Pharmacy is the science and technique of preparing and dispensing drugs. It is a health profession that links health sciences with chemical sciences and aims to ensure the safe and effective use of pharmaceutical drugs.
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.
An establishment in which pharmacy (in the first sense) is practiced is called a pharmacy (this term is more common in the United States) or a chemist’s (which is more common in Great Britain). In the United States and Canada, drugstores commonly sell drugs, as well as miscellaneous items such as confectionary, cosmetics, office supplies, and magazines and occasionally refreshments and groceries.
Areas of pharmacy practice include:
- Disease-state management
- Clinical interventions (refusal to dispense a drug, recommendation to change and/or add a drug to a patient’s pharmacotherapy, dosage adjustments, etc.)
- Professional development.
- Pharmaceutical care
- Extemporaneous pharmaceutical compounding.
- Communication skills
- Health psychology
- Patient care