Medicines save lives and medical professionals who serve the role of a driving force behind this, are the pharmacists. The most important and crucial aspect of having a pharmacist on-board is the reduction in medicinal errors at the clinics and hospitals. That’s why the importance of the profession has turned into a necessity nowadays.
If we talk about hospitals in London, the Baddow Hospital has recently reopened as Phoenix Hospital Chelmsford. It is designed and developed with a mission to serve humanity and preserve the essence of helping others. Medical science has a variety of domains, and pharmacy represents a significant aspect representing its core values. The scope of pharmacy will be further elaborated upon in this article, as follows.
- Hospital Pharmacies: Hospital pharmacies provide complete support to the patients in terms of providing them medicines as well as relevant advice. They also facilitate the patients in terms of chemotherapy and sterile preparations. Oftentimes, a chemist is the one who provides the guidelines to the patients according to the directions of the doctor. Hospital pharmacies differ from community pharmacies as the latter handles more complex issues, such as involving the community to advise on their health issues.
- Non-Commercial Medicines: When it comes to patient care, the medical fraternity is bound to do all that it can to assist the patients. Some medications cannot be manufactured on a commercial basis and are needed to be prepared in a sterile environment as per the needs of the patient. To fulfill this need, the concept of compounding pharmacies come in, where pharmaceutical experts design and develop non-commercially available medicines in a designated area on a small scale. These pharmacies are specially licensed for the manufacturing and maintain long term record of the medication. Compounding pharmacies are not allowed to develop and dispense medicines that are commercially available in the market. This is done to ensure that the medicines being developed are provided to patients with specific health issues.
- Drug Regulatory Control: Active pharmaceutical ingredients can make any dose lethal with only a slight variation. Therefore, the placements and designation of pharmacists are made carefully to ensure appropriate regulation. The government is bound to develop policies for drug regulation to ensure patient safety and drug efficacy. The core responsibility of a pharmacist is to validate the quality of the products being manufactured by different organizations. Narcotic analgesics have been the center of focus of governmental organizations as they carry a risk of dependency and misuse. Here, the advice to the patient holds paramount importance to help them avoid drug addiction.
- Pharmaceutical Industry: Hospital pharmacies ensure the accessibility of medicines to patients, whereas these are originally manufactured in the pharmaceutical industry. There is a whole list of departments where pharmacists serve as industry experts for quality control, assurance, research, and development. Almost half of the industry is dependent on the services of a pharmacist, apart from human resources and finance. Nowadays, pharmacists are hired at warehouses and supply chain departments to ensure the storage and supply of the material used to manufacture the medicines.
- Pharmaceutical Academia: Teaching institutes play a major role in making pharmacy as a career of choice. People associated with the profession have also been observed switching their role to join the faculty to utilize their professional experience and reduce any gaps between the academia and professional pharmacies. Academia in pharmacy assists the students to become pharmacy professionals, but also in their research and Continuing Medical Education (CME) programs for students as well as postgraduates.
- Retail and Community Pharmacy: The concepts of retail and community pharmacy are often confused together. The core retail pharmacy is an outlet where medications are dispensed as per the prescription through a retail counter. If we expand this retail pharmacy to several pharmacies across the city, or across the country to function as a chain of pharmacies, then it will be called a community pharmacy. Another difference is the presence of a pharmacist at a community pharmacy, while there may only be a pharmacy technician or at the retail pharmacy. The methodology of dispensing medicine, however, is similar in both cases. The pharmacist at a community store is bound to check any errors and possible drug duplication.
- Clinical Pharmacy: Clinical pharmacy is a critical branch of pharmacy that deals with the role of the pharmacist in a clinical setting. A clinical pharmacist is an integral part of a healthcare team, working to improve the condition of the patients. The pharmacist develops a comprehensive drug therapy plan and identifies the specific problems of the patients. They are also responsible for reviewing the already prescribed medication for any potential adverse drug reactions (ADR) or drug interaction.
- Nuclear Pharmacy: Nuclear pharmacy is a new addition to the scope of pharmacy. This domain was not in consideration earlier as some of the radioactive elements had not been detected to be effective. A nuclear pharmacist has a clear understanding of the efficacy and the reactions caused by radioactive elements that have a vital role in the formation of certain medicines. The core role of these pharmacists is to make such elements beneficial for the patients.
- Differential Or Specialty Pharmacy: It is a kind of branch of pharmacy that includes the specialties of a pharmacist in managing chronic and long-term diseases such as diabetes, Mellitus, hypertension, rheumatoid arthritis, Parkinson’s, etc. It also has the responsibility of providing medication regimens to such patients on either a daily or weekly basis. Another important aspect of such pharmacies is that they conduct a follow up with certain patients.
The majority of domains in the pharmaceutical sector are still untapped and there is a need to raise awareness among the masses. One of these aspects is the e-pharmacy, which is now in highlights after the introduction of artificial intelligence in the sphere of medicines. The importance and presence of a pharmacy with a qualified pharmacist are as important as a drug license to a certain healthcare dispensation body.