Pharmacists compound and dispense prescribed pharmaceuticals and provide consultative services to both customers and healthcare providers. There are several types of Pharmacists with the most common being Industrial, Community, and Clinical Pharmacist. They are employed in retail and hospital pharmacies, pharmaceutical companies, government departments and agencies, or they may be self-employed, in which case they’ll be owning a pharmacy. Pharmacists may also participate in the research, development, promotion, and manufacture of pharmaceutical products.
Pharmacists may provide advice on how to lead a healthy lifestyle, offer expertise in the safe use of prescriptions, conduct health and wellness screenings, provide immunizations, and oversee the medications given to patients.
Here’s a non-exhaustive list of common tasks Pharmacists are required to complete.
- Filling and dispensing prescribed pharmaceuticals to customers or to other healthcare professionals and advising them on indications, contraindications, adverse effects, drug interactions, and dosage:
- Compounding prescribed pharmaceutical products by calculating, measuring, and mixing the quantities of drugs and other ingredients required and filling appropriate containers with correct quantity;
- checking prescriptions for proper dosage; and
- implementing proper pricing.
- Making sure that customers or hospital patients get the right medicines and treatments in the right doses:
- Maintaining accurate medication profiles and records of customers including registry of poisons and narcotics, as well as controlled drugs;
- recording patients’ histories related to medicinal use;
- providing treatments and advice to patients; and
- completing insurance forms and working with insurance companies to ensure that patients get the medicines they need.
- Conducting health checks, carrying out procedures such as pregnancy tests, checking cholesterol and blood pressure, and screening for diabetes.
- Advising customers on selection and use of non-prescription medication.
- Ensuring proper preparation, packaging, distribution, and storage of vaccines, serums, biologicals, and other drugs and pharmaceuticals.
- Developing information materials concerning the uses, properties, and risks of particular drugs.
- Evaluating labelling, packaging, and advertising of drug products:
- Promoting pharmaceutical products to health professionals.
- Ordering and maintaining the pharmaceutical supplies stock.
- Supervising and coordinating the activities of other pharmacists, pharmacy assistants, pharmacy technicians, and other staff.
- Participating in research for the development of new drugs:
- Formulating new drug products developed by medical researchers;
- testing new drug products for stability and to determine absorption and elimination patterns;
- coordinating clinical trials of new drugs; and
- controlling the quality of drug products during production to ensure that they meet standards of potency, purity, uniformity, stability, and safety.
- Ensuring company or hospital standard operating procedures, policies, professional standards, and applicable laws and regulations are followed.
- Staying updated on pharmacy regulations, treatments, and developments in research and design:
- Having extensive knowledge about the effects and appropriate circumstances for giving out a specific medication.
- Filling prescriptions verifying instructions from Physicians on the dosage.
- Checking whether the prescription will interact negatively with other drugs that a patient or customer is taking, as well as taking into account their medical condition.
- Instructing patients on how and when to take a prescribed medicine and informing them about potential side effects they may experience from taking the medicine.
- Advising patients about general health topics and selection and use of non-prescription medication.
- Giving flu shots and, depending on the country or province, other vaccinations.
- Overseeing the work of pharmacy technicians and other staff.
The average Pharmacist salary is $91,807 per year or $47 per hour. This is around 2.8 times more than the Median wage of the country. Entry level positions start at $64,000 while most experienced workers make up to $129,000. These results are based on 265 salaries extracted from job descriptions.