Find pharmacies and drug stores. Pharmacies provide information on prescription drugs and medicines, name brand, generic and discount drugs, over the counter (OTC) medications.
A Pharmacy is an establishment where medicines and drug compounds are prepared and dispensed or sold. In addition to Community Pharmacies, which are retail pharmacies that serve the general public, there are numerous other types of Pharmacies that meet the specific needs of customers.
A Community Pharmacy, or Retail Pharmacy, may be located within another store or it may be a stand-alone store. These Pharmacies make medications available to the general public, provide customers with information on the safe and effective use of medications, and may assist customers in understanding and managing health insurance co-pays and reimbursements for medications.
Hospitals and health clinics often house their own Pharmacies, primarily to serve their patients. A Clinical or Hospital Pharmacy works in cooperation with the hospital's in-house health professionals to ensure that medication is effectively coordinated with patient care.
An Ambulatory Pharmacy is a mobile service that is designed to serve geriatric patients and patients in rural areas. They are typically part of a managed health care organization and help to minimize the number of hospital visits that members require. Similarly, a Home Care Pharmacy prepares and delivers medical injections to critically ill patients in their homes.
An Industrial Pharmacy is usually associated with a specific pharmaceutical company and is involved in research, production, quality control, and other aspects of the development of pharmaceuticals.
Pharmacies are highly regulated operations, affected by regulatory agencies at the federal and state level of government. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency enforces the Controlled Substances Act, including its requirements for prescribing, administering, and dispensing controlled substances. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is responsible for approving drugs for sale after they have been tested for safe and effective use. The FDA also oversees the production of drugs and medical products.
Each state has a Board of Pharmacy, Commission of Pharmacy, or similarly named agency that is responsible for ensuring that all Pharmacies meet standards for safe practices. They license and register Pharmacies, pharmacists, pharmacist interns, prescription drug wholesalers, and other drug outlets. They also monitor and educate Pharmacy professionals, investigate complaints, and enforce disciplinary actions against violators of state Pharmacy and related laws and regulations.