National Pharmacist Day, observed January 12 each year, is a way to recognize this important and helpful profession. The word “pharmacy” comes from the Greek word “pharmaleon”.
University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, the first pharmacy school in North America, was established in Philadelphia is 1821 when 68 apothecaries met with the purpose of improving their profession, and thus, patient care. The name was changed in 1921 to the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science. They awarded the first pharmacy degree to a woman in the United States in 1883 to Dr. Susan Hayhurst.
Pharmacists spend between six to eight years in pharmacy school, learning subjects such as physiology, organic chemistry, among others, and are required to pass both state and national exams.
In addition to safely dispensing medicine, pharmacists can safely guide patients on such subjects as:
- possible side effects of medication.
- ways to mitigate any possible interactions between all drugs the patient is taking.
- how to manage diabetes.
- how to stop smoking.
- disease prevention.
- best over-the-counter medication for common problems.
- Educate patients on the use of prescription and over-the-counter medication.
If you have a question or concern about the use of prescription medication or over-the-counter medication, stop by and ask your pharmacist. He or she will be happy to help you manage your condition.