Community pharmacies or retail pharmacies are the most common types of pharmacies. They sell drugs over the counter. They have medicines that are pre-manufactured by pharmaceutical companies, unlike compound pharmacies. There are many different types of community pharmacy services in USA that are much helpful for the surrounding community.
What Does a Community Pharmacy Do?
A community pharmacy dispenses medicines prescribed by a doctor to a patient. A community pharmacy has professional and qualified healthcare pharmacists. They render a number of services for the patients’ well-being and smooth treatment.
Community pharmacies are named so as they work near a community. The point to be remembered is that they only sell medications preapproved by FDA. They are not licensed to sell compounding drugs.
What Services Do Community Pharmacies Provide?
A community pharmacy is an important part of the healthcare industry. It seems simple to provide medicines over the counter; in reality, it is actually a very complicated responsibility. Community pharmacy services hold prime importance in the healthcare system, in addition to just dispensing medicines.
Here are a few types of community pharmacy services.
1) Processing Prescriptions
A patient cannot fill or process the prescription himself that was given by a doctor. A pharmacist at a community pharmacy is completely equipped with the knowledge that is required to process a prescription. So, community pharmacies are responsible for preparing the patient’s medications according to specific prescriptions.
2) Considering Drug Interactions
Every drug interacts with our metabolism in several different ways. These interactions result either in treatment or side effects. These side effects can sometimes get worse. To avoid such circumstances, drug interactions should be considered thoroughly before starting the medication. This is exactly what an expert at a community pharmacist is supposed to do.
3) Medication Dispensing
Medication dispensing is yet another important service provided by a community pharmacy because a little negligence can prove to be fatal. A community pharmacy dispenses medicines for patients. Medicine dispensing is a complicated process. Pharmacists have to write dosages and instructions for the patient. Community pharmacies provide FDA-approved prescribed as well as non-prescribed drugs.
4) Advising the Patients
Medication is not enough for proper treatment. The patient needs to follow a specific routine and lifestyle. When a patient visits a community pharmacy, he or she seeks advice from the pharmacists.
5) Disposal of Medications
Expired or damaged medications need to be disposed of as quickly as possible. Community pharmacy is responsible for this highly significant job.
What Are the Types of Community Pharmacy?
Community pharmacies can either be independent, chained or hospital-based. The most advanced and recently developed community pharmacy is e-pharmacy.
Here is some explanation of how these types differ from each other.
1) Independent Pharmacy
An independent pharmacy is a single store owned by a person. The owner could either be a proprietor or a pharmacist himself. If a proprietor opens an independent pharmacy, he has to hire a pharmacist, as only a pharmacist can run a pharmacy.
2) Chain of Pharmacy
A chain of pharmacy is established by a company or an organization. This chain is usually spread over a city, a state or sometimes through the whole country.
3) Hospital-Based Pharmacy
A hospital–based pharmacy is a store retailer of medicine assembled by a hospital to provide medication facilities to the patients visiting the hospital.
E–Pharmacy is a new initiative to improve healthcare facilities, especially during this post pandemic era. These pharmacies let patients order drugs online. Patients may get in touch with a pharmacist over the internet and follow all the procedures that are generally followed while buying medicines from traditional community pharmacies. You just need to search local online pharmacy in Maryland, and you will surely find a good e-pharmacy near you.
What Are the Benefits of a Community Pharmacy?
Following are among the most common benefits of a community pharmacy.
1) FDA Approved Medications
These pharmacies strictly follow FDA regulations. They only sell medicines that are approved by the FDA. This eliminates the risk of fatal side effects or unexpected interactions between medicines and the patient’s metabolism.
2) Checking Your Basic Vital history
When you regularly visit a community pharmacy, you develop a personal relationship with the pharmacy. Due to regular monitoring you for quite a time, they can dispense medications keeping in view your history.
Community pharmacies are convenient to use. You just visit the pharmacy and get your medications within a few minutes. It is convenient, safe and speedy.
Is Community Pharmacy Primary Care?
Primary care in a community educates people about the primary approach to their treatment and diagnosis. Community pharmacies are not a center of primary care; however, they are very similar to it. They have a similar contractor model with NHS just as other primary care providers. So, they can be considered to provide primary care in a community.
There are many persons involved in providing community pharmacy services USA that urges patients in visiting primary practitioners and getting healthcare services by the experts. Many community pharmacies have been providing the primary care and other pharmacy services in Maryland and Virginia over the years. You must give it a try to visit a community pharmacy near you. Maryland residents can also avail themselves of subsidy programs. According to Maryland pharmacy laws, anyone who shows residency in Maryland for at least 6 months and proves to be eligible for financial support, can enjoy a medical subsidy. This subsidy is provided in accordance with the Maryland Prescription Assistance Program.