Community pharmacists and hospital pharmacists compound and dispense prescribed pharmaceuticals and provide consultative services to both clients and health care providers. They are employed in retail and hospital pharmacies, or they may be self-employed. Industrial pharmacists participate in the research, development, promotion and manufacture of pharmaceutical products. They are employed in pharmaceutical companies and government departments and agencies.
Pharmacists perform some or all of the following duties:
Community pharmacists and hospital pharmacists
Check prescriptions for proper dosage
Compound prescribed pharmaceutical products by calculating, measuring and mixing the quantities of drugs and other ingredients required and filling appropriate containers with correct quantity
Dispense prescribed pharmaceuticals to customers or to other health care professionals and advise them on indications, contra-indications, adverse effects, drug interactions and dosage
Maintain medication profiles of customers including registry of poisons and narcotic and controlled drugs
Ensure proper preparation, packaging, distribution and storage of vaccines, serums, biologicals and other drugs and pharmaceuticals
Order and maintain stock of pharmaceutical supplies
Advise customers on selection and use of non-prescription medication
Renew existing prescriptions in limited circumstances
May adapt the formulation, regimen, duration or route of administration of medication
May supervise and co-ordinate the activities of other pharmacists, pharmacy assistants, pharmacy technicians and other staff.
Participate in research for the development of new drugs
Formulate new drug products developed by medical researchers
Test new drug products for stability and to determine absorption and elimination patterns
Co-ordinate clinical investigations of new drugs
Control the quality of drug products during production to ensure that they meet standards of potency, purity, uniformity, stability and safety
Develop information materials concerning the uses, properties and risks of particular drugs
Evaluate labelling, packaging and advertising of drug products
Promote pharmaceutical products to health professionals.
A university degree in pharmacy and a period of supervised practical training are required.
Licensure is required in all provinces and territories for community and hospital pharmacists.
Chiefs of pharmacy and pharmacy directors (in 0311 Managers in health care)
Pharmaceutical sales representatives (in 6221 Technical sales specialists - wholesale trade)
Pharmacologists (in 2121 Biologists and related scientists)
Pharmacy and drugstore managers (in 0621 Retail and wholesale trade managers)
Pharmacy technicians (in 3219 Other medical technologists and technicians (except dental health))
Pharmacy aides (in 3414 Other assisting occupations in support of health services)
National Occupation Classification, (2011)
Statistics Canada and Human Resources and Skills Development Canada,
Catalogue no. 12-583-X