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Who is a Pharmacist?

It is world pharmacists day, and pharmacists deserves to be celebrated.

A pharmacist is a healthcare professional who is specifically trained to store, handle, prepare, and dispense various medications.

They play an essential role in educating patients about using or administering their medications. Likewise, they serve as a “final check” to ensure that doses are correct and that a patient will not experience negative or harmful drug interactions.

Pharmacists are responsible for:
●the quality of medicines supplied to patients
●ensuring that the supply of medicines is within the law
●ensuring that the medicines prescribed to patients are suitable
●advising patients about medicines, including how to take them, what reactions may occur and answering patients’ questions.

Pharmacists also:
●supervise the medicines supply chain and ensure pharmacy premises and systems are fit for purpose
●advise other healthcare professionals about safe and effective medicines use, and safe and secure supply of medicines
●respond to patients’ symptoms and advise on medicines for sale in pharmacies
●provide services to patients, such as smoking cessation, blood pressure measurement and cholesterol management
●supervise the production and preparation of medicines and assessments of quality of medicines before they are supplied to patients from pharmaceutical manufacturers.

Where do pharmacists work?
Pharmacists work in many different work environments. These include:

●Community pharmacies (sometimes called retail or high street pharmacy) and hospitals. Most pharmacists work in community and hospital pharmacy
●Pharmaceutical production or sales in the pharmaceutical industry
●Prisons, primary care organisations, universities in teaching and research, the military, veterinary pharmacy and pharmacy organisations.

Facts About Pharmacy:

The word, “pharmacy” is of Greek origin and comes from the word “pharmakon” which means drug
Many pharmacists were famous
E.g. Alexander Flemming (who discovered penicillin), Agatha Christie (world-famous crime author), and Hubert Humphrey (38th Vice President of the U.S.), are only some famous names who have also been pharmacists.

●The first commercial drug
Pharmacists began selling the first mass-produced, pre-packaged drug called ‘antipyrine‘ in 1883; by the 1900s, most medicines were sold by pharmacies this way.

Coca-Cola was invented by a pharmacist named John Pemberton. He carried the jug of the new product down the street to Jacob’s Pharmacy where it was sampled, pronounced “excellent” and placed on sale for 5 cents a glass as a soda fountain drink.

The most expensive drug is Zolgensma (generic name: onasemnogene abeparvovec-xioi), a life-saving gene therapy approved in May 2019 to treat pediatric Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA). Zolgensma’s total cost is 2.125 Million Dollars
The global pharmaceuticals market is worth $300 billion.

Written by Naomi Chikezie


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