Community pharmacy

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A community pharmacy is a healthcare facility that emphasizes providing pharmaceutical services to a specific community.[1] Typically, a registered pharmacist dispenses medicine from the community pharmacy.


The International Pharmaceutical Federation has declared their vision of a community-based pharmacist:[2]


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.[3]

In most countries regulations govern how dispensaries may operate, with specific requirements for storage conditions, equipment and record keeping.

Clinical roles[edit]

It is becoming more common for pharmacists to take on extended roles that provide more clinical care directly to patients as part of a primary care team. There are around 11,400 Community Pharmacies in England. Many are open for extended hours in the evenings and weekends and they are accessible without appointment.[4][5]

United Kingdom[edit]

In the English NHS there are 438 million visits nationally to community pharmacies a year for health related reasons. More than 1 billion prescription items were dispensed in 2012. More than £14 billion is spent on prescribed drugs annually.[6] Under the 2005 NHS Community Pharmacy contract all community pharmacists in England and Wales provide:[7]

  • Dispensing Service
  • Repeat Dispensing Service: This allows the patient to collect regular repeat prescription medicines for an agreed period of time, without having to go back to their GP
  • Disposal of Unwanted Medicines.
  • Promotion of Healthy Lifestyles.
  • Signposting to other Services.
  • Support for Self-Care: advice on treating minor illnesses and long term conditions.

Widely available Advanced Services:

  • Medicines Use Review & Prescription Intervention.
  • New Medicine Service.For patients who have been given their first prescription for a medicine to treat Asthma and COPD, Type 2 diabetes, Hypertension or Anticoagulant Therapy.
  • Appliance Use Review Service.
  • Flu Vaccination.

Enhanced Services which are not available unless locally commissioned:

  • Minimising Adverse Effects and Admissions Related to Medicines.
  • Discharge and Transfer Planning.
  • Managing Dental Pain.

Support staff[edit]

To help pharmacists be able to take on 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 own the pharmacy of which she or he is the licensee. Under this arrangement, a pharmacist can be the operator of only a single outlet.[8] In the UK, 60% of all community pharmacies are owned by companies that own multiple pharmacies.[9]

In the United States, more than 25% of independent owners have ownership in two or more pharmacies.[10]

Most of New Zealand's community pharmacies are owner-operated.[11] 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.[12]


  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. ^ "Pharmacy". Scottish Government. Retrieved 8 July 2014. 
  5. ^ "Careers in pharmacy: Pharmacy roles: Community pharmacy". Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS). Retrieved 8 July 2014. 
  6. ^ "How the health system is skewed towards harm for pill-popping pensioners". EconoTimes. 27 November 2015. Retrieved 30 November 2015. 
  7. ^ "About community pharmacy". Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee. Retrieved 30 November 2015. 
  8. ^ "Pharmacy in Europe: France". Employed community Pharmacists in Europe (EPhEU). Retrieved 8 July 2014. 
  9. ^ "News from UK". Employed community Pharmacists in Europe (EPhEU). Retrieved 8 July 2014. 
  10. ^ "Independent Pharmacy Today". National Community Pharmacists Association. Retrieved 8 July 2014. 
  11. ^ Gauld, Natalie (8 December 2010). "Sun, surf, snow and pharmacy- pharmacy practice in New Zealand". PJ online. Retrieved 8 July 2014. 
  12. ^ "Principles for Community Pharmacy Agreements". Pharmaceutical Society of Australia. Retrieved 8 July 2014. 

External links[edit]