Do you know that?
Pharmacy is the science and technique of preparing and dispensing drugs. It is a health profession that links health sciences with chemical and aims to ensure the safe and effective use of pharmaceutical.
The scope of pharmacy practice includes more traditional roles such as compounding and dispensing medications, and it also includes more modern services related to health care, including clinical services, reviewing medications for safety and efficacy, and providing drug information. Pharmacists, therefore, are the experts on drug therapy and are the primary health professionals who optimize use of medication for the benefit of the patients.
Profession of Pharmacy
Pharmacists work closely with the physician, other health professionals and the patient to help assure appropriate use of an ever-increasing spectrum of effective medications. A particular emphasis is educating and motivating patients with respect to the management of their drug therapy as related to their particular medical condition. Overall, the pharmacist is expected to provide pharmaceutical care that helps ensure that drug therapy is appropriate, safe, effective for the condition being treated and cost effective.
During the coming years, the trend toward the pharmacist being a provider of a wide range of pharmacy services will continue to be enhanced, especially in view of rapid advances in biotechnology and the use of technology. The pharmacist uses available patient data, information sources, monitoring processes and interpretive skills toward achieving the goals of optimal use and optimal outcomes from patients’ medications.
The pharmacy profession provides opportunities for pharmacists in hospital pharmacy, community pharmacy (chain or independently owned), home health care, long-term care (e.g., nursing homes), nuclear pharmacy, pharmaceutical industry (including areas of research, drug development, clinical trials, quality control, production, marketing and regulatory affairs) and specialty clinical practice areas (e.g., cardiology, cancer chemotherapy, nutritional support, drug information, pharmacokinetics, geriatrics, pediatrics and others).
The professional curriculum leading to the Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) provides the educational background to allow students to enter any of the practice areas of pharmacy. The curriculum also prepares a student to enter advanced study leading to the M.S. or Ph.D. degree in one of the pharmaceutical sciences (e.g., clinical pharmacy, medicinal chemistry, Pharmacognosy, pharmacology, toxicology, physical pharmacy, industrial pharmacy, pharmacokinetics or pharmacy administration), and post-graduate residency programs in general or specialty practice areas.
What does a pharmacist do?
Pharmacists are responsible for:
- the quality of medicines supplied to patients
- ensuring that the supply of medicines is within the law
- ensuring that the medicines prescribed to patients are suitable
- advising patients about medicines, including how to take them, what reactions may occur and answering patients' questions.
- supervise the medicines supply chain and ensure pharmacy premises and systems are fit for purpose
- advise other healthcare professionals about safe and effective medicines use, and safe and secure supply of medicines
- respond to patients' symptoms and advise on medicines for sale in pharmacies
- provide services to patients, such as smoking cessation, blood pressure measurement and cholesterol management
- supervise the production and preparation of medicines and assessments of quality of medicines before they are supplied to patients from pharmaceutical manufacturers.
Where do pharmacists work?
Pharmacists work in many different work environments. These include:
- Community pharmacies (sometimes called retail or high street pharmacy) and hospitals. Most pharmacists work in community and hospital pharmacy
- Pharmaceutical production or sales in the pharmaceutical industry
- Prisons, primary care organisations, universities in teaching and research, the military, veterinary pharmacy and pharmacy organisations.
A person calling themselves a pharmacist must be registered with the State Pharmacy Council of India.