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Pharmacists distribute drugs approved by physicians and other health practitioners and supervise patient health. They recommend physicians and other health practitioners on the choice, dosages, interactions, and side effects of medications.

Pharmacists must appreciate the use; clinical effects; and composition of drugs, together with their chemical, biological, and physical properties. They protect the public guaranteeing drug purity and power.

The objective of pharmacy care is to make best use of positive health care outcomes and develop patients' quality of life with minimum risk. Most pharmacists work in a community setting, such as a retail drug store, or in a hospital or clinic.

Pharmacists in community and retail pharmacies

Pharmacists in community and retail pharmacies assist patients and reply questions about prescription drugs, including questions regarding probable side effects or interactions among diverse drugs.

They give information about over-the-counter drugs and make suggestion after chatting with the patient. They also may give recommendation about diet, exercise, or stress management, or about strong medical equipment and home healthcare supplies. They also may inclusive third-party insurance forms and other paperwork.

Those who own or administer community pharmacies may offer non-health-related merchandise, hire and control personnel, and supervise the general operation of the pharmacy. Some community pharmacists give particular services to help patients control conditions such as diabetes, asthma, smoking cessation, or high blood pressure. Some community pharmacists are also allowed to administer vaccinations.

Pharmacists in health care facilities

Pharmacists in health care facilities distribute medications and recommend the medical staff on the choice and effects of drugs. They may create sterile solutions to be administered intravenously.

They also assess, monitor and evaluate drug programs or regimens. They may give advices hospitalized patients on the utilization of drugs before the patients are discharged.


To work as a pharmacist one must possess a Doctor of Pharmacy degree, known as a Pharm.D. Pharm.D. programs are frequently four years long. To achieve admission one must have at least two years of college study with courses including math, chemistry, biology, physics, humanities and social sciences.

Many Pharm.D. programs also require candidates to receive the Pharmacy College Admissions Test. Doctor of Pharmacy programs contain coursework in pharmaceutics and pharmaceutical chemistry, pharmacology (effects of drugs on the body), toxicology and pharmacy administration.


Median annual wage and salary earnings of pharmacists in 2007 were $80,050. The middle 50 percent earned between $56,210 and $97,250 a year. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $50,110, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $97,570 a year. Median annual earnings in the industries providing work for the largest numbers of pharmacists in 2007 were as follows:

Grocery stores $78,270
Health and personal care stores $76,800
General medical and surgical hospitals $76,620