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A community pharmacy is a healthcare facility that is able to provide pharmaceutical services to people in a local area or community. A community pharmacy dispenses medicine and typically involves a registered pharmacist with the education, skills, and competence to deliver professional services to the community.
- Experts in pharmaceutical care, pharmacotherapy and health promotion
- Professional communicators with patients, other healthcare providers and decision makers
- Deliver high quality products, services and communication
- Document their work and communicate the outcome to professional colleagues.
Community-based pharmacists' responsibilities include checking and dispensing of prescription drugs, providing advice on drug selection and usage to doctors and other health professionals, and counseling patients in health promotion, disease prevention and the proper use of medicines.
In most countries there are regulations governing how the dispensary may operate, with specific requirements for storage conditions, equipment, record-keeping, etc...
There is a widely held view that community pharmacists are extremely valuable but often under-utilised resources.
It is becoming more common for pharmacists in the community to consider taking on extended roles where they provide more clinical care directly to patients as part of the wider primary care team.
Pharmacy support staff
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.
In parts of mainland Europe, the pharmacist is required to be the owner of the community pharmacy of which she or he is the licensee. Under this arrangement, a pharmacist can be the operator of only a single community pharmacy. In the UK, 60% of all community pharmacies are owned by companies that own multiple pharmacies.
In the United States, more than 25% of independent owners have ownership in two or more pharmacies.
Most of New Zealand's community pharmacies are owner-operated. In Australia, pharmacists recognise the need to integrate professional pharmacy services into the health system to meet the changing health care needs of the population.
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