Drugstore is a common American term for a type of store centrally featuring a pharmacy. Drugstores sell not only medicines, but also miscellaneous items such as candy, cosmetics, and magazines, as well as light refreshments. In the mid 1980's, during the height of the "war on drugs", many stores removed the term "Drugstore" from their signage and replaced it with the more politically correct term "Pharmacy".
A store that sells health care products and medicine. Customers can buy both over-the-counter and prescription medication at a drug store. It is not uncommon for drug stores to carry other frequently used household products and merchandise. The terms pharmacy and drugstore are often used synonymously; however, while they may appear to have some similarities, there are vast differences between the two. The only thing they have in common is that both sell medications to customers. The differences are related to the types of medications sold, to whom they are sold, the staff working at the counter and the type of help or advice available to customers.
1. Prescription Medications
* Only a doctor can prescribe certain medications, and prescription medications must follow strict regulations as to how they are sold and who sells them. Pharmacies have specially trained and qualified staff who are legally able to sell the medications, following the doctor's orders. Drugstores, in general, do not sell prescription medications. Over-the-Counter Medications
* Over-the Counter, or OTC, medications do not require a prescription or orders from a medical professional. These medications are sold directly from the manufacturer to the drugstore for consumer purchase. OTC medications include pain relievers, cold medications and low-strength antibiotic ointments. Herbal supplements, diet pills and vitamins are also considered OTC medications and are sold in drugstores. * Sponsored Links
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Staff and Personnel
* Pharmacies are staffed by at least one certified pharmacist and qualified pharmacy technicians. Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians are specifically trained in pharmacology, dosages, drug interactions and side effects. Their job is to fill prescriptions, ensure proper dosage amounts, educate customers on the medication's use and side effects and prevent inappropriate drug interactions with the customer's other medications. Drugstore personnel are not required to hold any credentials or certifications. Their job is to help customers find what they are looking for and sell merchandise. They have no authority to offer medical advice or discuss a customer's health and medication history. Drug Store Variety
* While pharmacies specifically sell prescription medications, drugstores often sell a variety of OTC medications, supplements, vitamins and personal care items. In addition to medications, customers are able to find items such as hair-care products, soap, first aid supplies, makeup, skin-care products and other items related to personal care and beauty. Most drugstores also provide a small selection of convenience items such as small toys and coloring supplies, tissue paper, motor oil and holiday-related items; however, the bulk of items available are related to self-care. Drugstores do not sell prescription medications, although most drugstores do have a pharmacy inside as part of the services they offer. Sponsored Links
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