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Australian Pharmacy Definitions - Pharmacy Australia


Pharmacy is derived from the Greek word φάρμακον  / pharmakon which means ‘drug, medicine’. Today it is the health profession that ensures the safe and effective use of pharmaceutical drugs. Traditionally pharmacists or chemists were charged with compounding and dispensing medications now we have seen a shift to services that include health care, reviewing medications and providing helpful information.

Pharmacists practice in a variety of areas including:

Community Pharmacy – This is the type of Pharmacy or Chemist that Australian’s are most familiar with. Here you can fill scripts from your doctor, pick up over the counter medicines, receive advice and shop for everything from ear plugs to moisturisers. Many of these pharmacies operate long trading hours with some open 24 hours. 

Hospital Pharmacy – These pharmacies are found within the premises of hospitals and differ from most community pharmacies. Often these pharmacies stock a larger range of medications, including more specialised medications than necessary in a Community pharmacy.

Compounding Pharmacy – Compounding is the practice of preparing drugs in new forms. This can be mixing different strength of drugs or changing the form of the drug. For example if a drug manufacturer produces a drug in a tablet form this can be changed into a capsule.

Veterinary Pharmacy
– A veterinary pharmacy stocks different varieties and strengths of medications used to treat the pharmaceutical needs of animals.