Pharmacy assistants work closely with pharmacists and doctors in helping them administer medications. They have many duties and responsibilities such as counting pills, preparing drugs, labeling or printing drug prescriptions, counting out ingredients, giving patients information about the preparation of the drugs, assisting in filling of prescription, keeping patient records, and taking necessary actions when prescribed drugs are not properly administered. They must know how to recognize and give correct information about harmful drug interactions. They must also be familiar with the medicinal chemistry of different kinds of drugs so that they will know which drug should be given according to the therapeutic action of the drug. Some pharmacy assistants help in the preparation and dispensation of medicines. Others just ensure that the pharmacist is properly trained and has everything that he needs to handle several kinds of emergencies.
The apothecary or pharmacy clerk is responsible for providing services for prescription drugs. A person who is licensed as an apothecary is allowed to practice his profession in any pharmacies or stores that sell pharmacy-related goods. A pharmacy practice is governed by the rules and regulations imposed by the Florida Department of Financial Services. This course is offered by the University of Florida and the Community College of Saint Petersburg.
The scope of pharmacy practice includes the processing of prescriptions, designating pharmacies, managing financial transactions, maintenance of pharmacy inventory, performing quality assurance activities, implementing quality programs, developing and implementing policies related to pharmaceutical sales, education and training of pharmacists and technicians, providing consultation to patients on drug issues, preparing and dispensing samples of pharmaceutical products, counting cash and handling money, preparing patient records, and keeping the pharmacist’s supplies updated. The main job of a pharmacy informatics specialist is to train pharmacists regarding new pharmacological agents and to prepare and fill samples for pharmacists. A person who successfully completed this course can become a pharmacy technician or a pharmacy technologist.
Pharmacy technicians and pharmacy technologists can either work directly for a pharmacy or they can work for larger companies. Many large companies hire pharmacy technicians who are stationed at their pharmacy. This works especially well for companies that do not provide coverage for prescription drugs. Technicians can also be self-employed and establish their own pharmacy. A pharmacy specialist can be contracted by a private firm to manage their pharmacy, or a pharmacy can be completely bought out by a pharmaceutical manufacturing company.