What is the difference between Pharmacy, Pharmacist and Chemist/Druggist?

Chemist, druggist, Drug Store, Pharmacy and pharmacist are common words in Indian Pharmaceutical sector. Most of persons who are not used to these word, feel confused. Here we are going to describe the main difference between these terminology. Which retail shop could mention or use which word from above mentioned words.

According to Drug and Cosmetic Act following words can be displayed by completing following conditions:

  • The description “Drugstore” shall be displayed by such licensees who do not require the services of a qualified person.
  • The description “Chemists and Druggists” shall be displayed by such licensees who employ the services of a Registered Pharmacist but who do not maintain a “Pharmacy” for compounding against prescriptions.
  • The description “Pharmacy”, “Pharmacist”, “Dispensing Chemist” or “Pharmaceutical Chemist” shall be displayed by such licensees who employ the services of a Registered Pharmacist and maintain a “Pharmacy” for compounding against prescriptions.
For the purpose of the rule under drug and cosmetic act the term ‘Pharmacy’ shall be held to mean to include every store or shop or other place :
  1. Where drugs are dispensed, that is, measured or weighed or made up and supplied ; or
  2. Where prescriptions are compounded; or
  3. Where drugs are prepared; or
  4. Which has upon it or displayed within it, or affixed to or used in connection with it, a sign bearing the word or words “Pharmacy”, “Pharmacist”, “Dispensing Chemist” or “Pharmaceutical Chemist”; or
  5. Which, by sign, symbol or indication within or upon it gives the impression that the operations mentioned at (1), (2) and (3) are carried out in the premises; or
  6. which is advertised in terms referred to in (4) above.

According to Pharmacy Practice Regulation Act, 2015, A Registered Pharmacist is:

“Registered Pharmacist” means a person whose name is for the time being entered in the register of the State in which he is for the time being residing or carrying on his profession or business of pharmacy under the Pharmacy Act, 1948.

Now Come to the Difference

What is the difference between Pharmacy, Pharmacist and Chemist/Druggist?

As per above definitions of using a particular word, we can differentiate between Pharmacy, Pharmacist and Chemist/Druggist.

1. Pharmacy is a medicine retail shop which is carrying out activities like compounding and preparation of dosage form and/or medicines along with Dispensing against Medical prescription of Registered Medical Practitioner

where as Chemist/Druggist is a retail medical shop which is involved only in dispensing medicines (Not compounding) against prescription of Registered Medical Practitioner only.

2. Both Pharmacy and Druggist/Chemist are medical retail shops who deals in medicine’s retail business whereas a Pharmacist is a person under whose supervision and direction all activities of a Pharmacy or Druggist/Chemist can be carried out.

Hope above information is helpful to you…

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