Pharmacists (NOC 3131)

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The 2019-2023 job prospects by occupation have been revised to take the COVID-19 health crisis into account. For more information about the meaning of each diagnostic, see the glossary.

Nature of work

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.

Main duties

  • Community pharmacists and hospital pharmacists perform some or all of the following duties:
  • - 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
  • - Continued…
  • - 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
  • - May supervise and co-ordinate the activities of other pharmacists, pharmacy assistants, pharmacy technicians and other staff.
  • Industrial pharmacists perform some or all of the following duties:
  • - 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.

Employment requirements

  • * A bachelor of science degree in pharmacy is required.
  • * Pharmacists also require practical training under the supervision of a pharmacist.
  • * Licensure is required in all provinces and territories for community and hospital pharmacists.

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