The Most Important Types of Pharmacies

The global pharmaceuticals industry is expected to surpass $1.25 trillion in 2021. That’s 1.8 percent more than the sector was worth in 2020. It’s evidence of how, amid a global recession triggered by the coronavirus pandemic, the industry has remained robust.

For many people around the world, pharmacies remain a critical part of the healthcare system. In fact, since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, 31 percent of people say they’re more likely to visit a pharmacy before they seek healthcare elsewhere.

Today, you can find different types of pharmacies, all of which are committed to keeping society healthy. But while the ultimate goal of these pharmacies is the same, their modes of operation differ.

In today’s post, we look at some of the common types of pharmacies available, so it’s easier for you to tell what pharmacy is right for you. Read on to learn more.

Retail Pharmacy

Also known as community pharmacies, retail pharmacies are usually found in cities, shopping malls, and rural towns. Given their brick-and-mortar locations, the retail pharmacies are arguably the most familiar of all types of pharmacies. Typically, these pharmacies are either part of a chain or independently and locally owned.

Usually, people have to visit a retail pharmacy physically for service. Once there, you can fill your prescription, enquire about choosing and using OTC medicine, get health screenings or immunizations, and so on.

Given the wide range of services available at retail pharmacies, most serve as the main access to healthcare for some communities.

A community pharmacy is especially ideal for you if it’s conveniently located or you need to get your medication the same day your physician prescribed it.

Hospital Pharmacy

As the name suggests, a hospital clinic is typically found inside the hospital. The role of a hospital pharmacist is to work with your doctor or nurse to manage your medications while you’re in the hospital. 

Hospital dispensaries can also dispense prescriptions for outpatient care. That means once your stay in the hospital is over, you can pick your prescriptions on your way out.

Clinic Pharmacy

A clinic pharmacy is similar to a hospital pharmacy in that it operates inside or is attached to a clinic. During your doctor’s visit, they may prescribe medications that you can then pick up at the pharmacy located in the same establishment.

Some clinical pharmacies also sell toiletries and other health-related products, just like most retail pharmacies.  

Online Pharmacy

Online pharmacies have become incredibly popular in the recent past, with the industry expected to reach roughly $45 billion in 2021 globally. That figure will explode to about $85 billion by 2026.

Online pharmacies operate over the internet, just like the name suggests. The pharmacy receives your prescription electronically and proceeds to fill it in a licensed facility before shipping it to your home. The convenience offered by these types of pharmacies is incredible, hence their rising popularity.

While an online pharmacy may not have a brick-and-mortar store for you to visit, there’s always a licensed pharmacy on the side for you to speak with by phone.   

Note that most online pharmacies sell prescription drugs to only clients who have a doctor’s prescription. Always make sure that your prescription is filled correctly, so you get service from these pharmacies. 

When you opt to work with an online pharmacy, your order might take a little longer than if you were to pick it up yourself from a local pharmacy. But the privacy and convenience offered by these pharmacies are more than worth it. Besides, online pharmacies generally tend to be cheaper.

Specialty Pharmacy

A specialty pharmacy typically dispenses or counsels on drugs meant to treat complex and less common health conditions. These conditions include cancer, multiple sclerosis, auto-immune illnesses, infertility, and so on. The pharmacies also often stock medication that needs specific storage. 

Specialty pharmacists can offer comprehensive patient education, particularly when it comes to complicated medical conditions. They do their best to make sure that you know how to take your medication, as well as how to manage it alongside other treatments that you may be pursuing. 

You can find online specialty pharmacies that ship your medications to you directly. There are also physical specialty pharmacies you can visit in person.

This type of pharmacy may be suitable for you if you have a complex or rare condition for which you’re taking medication. You may also consider such a pharmacy if you’re using medication whose administration requires extra knowledge, such as an injectable. 

Home Care Pharmacy

Home care pharmacies typically focus on preparing and delivering injectables directly to patients who are critically ill and are in their homes. Sometimes, these pharmacies are referred to as infusion pharmacies as they only dispense injectables as opposed to using other forms of medicine administration. 

A home care pharmacy can major in only one illness, such as nutritional support, mental illness, or chemotherapy. Others major in multiple areas of illness.

Consulting Pharmacy

Consulting pharmacies are relatively new. These focus on the theoretical review of available medications rather than dispense them.

A consulting pharmacist may work in a nursing home or opt to visit patients at home to offer their services. Their goal is to ensure that patients are using medications as effectively as possible. 

You Can Always Find a Pharmacy for Your Needs

The place of pharmacies in today’s health care system is without question. It’s no wonder that there are so many types of pharmacies to meet the needs of clients with different medical needs. No matter where you are or what your health condition is, you can always find a pharmacy to help you get better.

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