Pharmacy



  • 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.
  • Pharmacists are medication experts who use their detailed knowledge of medicines to help patients get well. The methods they use vary from one practice setting to the next, but general pharmacist responsibilities include:
    • • Dispensing medications, assuring the safety and appropriateness of the prescribed therapy
    • • Monitoring patient health and progress to achieve the best medication results
    • • Partnering with consumers and patients to provide education and advice on the use of prescription and over-the-counter medications
    • • Collaborating with physicians, nurses, and other members of the health care team to provide expertise on drug decisions and improve patient outcomes
    • • Providing knowledge about the composition of drugs based upon their chemical, biological, and physical properties, as well as their manufacture and use
    • • Safeguarding drug purity and strength
  • There are many different types of pharmacy:
    • • community pharmacy
    • • hospital pharmacy
    • • clinical pharmacy
    • • industrial pharmacy
    • • compounding pharmacy
    • • consulting pharmacy
    • • ambulatory care pharmacy
    • • regulatory pharmacy
    • • home care pharmacy

Community Pharmacy

Also known as a retail pharmacy, the community pharmacy is the most well known type of pharmacy. It is this type that is most traditionally known as the pharmacist or chemist shop. A community pharmacist usually works in a store that provides the community with access to the medications they need, as well as advice to promote the safe and effective use of the medicines they provide. They can tell their customers what drugs may interact with each other or with alcohol, and help prevent dangerous or troublesome combinations or side-effects of medication. Helping patients with the reimbursement of drug expenses, supervising pharmacy technicians and keeping inventory of the drugs stocked also make up part of their duties.

Hospital Pharmacy

A hospital pharmacy is the place where the management of medications occurs in a hospital, medical clinic or nursing home. A hospital pharmacist often works in close collaboration with other health professionals to ensure that the medication regimen for each patient is optimized to achieve the best outcomes. They may also be involved with clinical trials, as well as compounding medications for individualized dosing or sterile medications. Teaching, administrative functions in the selection, proper storage, distribution and prescription protocols of drugs, education of medical staff in the aspects of selection, administration and monitoring of drug safety, as well as assessing drug levels and drug safety may all be part of their work. Hospital pharmacists may be inpatient or outpatient pharmacists, and may also specialize in one or other area of pharmacotherapy.

Clinical Pharmacy

The clinical pharmacy exists in a number of settings, including hospitals, nursing homes and other medical centers. The aim of clinical pharmacy is to ensure the optimal use of medications for the best outcomes through the provision of drug information and monitoring for drug safety and efficacy. They can predict drug interactions and so prevent many adverse reactions to medication.

Industrial Pharmacy

The industrial pharmacy involves the pharmaceutical industry and includes the research, production, packaging, quality control, marketing and sales of pharmaceutical goods. An industrial pharmacist may work as a representative for a particular pharmaceutical company to advocate for the use of its products, as well as to inform practitioners about their actions and benefits.

Compounding Pharmacy

A compounding pharmacy involves the production and preparation of medicines in new forms. This may include reformulating a powder tablet to a solution, which can assist in the administration of the drug for certain patients.

Consulting Pharmacy

The consulting pharmacy is a relatively new branch of pharmacy, born in 1990. It focuses on the theoretical review of medications rather than dispensing medicines. Consultant pharmacists often work in nursing homes or visit patients in-home to provide their services, in order to enable them to use medications most effectively.

Ambulatory Care Pharmacy

The ambulatory pharmacy provides healthcare services to many patients in rural areas, particularly to geriatric populations. These pharmacists help in the management of patients who are at higher risk of drug-related problems or disease complications due to lack of control over the condition. As ambulatory pharmacy is a mobile service that can meet patients where they are, and therefore help to reduce the number of hospital visits that their patients require. They are often directly or indirectly employees of a managed healthcare organization.

Regulatory Pharmacy

Also known as government pharmacy, regulatory pharmacy is responsible for creating rules and regulations for the safe use of medicine to promote positive health outcomes. This includes pharmacists working in public health and regulatory health boards, such as the Food and Drug Administration in the United States.

Home Care Pharmacy

Home care pharmacy primarily involves the preparation and delivery of injectables to critically ill patients in the home environment. This is also sometimes referred to as infusion pharmacy, as only injectable medications are dispensed, and not medication administered in other forms, such as oral or topical. They may major in one or the other area of illness, such as infusions for nutritional support, chemotherapy, mental illness or oncology.

Managed care pharmacy

Managed care pharmacy involves the planning and management of medication in health maintenance organizations, such as hospitals, nursing homes and extended healthcare centers.

Research pharmacy

Research pharmacists work on developing new drugs and profiling their actions, effectiveness, side-effects and interactions.

Specializations in Pharmacy

Some pharmacists may specialize in a certain area of drug therapy with a master’s degree or other continued learning. This helps them to gain proficiency and recognition to practice in specialized fields. This may include areas such as:

  • • Oncology pharmacy
  • • Nuclear pharmacy
  • • Geriatric pharmacy
  • • Psychopharmacotherapy
  • • Personal pharmacy
  • • Nutritional support pharmacy
  • • Hospice pharmacy

Top 3 Pharmacist Jobs

  • Pharmacist In Charge / Pharmacy Manager - Skin Specialty Solutions - Saint Louis, MOOur preferred PIC candidate will have an extensive knowledge in non-sterile compounding, pharmacy management, and regulatory compliance.
  • Pharmacist - Ascension - Murfreesboro, TNCompounds and dispenses medications for accurate delivery to patients. • Provides drug information and education to medical staff and patients
  • • PRN Pharmacist - MedStar Washington Hospital Center - Washington, DCEducation: • Pharm D. with a residency in pharmacy from an accredited college of pharmacy is required. Experience: • Less than one month of

Education for Pharmacists

  • Prospective pharmacists are required to have a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree, a postgraduate professional degree. In August 2017, there were 128 Doctor of Pharmacy programs fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE).
  • Admissions requirements vary by program, however, all Pharm.D. programs require applicants to take postsecondary courses such as chemistry, biology, and physics. Most programs require at least 2 years of undergraduate study, although some require a bachelor's degree. Most programs also require applicants to take the Pharmacy College Admissions Test (PCAT).
  • Pharm.D. programs usually take 4 years to finish, although some programs offer a 3-year option. Some schools admit high school graduates into a 6-year program. A Pharm.D. program includes courses in chemistry, pharmacology, and medical ethics. Students also complete supervised work experiences, sometimes referred to as internships, in different settings such as hospitals and retail pharmacies.
  • Some pharmacists who own their own pharmacy may choose to get a master's degree in business administration (MBA) in addition to their Pharm.D. degree. Others may get a degree in public health.
  • Pharmacists also must take continuing education courses throughout their career to keep up with the latest advances in pharmacological science.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations for Pharmacists

  • All states license pharmacists. After they finish the Pharm.D. program, prospective pharmacists must pass two exams to get a license. The North American Pharmacist Licensure Exam (NAPLEX) tests pharmacy skills and knowledge. The Multistate Pharmacy Jurisprudence Exam (MPJE) or a state-specific test on pharmacy law is also required. Applicants also must complete a number of hours as an intern, which varies by state.
  • Pharmacists who administer vaccinations and immunizations need to be certified in most states. States typically use the American Pharmacists Association's Pharmacy-Based Immunization Delivery program as a qualification for certification.
  • Pharmacists also may choose to earn a certification to show their advanced level of knowledge in a certain area. For instance, a pharmacist may become a Certified Diabetes Educator, a qualification offered by the National Certification Board for Diabetes Educators, or earn certification in a specialty area, such as nutrition or oncology, from the Board of Pharmacy Specialties. Certifications from both organizations require pharmacists to have varying degrees of work experience, to pass an exam, and pay a fee.

Pharmacist Salaries

  • The median annual wage for pharmacists is $122,230. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $87,120, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $157,950.
  • Most pharmacists work full time, although about 1 in 5 work part time. Because many pharmacies are open at all hours, some pharmacists work nights and weekends.

Job Outlook for Pharmacists

  • Employment of pharmacists is projected to grow 6 percent over the next ten years, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Several factors are likely to contribute to this increase.
  • Demand is projected to increase for pharmacists in a variety of healthcare settings, including hospitals and clinics. These facilities will need more pharmacists to oversee the medications given to patients and to provide patient care, performing tasks such as testing a patient's blood sugar or cholesterol.
  • The large baby-boom generation is aging, and older people typically use more prescription medicines than younger people. Higher rates of chronic diseases such as diabetes among all age groups will also lead to demand for prescription medications. In addition, scientific advances will lead to new drug products.
  • Employment of pharmacists in some traditional retail settings, like grocery stores, is projected to decline slightly as mail order and online pharmacy sales increase.

Job Prospects for Pharmacists

  • The number of pharmacy schools has grown in recent years, creating more pharmacy school graduates and therefore more competition for jobs. Students who choose to complete a residency program gain additional experience that may improve their job prospects. Certification from the Board of Pharmacy Specialties or as a Certified Diabetes Educator also may be viewed favorably by employers.

Biochemists and Biophysicists

  • Biochemists and biophysicists study the chemical and physical principles of living things and of biological processes, such as cell development, growth, heredity, and disease.

Medical Scientists

  • Medical scientists conduct research aimed at improving overall human health. They often use clinical trials and other investigative methods to reach their findings.

Pharmacy Technicians

  • Pharmacy technicians help pharmacists dispense prescription medication to customers or health professionals.

Physicians and Surgeons

  • Physicians and surgeons diagnose and treat injuries or illnesses. Physicians examine patients; take medical histories; prescribe medications; and order, perform, and interpret diagnostic tests. They counsel patients on diet, hygiene, and preventive healthcare. Surgeons operate on patients to treat injuries, such as broken bones; diseases, such as cancerous tumors; and deformities, such as cleft palates.

Registered Nurses

  • Registered nurses (RNs) provide and coordinate patient care, educate patients and the public about various health conditions, and provide advice and emotional support to patients and their family members.

Pharmaceuticals Jobs

  • Categories:Pharmaceuticals , Biotechnology , Healthcare -- Practitioners
  • Industries: Energy & Utilities, Financial Services, Edu., Gov't. & Nonprofit, Retail & Wholesale, Business Services,Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals, Insurance
  • Similar Job Titles: Pharmacist - Retail , Pharmacist Manager , Pharmacy Technician I , Assistant Pharmacy Director ,Nuclear Pharmacist , Clinical Pharmacist , Pharmacist - Home Care , Pharmacy Technician II , Online Pharmacist
  • Level of Education: Pharmacist Salaries with a Bachelor's Degree , Pharmacist Salaries with a Master's Degree or MBA ,Pharmacist Salaries with a JD, MD, PhD or Equivalent.

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