Community pharmacy

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A community pharmacy is a healthcare facility that is able to provide pharmacy services to people in the local area.[1] A community pharmacy dispenses medicines, typically this involves a registered pharmacist with the education, skills and competence to deliver the professional service to the community.


The International Pharmaceutical Federation have set out their vision that community-based pharmacists should be:[2]

Pharmaceutical care[edit]

Community-based pharmacists may have responsibilities checking and dispensing of prescription drugs, providing advice on drug selection and usage to doctors and other health professionals, counselling patients in health promotion, disease prevention and the proper use of medicines.[3]

In most countries, there are regulations governing how the dispensary may operate; with specific requirements around storage conditions, equipment, record-keeping etc.

Clinical roles[edit]

There is a widely held view that community pharmacists are an extremely valuable but often underutilised resource.[4]

It is becoming more common for pharmacists in the community to consider taking on extended roles where they are provide more clinical care directly to patients, as part of the wider primary care team.[5][6]

Pharmacy support staff[edit]

To help pharmacists be able to take on more extended roles it is common for them to work as part of a team that can include pharmacy technicians, dispensing assistants and counter assistants.[1]


In parts of mainland Europe the pharmacist is required to be the owner of the community pharmacy of which they are the licensee. Under this arrangement a pharmacist can only be the operator of a single community pharmacy.[7] In the UK 60% of all community pharmacies are owned by companies who own multiple pharmacies.[8]

In the United States more than 25% of independent owners have ownership in two or more pharmacies.[9]

Most of New Zealand's community pharmacies are owner-operated.[10] In Australia pharmacists recognise the need to integrate professional pharmacy services within the health system to meet the changing health care needs of the population.[11]

Health Manpower[edit]

The most essential component of health services is health manpower. The concept of health manpower includes both professional and auxiliary health personnel, e.g. physicians, health visitors, auxiliary nurse, midwives, medico-social workers, health inspectors etc. All these personnel have a vital role to play in the delivery of preventive and curative services. They are all employees in the health care system.

Indigenous Systems of Medicine[edit]

Indigenous system of medicine always played an important role in meeting the global health care needs. According to WHO about 80% of the world population rely on traditional medicine for their primary healthcare needs. Six well recognised traditional medicine systems are Ayurveda & Yoga, Shidda, Unani, Naturopathy & Homeopathy.

Ayurveda, Shidda & Yoga are said to be the indigenous systems.

Manpower Requirement for Developing Infrastructure of Community Pharmacy[edit]

Category: Norms Suggested

  • Doctors: 1person/3500 Population
  • Pharmacists: 1person/1000 population
  • Nurses: 1 person/5000 population
  • Auxillar nurse: 1 person/5000 population (midwives)
  • Sanitary Inspectors: 1 person/ 10,000 population
  • Lab. Tech.: 1 person/ 10,000 population


  1. ^ a b "About Community Pharmacy". Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee. Retrieved 8 July 2014. 
  2. ^ "Community Pharmacy Section". International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP). Retrieved 8 July 2014. 
  3. ^ "What pharmacists do and where they work". Pharmaceutical Society of Australia. Retrieved 8 July 2014. 
  4. ^ "The PDA roadmap". Pharmacists' Defence Association. July 2012. Retrieved 8 July 2014. 
  5. ^ "Pharmacy". Scottish Government. Retrieved 8 July 2014. 
  6. ^ "Careers in pharmacy: Pharmacy roles: Community pharmacy". Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS). Retrieved 8 July 2014. 
  7. ^ "Pharmacy in Europe: France". Employed community Pharmacists in Europe (EPhEU). Retrieved 8 July 2014. 
  8. ^ "News from UK". Employed community Pharmacists in Europe (EPhEU). Retrieved 8 July 2014. 
  9. ^ "Independent Pharmacy Today". National Community Pharmacists Association. Retrieved 8 July 2014. 
  10. ^ Gauld, Natalie (8 December 2010). "Sun, surf, snow and pharmacy- pharmacy practice in New Zealand". PJ online. Retrieved 8 July 2014. 
  11. ^ "Principles for Community Pharmacy Agreements". Pharmaceutical Society of Australia. Retrieved 8 July 2014. 

External Links[edit]