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What does a pharmacist do?

Pharmacists are responsible for:

  • the quality of medicines supplied to patients
  • ensuring that the supply of medicines is within the law
  • ensuring that the medicines prescribed to patients are suitable
  • advising patients about medicines, including how to take them, what reactions may occur and answering patients' questions.

Pharmacists also:

  • supervise the medicines supply chain and ensure pharmacy premises and systems are fit for purpose
  • advise other healthcare professionals about safe and effective medicines use, and safe and secure supply of medicines
  • respond to patients' symptoms and advise on medicines for sale in pharmacies
  • provide services to patients, such as smoking cessation, blood pressure measurement and cholesterol management
  • supervise the production and preparation of medicines and assessments of quality of medicines before they are supplied to patients from pharmaceutical manufacturers.

Where do pharmacists work?

Pharmacists work in many different work environments. These include:

  • Community pharmacies (sometimes called retail or high street pharmacy) and hospitals. Most pharmacists work in community and hospital pharmacy
  • Pharmaceutical production or sales in the pharmaceutical industry
  • Prisons, primary care organisations, universities in teaching and research, the military, veterinary pharmacy and pharmacy organisations.

Pharmacist registration

A person calling themselves a pharmacist must be registered with the GPhC.

You can search our register to see that a pharmacist is practising legally and if they have outstanding fitness to practise allegations against them.

For more information about the process a pharmacist must go through to become and stay registered, see Registering as a pharmacist.