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WikiProject Medicine (Rated B-class, High-importance)
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WikiProject Pharmacology (Rated B-class, Top-importance)
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I removed the following:

Examples of retailers that include a pharmacy are:

Their inclusion makes the article contents excessively Americocentric. Unless retailers worldwide are named as examples (producing IMHO a pointless and extremely long list of names), retailers should not be used at all. Wiki is not simply an American encyclopædia but a worldwide one and so cannot simply list American stores unique to America as examples. FearÉIREANN 04:51, 16 Aug 2003 (UTC)

I concur (and I'm American). Colocation of pharmacies with other distinct types of retailers is very common in America and listing them would inflate this page (or any list of pharmacies) to a ridiculous size. --Coolcaesar 04:27, 25 May 2005 (UTC)

I also concur. Right on!!

Druggist and drugstore redirect here. Is it worth mentioning them in the article? --Henrygb 14:17, 24 May 2005 (UTC)

Drugstore no longer redirects here, I've made it a disambiguation page. However, I think it is definitely worth mentioning the term in this article. --Batneil 20:54, 16 July 2005 (UTC)
In fact, this article doesn't really cover drugstores in the general meaning of the word; I think a new article is probably called for. I had updated a few drugstore links to point here, but on reflection I don't think that's really appropriate. --Batneil 21:05, 16 July 2005 (UTC)


This page seems to be the subject of quite a lot of vandalism of late, I've requested that it be locked for a while. There don't seem to have been that many legitimate edits recently, so we can probably afford to block edits until the vandal(s) lose interest. --Batneil 11:39, 30 July 2005 (UTC)


I would love to see something on here about compounding pharmacists and exactly what they do, and what their current role is in US pharmaceutical practice, becaue I don't know anything about it.y

ZacharyS 00:25, 3 December 2005 (UTC)

I concur. All I know is that pharmacists used to compound everything on demand according to a doctor's prescription. But then starting in the early 20th century, Big Pharma gradually started manufacturing ready-to-take drugs in the form of pills and sprays, so that most pharmacists have been reduced to pill-counters. --Coolcaesar 22:10, 4 December 2005 (UTC)

In Australia compounding is necessary only relatively rarely in most community pharmacies. One prescription in about 500-1000 requires compounding. The most common compounding is preparing creams written by dermatologists. Varoius solid powder ingredients (eg. salicylic acid) or liquid ingredients (eg. coal tar solution) are measured and added to a ready-made base cream. Other examples are mixtures and making creams from combining water with some type of oily phase. Many pharmacists feel that compounding takes a long time and is poorly remunerated.

Some pharmacies set themselves up as specialty compounding pharmacies. They have a wider variety of ingredients available and become known to various doctors who like to prescribe unusual items that are not available ready-made.

We don't "count pills" in Australia either. The NHS covers standard pack sizes that come ready from the manufacturers.

Also pills refer to an obsolete dosage form in Australia. It was one of the things that pharmacists used to make decades ago by rolling a pill mass into a long thin cylinder and cutting it into small pieces. Compressed tablets (aka tablets) and capsules have replaced pills as more accurate forms and are more easily absorbed by the body.

StevenNicole93 12:55, 3 October 2006 (UTC)

Sign of pharmacy[edit]

Is it symbol of pharmacy? What does the scales mean? --Snek01 18:42, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

It looks like a pharmacy symbol to me. The scales are those which have historically been and currently are used to weigh ingredients for compounding. StevenNicole93 12:45, 3 October 2006 (UTC)

This symbol is a combination of a balance and a Bowl of Hygeia, both symbolic of pharmacy.RxHxn (talk) 21:28, 11 August 2010 (UTC)

Medicine Dispensing Separation[edit]

I have added some further information about the fight for Medicine Dispensing Separation in Asia. Does anyone have any comment regarding this? Slann 09:12, 9 March 2006 (UTC) ITS LOKING LIKE SAAP ON TARAJU —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:38, 6 February 2009 (UTC)

Remove Professional Organisations?[edit]

The list of Professional Organisations seems excessive and I don't think helps the article. Does anyone object to their removal? -- Barrylb 09:28, 12 May 2006 (UTC)

I agree that it clutters up the article, but it shouldn't be deleted entirely. Why not move it to something like List of professional pharmacy organizations or perhaps just Pharmacy organizations?
There... done: List of pharmacy associations - Epastore 17:46, 12 June 2006 (UTC)

Does anybody know the reason behind the different approach to pharmacies in Europe and in U.S.? In Europe (at least in most countries, I am a Czech), one comes to a pharmacy with a prescription and usually gets the thing within a minute or so (packaged by the producer). In U.S. one has to wait 15-20 min to get the medicine packaged in a packaging of the pharmacy. To me the latter seems inconvenient and dangerous - the human pharmacist is more error prone than the machine at the pharmaceutical company. There must be some reason that I do not see.

  • This is because pharmacists in the US want to make US$100,000 a year (they really do make that much!) counting pills. Cognitive services my arse.
  • In the UK the NHS it normally takes 10-20mins for a prescription this is for three reasons mostly:
  • 1. The bulk of work comes in all at the same time and Pharmacies already very busy.
  • 2. To clinically check a prescription to make sure it is safe takes time adding to the wait - I wonder to what level other countries clinically check prescriptions??
  • 3. The NHS only pays the pharmacy for what the prescription asks for, so if it is for 30 tablets and the box is of 28 the pharmacist has to get his scissors out, wasting everyones time and increasing risk.
  • re: "cognitive services my arse" - pharmacists are not paid to count pills but to decrease risk - what ever they get paid they save their respective health services a fortune, if only becuase nurses and doctors are terrible at making dispensing mistakes... --Lethaniol 18:41, 14 September 2006 (UTC)

Dispensing vs prescribing[edit]

I just wanted to suggest adding something to the dispensing vs prescribing section. In Alberta, Canada pharmacists have been given precscribing rights for two reasons: 1. to make corrections to prescriptions (dose, frequency, route etc.) and 2. to initiate therapy if they feel it is a life threatening matter (is peron comes in with very high blood pressure the pharmacist could start blood pressure medication), then send the patient to see a Dr. Here is my source: This is currently revolutionizing the way pharmacists are perceived in Canada.

Elsewhere in Canada pharmacists have the right to prescribe emergency contraception (also known as the abortion pill or PlanB) as well.-- 08:07, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

Downside of Pharmacist Work[edit]

1) Prolonged Standing 2) Long Hours 3) Inadequate or no relief help 4) Poorly written presciptions which increase likelihood of dispensing errors. 5) Armed Robbery 6) Frequently, the information for the pharmacist to trust is not true regarding the properties of the drugs. For someone who spends 5 or 6 years in scientific study there is probably no other profession where what one takes for knowledge is in reality marketing ploys. 7) Theft by other personnel of pharmacy stock to which the pharmacist is at risk of criminal prosecution. 8) There is no uniform standard to evaluate fairly the error rates by pharmacists, therefore it has/is a management tool to terminate employees rather than a protective mechanism for the public. 9) Uncertainty as to the market for pharmacists. Changing the entry level degree in the United States from a 5 year to a 6 year program decreased the availability of pharmacists, which tended to increase the error rates, that justifies automated pharmacies to replace pharmacists.


I recently replaced blatant advertising that had been inserted into the future of pharmacy heading. does this happen ofter?--Cheatcakes 08:34, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

what is the history of pharmacists and phsrmacy?

1) What's a pharmaculist?

2) Pharmacists are incomplete without four things:

  A) Product
  B) Customers (call them patients if you insist)
  C) Profit
  D) Government regulation up the wazoo  —Preceding unsigned comment added by Phantomofroute66 (talkcontribs) 13:20, 1 June 2008 (UTC) 

Pharmacy symbols[edit]

I should like to say that at least in Portugal we use another symbol to identify many things related to pharmacy. It is very common to see a palm tree with a snake wrapped around it, similar to the asclepius rod, in the pharmacies around the country. For example, we can see it in the official site of some portuguese associations of pharmacists, like ordem dos farmacêuticos or ANF, or sindicato dos farmacêuticos. Couldn't you add it to the lists of symbols? Riacrdo 22:00, 2 July 2007 (UTC)

Mail-order pharmacy[edit]

I believe the section "Internet pharmacy" should be retitled and reworked as "mail-order pharmacy". Mail-order pharmacy is a common industry term (frequently referenced by health insurance plans) that encompasses Internet pharmacy; they provide the same services, only with a more generic interface. The important aspect that sets this category of pharmacy apart is the lack of direct customer interaction and direct shipping of medication. Comments? -Verdatum (talk) 17:25, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

Green Cross[edit]

It seems to me this is common in a lot of other countries besides the UK, France, and Argentina. I've added Spain (see ; the Spanish Wikipedia article also cites the green cross as cross in France and Spain) and ("the pharmacies in Belgium are easily recognised their green cross signs"). I suspect there are also many other countries where the green cross is common, but I haven't been able to establish what the full list would be. In Chile there's a chain called Farmacias Cruz Verde, but perhaps their green cross is specific to their branding rather than generic to pharmacies, I'm not sure. (talk) 13:49, 15 December 2007 (UTC)

Medicines going out of date . . who bears the cost?[edit]

I have a question, the answer to which may or may not need to be in the article. I hope that someone with deeper knowledge of the industry can answer it. Some drugs are fairly rarely used and yet we expect our pharmacy to always have the drug we want in stock. If a pharmacy has a drug in stock but it goes out of date, does the pharmacy lose out? Or can it get some or all of its money back from the manufacturer by returning the unopened item? Or do pharmacies effectively hold stocks for the drug companies and pay for them only if and when they sell them? --Hauskalainen (talk) 10:46, 2 June 2009 (UTC)

Expired medications are put aside and returned en masse to the individual manufacturers (third party companies exist to take all expired meds and sort and return them to the appropriate manufactures.) a partial refund is issued to the retail pharmacy. In some cases, the refund percentage is greater for unopened containers. There is generally a strong push from the corporate level of retail pharmacies to keep inventories as low as appropriate. Chain stores will sometimes circulate meds between stores when it is discovered that a med is generally not dispensed at one branch, but frequently dispensed at another. Alternatively, pharmacies have a return policy with their wholesaler, which they will use if they don't expect to dispense a medication within a reasonable period of time.
All this is pure Original Research on my part, so not appropriate to the article. If a source can be found discussing how pharmacy inventory works, it may be appropriate to add relevant facts. -Verdatum (talk) 18:31, 3 June 2009 (UTC)
While its not the optimal situation, I know some expired medicine is shipped to countries that can't afford it (Haiti) or ones that only use up to date medicine for their upper class (India). I have seen it used extensively in both of those countries, but can't speak to how widespread the practice is elsewhere. Fuzbaby (talk) 20:49, 7 June 2009 (UTC)
I am a pharmacist, the expired drugs return back to the respective manufacturer for reusing the expired drugs again and the pharmacy get refunded. By the way a lot of expired drugs may be effective even if the expired date has been passed but it is not recommended-- (talk) 17:00, 23 February 2012 (UTC)

Misuse of sources[edit]

Jagged 85 (talk · contribs) is one of the main contributors to Wikipedia (over 67,000 edits; he's ranked 198 in the number of edits), and practically all of his edits have to do with Islamic science, technology and philosophy. This editor has persistently misused sources here over several years. This editor's contributions are always well provided with citations, but examination of these sources often reveals either a blatant misrepresentation of those sources or a selective interpretation, going beyond any reasonable interpretation of the authors' intent. Please see: Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Jagged 85. That's an old and archived RfC. The point is still valid though, and his contribs need to be doublechecked. I searched the page history, and found 6 edits by Jagged 85 (for example, see this edit). Tobby72 (talk) 20:35, 13 June 2010 (UTC)

History of Pharmacy[edit]

I think that it would be best to merge the history of pharmacy section in this article and that in the Compounding article, to create a new History of pharmacy article, similar to the History of medicine article. Or at least merge the history section in compounding to the main pharmacy article and then link (on the compounding page's history section) to the main pharmacy article. Persephone12 (talk) 21:41, 18 July 2010 (UTC)

I agree that a separate History of Pharmacy article would be a big plus. However, because the community practice of pharmacy in the USA is quite different from those in Europe, different history sections may have to be developed. As far as compounding is concerned, I believe it should remain separate. --RxHxn (talk) 21:40, 11 August 2010 (UTC)

The Pharmacy Guild has changed over the years.[edit]

My great-grandfather was a pharmacist and an optometrist. My grandfather had a pharmacist's apprentice certificate in Pennsylvania before he went on to become an optometrist with an O.D. degree. One of my cousins from the same family line has a DPharm. Another cousin from the same family line is in pharmacy school. Pharmacy sure has changed in the last 80 to 100 years. My great-grandfather went through a three year apprenticeship and became a licensed pharmacist in Pennsylvania. He became an optometrist the same way. It just took three years. He used several recipe books he wrote himself in both English and German. He wasn't German, but many of his customers were. To me, pharmacists are obstacles to the medications I need, like Paxil, for instance. I take 80mg of Paxil, which is a high dose, and one time a pharmacist had to spend three hours on the phone to get the doctor's approval for the high dose. Wasn't the doctor's order clear enough? I believe the prescription was even printed out on a computer and duly signed.

This article is slanted against doctors who dispense medications. To me, those doctors are saints. I don't understand why a pharmacist needs six to eight years of education to count pills and learn what they are and what they treat. Pharmacists these days often look impatient and bitter. It must be hard, going through all that schooling just to spend so much time standing at a table, counting pills, something Forrest Gump could probably do. What's next? Making pharmacy a medical specialty requiring a PharmD and an MD? Maybe creating Pharmacist Assistants like Physician Assistants? Let them earn a BPharm or B.S. in four years and act in lieu of a pharmacist as long as a licensed pharmacist works there?

It seems now that there are so many fingers in the pie that is your prescription. Involved are the doctor, the patient, the pharmacist, the insurance company, the DEA, the Pharmacy Licensing Board, and in some states, whoever manages a database of prescriptions for local law enforcement. It is illegal in my state to carry any prescription medication "outside of its proper packaging," which means I have to carry the whole bottle of pills, which could get lost or stolen. I'm sure these laws are all for our good, since we laypeople just don't know how to use medication.

I noticed there is no criticism of pharmacists in this article except on the talk page. I have my share of horror stories regarding pharmacists including how I had to switch pharmacies because one of the pharmacists at my pharmacy had congenital birth defects and has no thumbs. The chief pharmacist there admitted it takes him three times as long to perform a task a "normal" pharmacist could do. I would think that thumbs are a bona fide requirement for entry into pharmacy school, licensure, and work.--WMFEssaywriter (talk) 05:15, 11 August 2010 (UTC)

Misuse of sources[edit]

This article has been edited by a user who is known to have misused sources to unduly promote certain views (see WP:Jagged 85 cleanup). Examination of the sources used by this editor often reveals that the sources have been selectively interpreted or blatantly misrepresented, going beyond any reasonable interpretation of the authors' intent.

Please help by viewing the entry for this article shown at the cleanup page, and check the edits to ensure that any claims are valid, and that any references do in fact verify what is claimed. Tobby72 (talk) 09:15, 5 September 2010 (UTC)

Broken link in reference[edit]

The link to: American College of Clinical Pharmacy, Evidence of the Economic Benefit of Clinical Pharmacy Services: 1996–2000 is broken. --Thehalfone (talk) 12:25, 30 September 2010 (UTC)

Drug store[edit]

While the article tries to combine pharmacy and drug store, there are significant differences (as mentioned in the text). Drug stores sell beauty products, candy, etc. and not just medicine. They are far more widespread than just the US and Canada. Similar stores can be found in Germany for instance, where they are known as Drogerie. Would it make sense to have two different articles? --Ghormax (talk) 15:20, 31 October 2011 (UTC)

Drugstore is an article, 'drug store' a redirect... -- Behug (talk) 20:11, 11 November 2013 (UTC)

Rx and Pharamcy[edit]

I see in the icon of pharmacy a mortar with Rx on it. I think this is not true and a sign of arrogance. The Rx was explicitly reserved for the parctitioner and it has to be left there. It is his responsability not someone's else. If you do this you are raping him and I can only wish you succes. Sorry. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jpclifford (talkcontribs) 17:43, 15 June 2013 (UTC)

Mortar and Pestle?[edit]

The article claims that mortar and pestle were symbols that were internationally commonly known symbols for pharmacy. I have to question whether this is true. I have never ever seen this symbol before and the article doesn't mention any source which backs this claim. Can anybody confirm that this symbol is actually used for this purpose? Since I was born, I've been to 12 countries, and I never ever saw the symbol in any of these countries before I looked at this article. - 2001:A60:2199:4001:58FC:577D:B2B2:AD1F (talk) 19:19, 7 August 2013 (UTC)

Social Centre?[edit]

I was redirected here from "Drug Store". I was looking for the US sense of the term, which seems to mean something like a cafe and social centre for young people, and not to have any relation to pharmacology. Any clues/mention/links to the info I was looking for would be useful on this page... — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:46, 26 August 2013 (UTC)

Possible Plagiarism[edit]

I believe that the first sentence of this article is copied from a different source: "Pharmacy is the science and technique of preparing as well as dispensing drugs and medicines. It is a health profession that links health sciences with chemical sciences and aims to ensure the safe and effective use of pharmaceutical drugs." The URL is The article was changed just days after this journal article was published on April 19, 2007. I would change this to be " Pharmacy is distributing and receiving drugs and medicines to people of the public. This health career combines the idea of chemistry and safety to determine the best and saftest way to use the medicine given out." Nikki MJ (talk) 14:57, 5 December 2013 (UTC)