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Pharmacists in the Delivery of Healthcare

Pharmacists are experts in the science and clinical use of medication and are knowledgeable about the composition of drugs, their chemical and physical properties, and their manufacture and uses. Pharmacists work in many settings in the healthcare system, including the community pharmacies, hospitals, pharmaceutical industry, academia and research. They play a vital role in ensuring drug safety and optimal use of drugs at every point of the drug supply chain from raw materials to the dispensing of medications to patients.

Beyond the traditional role of dispensing and supply of medications, pharmacists are also involved in direct patient care working closely with other healthcare professionals to provide patients with the best treatment. Pharmacists are not only interested in the product (drug); they are also focused on patients' needs and improving their outcomes. To keep abreast of medical advances, pharmacists are expected to pursue lifelong learning. Medical advances and the introduction of new and potent medicines have made medication management more complex. Many pharmacists acquire specialised expertise through postgraduate training in clinical areas such as oncology, cardiology, critical care, psychiatry and geriatrics. These specialist pharmacists complement doctors in achieving optimal use of drugs, help reduce medication errors and mitigate complications related to complex drug treatments.

Pharmacists practise in diverse areas in the healthcare delivery continuum. The following describe the professional roles of pharmacists in different practice settings:

Last Updated :  20 Jul 2011 10:19