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chemist22 said on 04 December 2010

Dear LadyMarm, All pharmacists are required- via the new Pharmacy Contract- to offer a set minimum of services. Following this, the additional services a pharmacist offers is dependent upon the company for whom they work. Healthcare professionals, i.e- pharmacists, doctors, nurses, dentists are all required to be highly educated and trained- represented by holding the respective qualifications and membership to respective professional bodies. The difference lays in the fact that the pharmacist is the drug expert- the Master of Pharmacy degree is heavily science orientated alongside healthcare training and covers a huge variety of subjects to deep extents- meaning we can deal with a greater variety of situations to a nurse and when it comes to medications and their usage- to a doctor. We know how the drugs are made, what they look like at a molecular level and therefore how they affect the body as we have a deep understanding of physiology. We know how each drug interacts with others and when and how to take properly to get the best results. We know, based on clinical evidence, which drug is best for each medical condition and at what doseage and for how long- along with what needs to be monitored. You pharmacist takes all of this into account when dispensing your prescription. You will find that many pharmacists hold further qualifications and are specialists within specific areas such as diabetes. The main point is that all pharmacists have a minimum educational and training standard- which is extremely high. We have to keep up to date with new knowledge via continuing professional development- and we are assessed once a year on this. It is up to the pharmacist if he or she wants to further their training in certain areas following this.