A retail pharmacist is a licensed pharmacist who works in a retail pharmacy setting providing services to customers within the community. To become a retail pharmacist, a doctorate degree in pharmacy is required, which can take up to 8 years to complete. Licensing by the state board of pharmacy is also required to practice. The role of the retail pharmacist is extensive. The retail pharmacist obtains a list of medications currently taken from each patient, and compares each to currently prescribed medications to prevent any drug interactions. The retail pharmacist also maintains a database of patient allergies to screen for any potential reactions. The retail pharmacist serves as an educator to patients regarding the proper storage, use of and side effects of medications. The retail pharmacist serves as a resource to both customers and prescribing physicians for medication indications, dosages, side effects, and general prescribing information. This employee works in tandem with prescribing medical providers to implement and monitor pharmaceutical therapies, and evaluate patient responses to medications. The retail pharmacist also supervises other pharmacy staff, such as pharmacy technicians, pharmacy assistants and pharmacy interns. The employee enters medication orders into the computer system, and either prepares the medication or assigns it to assistive personnel to prepare. The retail pharmacist has the final role in reviewing each prescription and medication for accuracy before it leaves the pharmacy with the customer. Pharmacists must be aware of and function within the guidelines of state and federal laws and regulations governing medication dispensing. Working hours may vary, as a retail pharmacist is required to be on duty whenever the pharmacy is open. This may include night, weekend and holiday shifts.
Retail Pharmacist Tasks
- Analyze prescribing trends to monitor patient compliance and to prevent excessive usage or harmful interactions.
- Dispense and review prescriptions to ensure accuracy, and compliance with professional, state and federal regulatory requirements.
- May collaborate with other health care professionals to plan, monitor, review and evaluate patient effectiveness.
- Educate patient on medication use, storage and side effects.
- Solicit information from patients regarding past and current medication to prevent drug interactions.