Hospital pharmacies can usually be found within the premises of a hospital. Hospital pharmacies usually stock a larger range of medications, including more specialized and investigational medications (medicines that are being studied, but have not yet been approved), than would be feasible in the community setting. Hospital pharmacies typically provide medications for the hospitalized patients only, and are not retail establishments. They typically do not provide prescription service to the public. Some hospitals do have retail pharmacies within them (see illustration), which sell over-the-counter as well as prescription medications to the public, but these are not the actual hospital pharmacy.
Pharmacy logistic in hospitals
Hospital pharmacies provide a huge quantity of medications per day which is allocated to the wards and to intensive care unit according to medication schedule. Larger hospitals use automated transport systems for dispatch of medications.
Hospital pharmacist and trained pharmacy technicians compound sterile products for patients including total parenteral nutrition (TPN), and other medications given intravenously e.g. neonatal antibiotics and chemotherapy. This is a complex process that requires adequate training of personnel, quality assurance of products, and adequate facilities. Some hospital pharmacies have decided to outsource high-risk preparations and some other compounding functions to companies that specialize in compounding.
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