25 Interesting Facts About Pharmacists & Pharmacies

A pharmacist is a health professional who explains physicians’ instructions to patients and how they can use prescription medications safely. Furthermore, a pharmacist provides information about the medications as well as they dispense over-the-counter and prescription medications to patients.

Here Are Top 25 Interesting Facts About Pharmacists And Pharmacies:

History

#1 Sushruta Samhita is the earliest known collection of medicinal compounds. It is an Indian Ayurvedic treatise which is attributed to an ancient Indian physician, called – Sushruta, in the 6th century BC.

#2 In ancient Rome and Greece, the art of healing was recognized as a separation between the duties of the herbalist and those of the physician. For instance, the herbalist’s duty was to supply the physician with the raw materials from which to produce the medicines.

#3 Diocles of Carystus, a member of the rhizotomoi (a branch of medical experts on the use of medicinal plants), is thought to be the source for Greek pharmacotherapeutic treatises and is one of the best-known early pharmacists of ancient Greece.

#4 The Shennong Bencao Jing (literally translated as – ”The Divine Farmer’s Herb-Root Classic”) is the earliest known Chinese medical manual. It dates back to the second century AD.

#5 In 1240, King Frederick II ( (26 December 1194 – 13 December 1250) issues an edict for the 1st time in Europe which completely separates the professions of pharmacists and physicians. He had also issued professional regulations for both.

Image credit – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_pharmacy

#6 In 1892, Felix Hoffmann, a German pharmacist, synthesizes salicylic acid (a type of beta hydroxy acid) for commercial sale. Salicylic acid becomes the most widely used medication in modern times.

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#7 After the Durham-Humphrey Amendment to the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act in 1938, pharmacists require a physician’s prescription to dispense most of the medications. Until then, they were able to dispense all drugs except narcotics (products such as opium and its derivatives codeine, morphine, and heroin ).

#8 In 1990, the electronic prescribing system started being used to automate the supply, prescription, and administration of medicines in healthcare facilities.

#9 Hubert Humphrey was an American politician who served as the 38th Vice President of the US from 1965 to 1969. Interestingly, before landing in the White House as Vice President, he filled medicinal prescriptions with his father for about four years.

#10 The popular carbonated soft drink Coca-Cola was actually a patented medication which was invented in the late 19th century by a morphine addict and pharmacist, called – John Pemberton.

Job Description

Image credit – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Over-the-counter_counseling

#11 According to Census data collected in 2011, women make up slightly more than fifty percent of all full-time pharmacists.

#12 They work mainly for drugstores and pharmacies, but medical clinics and hospitals may employ their own pharmacists to dispense drugs directly to people in need.

#13 Pharmacists usually do the following:

  • teach other healthcare practitioners about proper medication therapies for patients;
  • keep records and do other administrative tasks;
  • oversee the work of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians in training;
  • work with insurance companies to ensure that patients get the medicines they require;
  • complete insurance forms;
  • advise patients about general health topics, like – exercise, diet, and managing stress;
  • give flu shots and other vaccinations;
  • inform patients about potential side effects of taking the medicines;
  • instruct patients on how and when to take a prescribed medicine;
  • check whether prescriptions medications will interact in a negative way with other medications which a patient is taking;
  • verify instructions from physicians on the proper amounts of drugs to give to patients;
  • fill prescriptions.
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Code of Ethics

#14 It is a comprehensive document which outlines the core ethical principles that dictate a pharmacist’s ethical duty to society and patients.

#15 Some of the principles of the Code of Ethics for Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians are:

  • take responsibility for your working practices;
  • be trustworthy and honest;
  • make the care of patients your first concern;
  • develop your competence and professional knowledge;
  • encourage patients to participate in decisions about their care;
  • show respect for others;
  • exercise your professional judgment in the interests of the public and patients.

Education Requirements

Image credit – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Over-the-counter_counseling

#16 Aspiring pharmacists must complete four years of undergraduate study (some PharmD programs include undergraduate coursework and are 6 years long) before attaining their Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree from a pharmacy school.

#17 To be accepted into a Pharm.D. program, you must first complete a pre-professional track which is usually 2 years in length and includes scientific courses in:

  • physiology;
  • applied drug information;
  • anatomy;
  • immunopharmacology;
  • physics;
  • pharmaceutical calculations;
  • chemistry;
  • biostatistics;
  • biology;
  • biopharmaceutics.

#18 Laboratory work is common in these programs. Also, you will learn professional ethics, business management, and public health concepts.

#19 Most students have a bachelor’s degree or 3 years of college experience upon entering pharmacy school. If you want to apply to a Pharm.D. program, you should focus on earning high grades in undergraduate prerequisite courses such as:

  • statistics;
  • calculus;
  • biology;
  • human physiology;
  • human anatomy;
  • biochemistry;
  • organic chemistry;
  • general chemistry.

#20 If you are graduating from high school and you want to become a pharmacist, you can apply for an “early assurance” or a “0-6” program.

#21 Pharmacists who want to work in a specialized field of pharmaceutics commonly complete a residency program lasting 1 to 2 years.

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#22 Pharmacists with aspirations to run their own pharmacy should also obtain a master’s degree in business administration.

SalaryUS dollar

#23 In the United States, the median annual wage for pharmacists is $128,716. It is essential to understand that the median salary is not the average salary, however, it is the mid-point salary for this profession.

The districts and states which pay pharmacists the highest mean salary are:

  • Wisconsin -$124,060;
  • Vermont – $128,380;
  • New Hampshire – $128,790;
  • California – $136,100;
  • Alaska – $137,650.

#24 Nuclear pharmacists (a specialty of making radioactive materials for nuclear medical procedures and nuclear imaging) are the highest paid, earning an average wage of $66.31 per hour, whereas staff pharmacists at retail are the lowest paid, earning an average wage of $58.35 per hour.

#25 In 2018, pharmacists secured the 21st spot among the 100 best paying jobs in the US. According to a study, about 60 percent of pharmacists said their workloads increased as well as their stress levels.

If you want to learn more about pharmaceutical employment, history, and the future of the industry, check out this infographic:

References

https://www.coynecollege.edu/news-events/history-pharmacy
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11623965
https://www.jstor.org/journal/pharmhist

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