Overview

Pharmacists are health care providers that are concerned with medication. The practice of pharmacy has developed from the compounding and dispensing of drugs to a “knowledge system” about drugs and drug products. 

The wide range of pharmaceutical sciences has emerged that combine different scientific disciplines that are critical to the discovery and development of new drugs and therapies. These disciplines include:

(1) drug discovery and design that deals with the design and synthesis of new drug molecules,

(2) drug delivery that is concerned with the design of dosage forms such as capsules, injections or transdermal patches, which deliver the drug to the site of action in a patient,

(3) drug action that examines how the drug itself actually works in a living system, and

(4) drug analysis that involves separating, identifying, and quantifying the drug.

Nowadays, pharmacy practice is progressively becoming oriented to the patient, which requires the pharmacist to be aware of different clinical sciences concerned with the use of drugs in the treatment of diseases, in addition to properties of the drugs such as efficacy, adverse effects, drug-to-drug interaction, bioavailability and pharmacokinetics.

Also, the pharmacist should possess excellent communication skills and to be aware of, and sensitive to, the frequent need for compassion and understanding. In the last decades, modern pharmacy education focused on employment of pharmacotherapy in achieving a definite outcome that improves the quality of life of the patient.

Thus patient counseling and clinical skills  are essential component of current pharmaceutical care. Current pharmacists are expected to be care providers with good communication, and management skills and great ethical commitment. The pharmacy student should learn to be a good advocate for his profession through his professional attitude, collaboration and continuous education and scholarly work. 
Indeed, advances in the use of information technology in pharmacy practice now allow pharmacists to spend more time acquiring knowledge and educating patients and maintaining and monitoring patient records. As a result, patients have come to depend on the pharmacist as a health care and information resource of the highest caliber.

The growing number of pharmaceutical products in the market has urged the pharmacist to be familiar with cost effectiveness of medicines (pharmacoeconomics) and examines the economic savings from the use of one drug rather than others, with regard to costs for the drug itself and patient social status. With expansion of the field of pharmacy, more and more regulations and legislations are imposed to facilitate the communication between pharmaceutical industries and healthcare system. Regulatory Affairs promotes understanding, and cooperation between scientists from industry and academia and the regulatory authorities worldwide who govern approval and distribution, by means of developing regulatory guidelines.

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