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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 107  

Role of pharmacists in retailing of drugs

State Drugs Controller, Patna, Bihar, India

Date of Web Publication23-Jul-2014

Correspondence Address:
Hemant Kumar Sinha
State Drugs Controller, Patna, Bihar
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2231-4040.137383

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How to cite this article:
Sinha HK. Role of pharmacists in retailing of drugs. J Adv Pharm Technol Res 2014;5:107

How to cite this URL:
Sinha HK. Role of pharmacists in retailing of drugs. J Adv Pharm Technol Res [serial online] 2014 [cited 2023 Mar 20];5:107. Available from: https://www.japtr.org/text.asp?2014/5/3/107/137383

Today, most of the drugs come from pharmaceutical companies in standardized doses and prepacked forms and therefore, we very often argue and debate the necessity of pharmacists in retailing of drugs, ignoring the fact that the pharmacist assumes more importance in the context of Indian Healthcare System. Amidst the lingering illiteracy, the pharmacist has a crucial role to play, but the pharmacists were "remarkably underutilized and ignored" given their education, training, and the requirement to the community.

Pharmacist is the bridge between doctors and patients who counsels and advice the patient to maximize the desired effect of the drugs and minimize the untoward/adverse effects of the drug.

The basic duty of a pharmacist is to check prescriptions from physicians before dispensing the medication to the patients to ensure that the patients don't receive the wrong drugs or take an incorrect dose of medicine. Dispensing the wrong drugs or giving incorrect usage instructions can have serious consequences for patients, including death. Pharmacists also offer guidance on the side effects; medication can have and warn against actions that could be dangerous while the patient is using the medicine, such as consuming alcohol or operating heavy machinery.

Much of their work is related to patient safety, so a pharmacist makes sure the patient isn't prescribed a medication that he might be allergic to, or that will interact with food or another medication he is already taking. Patients very often are prescribed different medicines from different doctors, and patients receiving treatments from multiple specialists for different complaints might be issued drugs that could make them unwell if combined with other medicines. Although preventing dangerous drug interactions is primarily a physician's responsibility, pharmacists provide a check against this possibility.

A pharmacist may offer consultation services for the management of complex diseases, such as diabetes, hypertension, arthritis, etc., or give general advice on diet, exercise, and managing stress. Pharmacists may also educate other health care professionals such as physicians or nurses about pharmacology-related issues or medication management and contribute most in the campaign to stop the inappropriate use of antibiotics, habit forming and aphrodisiac drugs.

The Hon'ble Courts have also underlined the importance of pharmacists by upholding in a number of cases that "a little mistake in compounding, dispensing, preparing or mixing drugs may prove to be very fatal and cause irreparable loss to a person who is already in difficulty. The age old long practice of selling and consuming medicines without much fear cannot be now followed. Services of pharmacists are not only necessary to ensure supply of medicines in proper and just manner, but it will also work as a check against unauthorized sale of medicines for the purpose other than treatment. It is well-known to everybody that a large number of medicines are now being used for purposes of intoxication. If a pharmacist is present in the shop at the time of sale, it may provide check against such improper use of medicines. The supply of medicine against the prescription requires a certain skill for the correct interpretation of prescription, checking doses prescribed and detailing the same properly to the patient."

In a nutshell, we can say pharmacist is the gatekeeper for appropriate medication management. Therefore, we all should work together to establish and give the pharmacists rightful position in the society.

Thanks to the good work of so many pharmacists, the Hon'ble Courts, public and we, the regulators are recognizing your value. Keep up the great work!

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