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What does a pharmacist do?

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Quick Answer

The primary role of a pharmacist is to review the prescription from a physician and to accurately dispense the right amount of medication to a client. Pharmacists also monitor possible interactions of drugs to warn doctors and patients of risks or possible side effects.

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Full Answer

Another major role of the pharmacist is to advise or counsel patients on how to use new prescriptions. Consultations include directions on proper use of new medications as well as warnings of possible risks and side effects, as well as things to avoid when taking the medication.

Pharmacists also contact doctors to ask questions about prescriptions. They interact with insurance companies to verify coverage and to inquire about problems in getting prescription coverage for a patient. Pharmacists also play a leadership role in overseeing the activities of technicians in the pharmacy. Technicians help in preparing medications but they can't advise patients on using them. Some pharmacies also have interns, and the pharmacist trains them and supervises their work.

Pharmacists also have administrative responsibilities, such as completing medication logs and insurance forms. Other duties include answering questions from customers about prescriptions and over-the-counter products sold in the pharmacy, as well as giving flu shots and vaccinations in states that allow it.

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