical, biological and analytical tests.

Clinical Pharmacology:

• Evaluation of drugs in healthy volunteers as well as patients

• Critical evaluation of drug literature, pharmacoeconomics, pharmacovigilance and pharmacoepidemiology etc.

Experimental Pharmacology


• Study of basic instruments used for isolated tissue experiments

• Study of basic animal techniques

• Techniques for injection of drugs and collection of blood samples, feeding of animals, etc.

• Techniques of Euthanasia

• Different laboratory animals and their application in experimental pharmacology, breeding data, housing and maintenance and animal feeds

• Preparation and administration of a drug solution in appropriate strength and volume.

In vitro Experiments:

• Dose Response curves of agonists on various biological tissues

• Effects of drugs on various biological tissues like:

> Isolated Rabbit/Guinea-pig/Rat Intestine

> Isolated rat uterus

> Isolated Guinea pig tracheal chain (histamine and histamine antagonists cumulative DRC)

> Langendorff ‘ s heart preparation (Study of different drugs on isolated perfus rabbit heart)

• Bioassay (by using different methods):

> Adrenaline on Rabbit/Guinea-pig/Rat intestine/duodenum

> Histamine on Guinea-pig ileum / Tracheal chain

> Acetylcholine on rat colon

> Mepyramine on guinea pig ileum

> 5-HT on rat fundus strip / estrogen primed rat uterus

• Demonstration of competitive antagonism using suitable in vitro methods

• Determination of EC50, ED50, pD2 and pA2 values of drugs

In vivo Experiments:

• Study of drugs using various psychopharmacological techniques

• Effect of mydiatrics and miotics on rabbit eye

• Study of CNS stimulants and depressants using photoactometer

• Study of antiepileptic drugs by using animal models of epilepsy

• Study of analgesics using animal methods of analgesia

• Study of anti-inflammatory drugs using carageenin induced rat paw edema and other methods if possible

• Study of histamine aerosol induced bronchospasm and its antagonism by antihistamines

Anaesthetized animal studies:

• Anesthetics used in laboratory animals

• Recording of blood pressure and respiration of anesthetized animals and Identification of unknown drug based on responses

• Demonstration of head drop with dTC and its reversal

• Study of local anesthetics by various animal techniques

Biochemical Pharmacology

• Introduction to simple analytical Methods-Basic principles and applications

• Quantitative estimation using Colorimetry and Spectrophotometry, flame photometry, HPLC, ELISA etc.

• Toxicological Studies using chemical and biological tests

• Identifying toxic drugs using chemical and biological tests (alkaloids, glycosides, steroids, barbiturates, salicylates)

Clinical Pharmacology

• Preparation of protocol for human experiments/clinical trials

>Schedule Y

> ICH-GCP Guidelines

> ICMR GCP Guidelines

> ICMR Genetic Guidelines

• Preparation of patient information sheet and Informed consent form for human experiments

• Evaluation of promotional drug literature

• Preparation of “Drug Information Sheet” (WHO criteria)

• Preparing standard operative practice for Bioavailability and bioequivalence studies

• Interpretation of bioavailability parameters with the help of given pharmacokinetics data

Clinical Pharmacy

• Dosage forms and calculations

• Evaluation of fixed dose combinations

• Instructions for use of dosage forms

• Communication skills regarding use of drugs

Computer Skills

• Use of audio-visual aids

• Use of computers in education, communication and research

• Use of computers for simulated experiments

Research Methodology:

• Literature search and bibliography

• Data management and presentation

• GCP and GLP

• Formulation of research topic, study design, blinding procedures and protocol writing

• Ethical principles of animal & human experimentation, Publication ethics


• Sampling techniques, randomization, sample size estimation

• Scales of measurement, data display, and measures of central tendency (mean, median, mode)

• Dispersion of data (variance, standard deviation)

• Selection of tests (of significance) and their applicability

• Correlation and regression analysis

• And any other Statistical methodology as applicable

• Statistical software


• Dissertation on a suitable problem

• Training and teaching skills


The PG students are to be encouraged to largely carry out self-learning with the help of libraries and teachers. Preponderance of didactic teaching is to be avoided. They are expected to actively seek knowledge and skills on their own initiative. Sound knowledge of general and systemic pharmacology including therapeutics of graduate level is to be acquired by self-study and by participating in the teaching of graduate students.

P.G. Lectures, Seminars & Journal Club: These are to be held once a week and are to include talks delivered by qualified faculty members of Pharmacology as well as allied disciplines. Topics of interest common to PGs of other basic and/or clinical disciplines (e.g. statistics, educational science, communication skills, information technology, biomedical ethics, and human behavior) could be covered in programs drawn out jointly with other departments. Suggested topics for multidisciplinary teaching (Appendix 1), PG lectures (Appendix 2) and PG seminars, experimental methods discussion. A timetable of these programs should be drawn every 6 months. Each PG student should present at least 4-6 seminars every year and actively participate in seminars presented by other PGs.

Practical exercises: The PG students will perform experimental pharmacology and chemical pharmacology exercises once a week under the supervision of a faculty member, who will also hold a group discussion on the exercise after it is completed. On other days, PGs should repeat the experiment until they acquire adequate skill and dexterity in the technique. The PGs should be encouraged to develop confidence in handling laboratory animals and instruments. The PGs will maintain a detailed record of the exercises performed by them and get it checked by a faculty member.

Teaching: The PG students is to participate in all aspects of graduate teaching, especially practical, demonstrations and tutorials. In the first 6 months they should be attached to senior group teachers. Subsequently they should be given independent charge of a group. One or two graduate lecture classes should also be allocated to each PG student in the 2nd and 3rd year of course. A faculty member should attend these lectures and give constructive suggestions for improvement.

Intradepartmental postings: Every PG student should be posted by rotation to the different sections/laboratories of the Pharmacology department, viz. experimental pharmacology, chemical pharmacology and drug assay, clinical pharmacology including ADR monitoring and drug information service, toxicology. A two weeks part time posting to the hospital pharmacy should be arranged so that the PG student could learn drug procurement, storage, record keeping, dispensing and quality control. A record of the observations made and lessons learnt should be maintained by the students in logbooks.

Posting in allied disciplines: Every PG student should be posted for two weeks each to the physiology, biochemistry, microbiology and medicine departments on part time basis to learn the techniques and instrumentation being used in these departments. The schedule for these postings should be drawn every year in consultation with these departments.

Ward rounds: In consultation with major clinical departments, arrangement should be made that the PG students of pharmacology attend the ward rounds once a week to get an exposure to the trends in the use of drugs Hospital Posting: One month of casualty posting will be compulsory.

Conferences/Workshops: The PG students should be encouraged to attend national/regional pharmacology conferences. Attendance at a minimum one conference during the 3-year course is mandatory. Credits should be given for attending more conferences and making poster/oral presentations at these. At least one research paper / Abstract should be Published/Accepted.

Desirable: A six month rotating posting is desirable in the allied subjects, a limited period (maximum three months) of internship during the course and they may also be allowed training in a pharmaceutical company / contract research organization or a state/national research laboratory / organization Biostatistics, Research Methodology and Clinical Epidemiology Ethics Medico legal aspects relevant to the discipline Health Policy issues as may be applicable to the discipline.

Career Options

After completing a DNB in Pharmacology, candidates will get employment opportunities
in Government as well as in the Private sector.

In the Government sector, candidates have various options to
choose from, including Registrar, Senior Resident, Demonstrator, Tutor, etc.

in the Private sector the options include Resident Doctor, Consultant, Visiting
Consultant (Pharmacology), Junior Consultant, Senior
Consultant (Pharmacology), Consultant Pharmacology
Specialist, etc.

Courses After DNB in Pharmacology Course

DNB in Pharmacology is a
specialization course that can be pursued after finishing MBBS. After pursuing
a specialization in DNB (Pharmacology),
a candidate could also pursue super specialization courses recognized by NMC,
where DNB (Pharmacology) is a feeder

DM Clinical Pharmacology is the course that requires DNB (Pharmacology) as a feeder qualification

Asked Questions (FAQs) – DNB in Pharmacology

Question: What is a DNB in Pharmacology?

Answer: DNB Pharmacology or Diplomate of National Board in Pharmacology also
known as DNB in Pharmacology is
a Postgraduate level course for doctors in India that is done by them after
completion of their MBBS.

Question: Is DNB in Pharmacology equivalent to
MD in Pharmacology?

Answer: DNB in Pharmacology is equivalent
to MD in Pharmacology, the list of recognized
qualifications awarded by NBE in various broad and super specialties as
approved by the Government of India are included in the first schedule of the
Indian Medical Council Act, 1956.

Question: What is the
duration of a DNB in Pharmacology?

Answer: DNB in Pharmacology is a postgraduate programme of three years.

Question: What is the eligibility
of a DNB in Pharmacology?

Answer: Candidates must be in possession of an
undergraduate MBBS degree from any college/university recognized by the Medical
Council of India (now NMC).

Question: What is the scope of a DNB in Pharmacology?

Answer: DNB
in Pharmacology offers candidates various employment opportunities and
career prospects.

Question: What is the average salary for an DNB in Pharmacology postgraduate

Answer: The DNB in Pharmacology candidate’s
average salary is between Rs. 4 Lakh to Rs 13 Lakh per year depending on the experience.

Question: Are DNB Pharmacology and MD Pharmacology
equivalent for pursuing teaching jobs?

Answer: The Diplomate of National Board in
broad-speciality qualifications and super speciality qualifications when
granted in a medical institution with attached hospital or in a hospital with
the strength of five hundred or more beds, by the National Board of
Examinations, shall be equivalent in all respects to the corresponding
postgraduate qualification and the super-speciality qualification granted under
the Act, but in all other cases, senior residency in a medical college for an
additional period of one year shall be required for such qualification to be
equivalent for the purposes of teaching also.

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