Health Encyclopedia

Pharmacist

Pharmacist

Pharmacists are licensed health professionals who prepare, dispense, and provide advice about both prescription and nonprescription medicines. They are specialists in medicine action, use, dosage, side effects, and interaction with other substances. They help ensure the safe use of medicines in people of all ages.

A pharmacist may hold a bachelor's, master's, or doctorate degree in pharmacy. All pharmacists must graduate from an accredited program and successfully pass a board-certified licensing examination. A pharmacist must hold a current license in the state in which he or she practices. Licensing requirements are managed by individual state boards of pharmacy.

Last Revised: August 17, 2012

Author: Healthwise Staff

Medical Review: Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine & E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine

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