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. Pharmacists dispense prescription medications to patients and offer expertise in the safe use of prescriptions. They also may provide advice on how to lead a healthy lifestyle, conduct health and wellness screenings, provide immunizations, and oversee the medications given to patients.
Pharmacists typically do the following:
i. Fill prescriptions, verifying instructions from physicians on the proper amounts of medication to give to patients
ii. Check whether the prescription will interact negatively with other drugs that a patient is taking or any medical conditions the patient has
iii. Instruct patients on how and when to take a prescribed medicine and inform them about potential side effects they may experience from taking the medicine
iv. Advise patients about general health topics, such as diet, exercise, and managing stress, and on other issues, such as what equipment or supplies would be best to treat a health problem
v. Give flu shots and, in most states, other vaccinations
vi. Complete insurance forms and work with insurance companies to ensure that patients get the medicines they need
vii. Oversee the work of pharmacy technicians and pharmacists in training (interns)
viii. Keep records and do other administrative tasks
ix. Teach other healthcare practitioners about proper medication therapies for patients etc.