What do pharmacists do?

What do pharmacists do?

Pharmacists are experts in medicines and how they work. They have five years education and training and play a key role in providing quality healthcare to patients. They work in the community, hospitals, industry and academic settings and use their clinical expertise to ensure the safe supply and use of medicines by the public.

About community pharmacists

Around 70% of pharmacists work in the community, in premises on local high streets all over the country.

There is no need to make an appointment to see a pharmacist, and you can talk them in confidence. The vast majority of community pharmacies now have a private consulting area.

Your local pharmacy

Hospital pharmacists

Around 20% of pharmacists work in hospitals and play an essential role in patient care. Working as part of a multi-disciplinary team, they manage case loads and provide treatment programmes for all hospital patients. They specialise in a wide variety of clinical areas such as respiratory medicine, cardiology, infectious diseases, paediatrics and critical care.

What do hospital pharmacists do? video

Pharmaceutical Scientists

Pharmaceutical scientists work in research, developing new therapies and the medicines of tomorrow.

What do pharmaceutical scientists do? video

Academic pharmacists

Academic pharmacists combine teaching or research with practising as a pharmacist. Academic pharmacists work in universities, research institutes and a variety of other organisations.

What do academic pharmacists do? video

Royal Pharmaceutical Society

Did you know?

  • There are 43,665 pharmacists in Great Britain.
  • There are 13,000 community pharmacies in Great Britain.
  • There are 1.8 million visits per day to community pharmacies for health related reasons.
  • Community pharmacies are easily accessible – 99% of the population can get to a pharmacy within 20 minutes by car and 96% by walking or using public transport.
  • The number of prescription items dispensed by community pharmacies in England increased by 43.5 million from 842.5 million in 2008 to 886 million in 2009, an increase of 5.2%.

Visit our history of pharmacy page for more facts about pharmacy.