|This article does not cite any references or sources. (February 2013)|
Drugstore is a common American term for a type of retail store centrally featuring a pharmacy. Drugstores sell not only medicines, but also miscellaneous items such as candy, cosmetics, cleaning supplies, magazines, and paperback books, as well as light refreshments. In the mid 1980's, during the height of the "war on drugs", many stores removed the term "Drugstore" from their signage and replaced it with the more politically correct term "Pharmacy".
The American drugstore also used to function as a social hub where people could meet for an Ice cream soda, as described for example in Ray Bradbury's Dandelion Wine and Tom Reamy's Blind Voices, both set in the 1920s.
In the Netherlands, there is a distinct difference between a drugstore (drogisterij) and a pharmacy (apotheek). A pharmacy has prescription drugs, while a drugstore does not. Some drugs are OTC only in a pharmacy, others can also be bought at a drugstore, sometimes drugstores have to sell smaller amounts or lower dosages. Only the most harmless of drugs can be sold in general stores like supermarkets and gas stations. Examples of drugs that cannot be sold by general stores but can be sold by a drugstore are naproxen, diclofenac and cinnarizine. A Dutch drugstore, especially when it's a chain store, usually also sells other items like homeopathic products, vitamins, candy, cosmetic products, toys and gadgets.