What is the importance of the pharmacist in health care?

Pharmacists and pharmacists can operate in different locations, and a significant part is concentrated in pharmacies, whether public or private. According to determinations of the Ministry of Health, all of them, of any nature, must have professionals to serve the public.

And this determination has a good reason: to ensure more safety for patients in the use of medication through guidance, clarification of doubts and assistance.

In addition to pharmacies and chain drugstores (that is, those that most people buy medicines and other products), professionals can also work in clinics, laboratories, public and private hospitals. But no matter the location, providing guidance regarding medications, minimizing errors regarding medication administration and promoting adherence to the correct treatment are functions of all areas.


Pharmacy professional: what does it do?

Pharmacy training opens up a number of possibilities in the job market. As it is a course aimed at medicines and their actions in the human body, pharmacists can act in research, production, tests, as well as dispensing medicines.

The Federal Pharmacy Council (CFF) points out that there are 10 lines of action, covering pharmaceutical specialties. They are: food; clinical and laboratory analyzes; education; drugstore; hospital and clinic pharmacy; industrial pharmacy; management; integrative and complementary practices; public health and toxicology.

Thus, the fields of work range from industries, laboratories, hospitals and, of course, pharmacies. These are the ones that concentrate most of the people who graduate.

Pharmaceutical professionals are specialists in medicine. Therefore, everything related to the remedy is in the domain of (the) professionals. This includes knowledge about the route of administration, side effects, dosage, interval between each dose administration, ways to correctly store medicines, among others.

That is exactly why it is mandatory to have a pharmacist or pharmacist in pharmacies of any nature to:

  • Guide on the use, doses and schedules of medications;
  • Clarify doubts and provide information;
  • To raise awareness about the rational use of medicines;
  • Reduce cases of self-medication and its risks, such as intoxication;
  • Minimize medication errors;
  • Clarify and report on adverse effects;
  • Between others.

Where can the pharmacy professional work?

Pharmacists and pharmacists can operate in 10 lines that group 135 specialties, according to CFF Resolution No. 572, of April 25, 2013. According to the same document, the lines of action are “the set of knowledge related to the exercise professional, grouped according to pharmaceutical specialties, recognized by the Federal Pharmacy Council ”.

The 10 lines are:


Pharmacy professionals deal with the health field in several aspects besides those strictly related to medicines. Therefore, the line of action in food is also part of the possibilities of the area.

According to Resolution nº 572/2013, pharmaceutical companies can work with:

“Functional and nutraceutical foods; human milk bank; quality control of food; food microbiology; enteral nutrition; nutrigenomics; food research and development and food production ”

Clinical and laboratory analysis

Clinical-laboratory analyzes are commonly known as laboratory tests. In them, evaluations of the health status of each patient are made, through blood tests, urine, feces and other tissues.

Resolution 5772/2013 indicates that this line covers:

“Clinical analysis; clinical bacteriology; biological material bank; bank of organs, tissues and cells; blood bank; semen bank; molecular biology; clinical biochemistry; cytogenetics; clinical cytology; cytopathology; cytochemistry; cell culture; genetics; clinical hematology; hemotherapy; histocompatibility; histochemistry; immunocytochemistry; immunogenetics; immunohistochemistry; clinical immunology; immunopathology; clinical mycology; clinical microbiology; clinical parasitology; human reproduction and clinical virology ”.


Those who graduate in pharmacy can go on to teaching, continuing their academic life. In this sense, the line covers “teaching in higher education; environmental education; Health education; higher education methodology and educational planning and management ”, according to resolution nº 572/2013.


The pharmacy line is probably the field of activity most associated with the profession. In accordance with Resolution 5772/2013, it covers: “pharmaceutical assistance; pharmaceutical attention; home pharmaceutical care; biopharmacy; dispensation; Community pharmacy; masterful pharmacy; oncological pharmacy; veterinary pharmacy; clinical pharmacokinetics; clinical pharmacology and pharmacogenetics ”.

Hospital pharmacy and clinic

Clinics and hospitals are also well remembered in the work of pharmacy professionals.

Resolution 5772/2013 points out the following designations for this line: “home clinical pharmacy; clinical pharmacy in cardiology, clinical pharmacy in palliative care; clinical pharmacy in geriatrics; clinical pharmacy in hematology; clinical pharmacy in oncology; pediatric clinical pharmacy; clinical pharmacy in rheumatology; clinical pharmacy in antineoplastic therapy; clinical pharmacy in intensive care units; hospital clinical pharmacy; hospital pharmacy and other health services, parenteral nutrition; clinical research and radiopharmacy ”.

Industrial pharmacy

In the industry, pharmacists and pharmaceutical companies can operate at all levels of production – from the purchase of inputs to the final stages of production and completion.

This includes “quality control; industrial biotechnology; pharmacogenomics; gases and mixtures for therapeutic use; blood products; cosmetics industry; pharmaceutical industry and pharmaceutical inputs; pharmaceutical chemicals industry; sanitizing industry; nanotechnology; research and development and fermentation technology ”.


Places that deal with medicines, such as pharmacies and hospitals, need good management. For this, professionals must understand and master the knowledge of the pharmaceutical area.

Thus, the line covers “regulatory matters; health audit; health technology assessment; entrepreneurship; quality warranty; environmental management; pharmaceutical care management; quality management; management of pharmacies and drugstores; hospital risk management; clinical laboratory management and control; public health management; pharmaceutical management; hospital management; pharmaceutical logistics and pharmaceutical marketing ”.

Integrative and complementary practices

In addition to drug treatment, there are other ways to complement recovery and the pursuit of well-being. In this way, pharmacy professionals can specialize in integrative and complementary practices, which include: “anthroposophy; homeopathy; traditional Chinese medicine-acupuncture; medicinal plants and phytotherapy and social thermalism / crenotherapy; ”

Public health

Just as there are other lines of action that are not linked only to medicines, the Public Health sector encompasses comprehensive aspects in relation to the health of society.

According to Resolution nº 572/2013, this line comprises “urgent and emergency pharmaceutical care; quality control and water treatment; vector control and urban pests; genetic epidemiology; Family Health Strategy (FHS); pharmacoeconomics; pharmacoepidemiology; pharmacovigilance; waste management in health services; environmental health; collective health; Worker’s health; occupational health; safety at work; epidemiological and health surveillance ”.


Aimed at specialization and performance aimed at understanding the chemical composition and effects of toxic substances, the Toxicology line covers: “toxicological analyzes; toxicogenetics; environmental toxicology; analytical toxicology; clinical toxicology; food toxicology; cosmetic toxicology; emergency toxicology; drug toxicology; sports toxicology; experimental toxicology; forensic toxicology; occupational toxicology and veterinary toxicology ”.

What is the importance of the pharmacist in the pharmacy?

All pharmacies, of any nature (of manipulation, herbal medicine, homeopathy or hospital), must have a pharmacist or pharmacist working during the entire opening hours – which includes online channels for the sale of medicines.

This is indispensable for the correct attendance to the public to be possible, valuing the adequate information and guidance in relation to the medications.

Pharmacy professionals can assist in understanding the prescription or reinforcing the guidelines contained therein, but they can also provide assistance on the effects of the drug, routes of administration and adverse reactions.

Thus, if there are doubts about the effects or duration of treatment, patients can seek guidance from the pharmacy itself. In addition, it is part of the professional performance to raise awareness in relation to the care with the storage and validity of medicines, the rational use of medicines and the risks of self – medication .

Considering that there are some over-the-counter medications, such as pain relievers, this makes many people think that they are free from health risks. It is then up to pharmacy professionals to provide clarifications and raise awareness about drug treatment, so that there is support for the integral well-being of patients.

In pharmaceutical care, professionals can act both in the management and logistics and in pharmaceutical care for patients. In addition to providing care in relation to medications, inside physical and online pharmacies, it is also possible to perform capillary blood glucose tests, measure blood pressure, apply injectable medications (as long as they are not exclusive for hospital use) and make small dressings.

Can a pharmacist prescribe medicine?

Yes, pharmacists and pharmacists can prescribe medications, foods and health-related products, as long as they do not require a medical prescription .

For professionals with a specialist title, there is the possibility of prescribing prescription drugs. However, it is still necessary to have a previous medical diagnosis and “as long as there are programs, protocols, clinical guidelines or technical standards approved for use within the scope of health institutions” or, still, in collaboration with other prescribing specialties, such as medical and medical. dentistry.

These determinations are contained in Resolution No. 586, of August 29, 2013, of the Federal Pharmacy Council.

It is worth remembering that the prescription of medicines is not only for medical professionals, as the health field has several specialties that are able to care for patients, so that they participate in the promotion, protection and recovery of health, as well as preventing diseases. and other health problems.

Thus, the resolution also indicates that “different professionals can select, initiate, add, replace, adjust, repeat or interrupt pharmacological therapy”.

For this, “it is essential that technical knowledge (pathophysiology, pharmacodynamics, pharmacokinetics, interactions, adverse effects, among others) and legal knowledge (health and professional regulations, in addition to the profession’s code of ethics), as well as the skills and attitudes aimed at the rational use of medicines, be transposed to professional practice ”.

Medicines that are part of the popular pharmacy List of Groups and Specified Therapeutic Indications (GITE) can be prescribed by pharmacy professionals, as they are exempt from prescription. Among them are included in the list:

  • Topical and astringent antiacneics (except retinoids);
  • Antidiarrheals (except children’s loperamide and opiates);
  • Antispasmodics (except mebeverine);
  • Nasal antiseptics;
  • Amino acids, vitamins and minerals;
  • Topical antifungal and antimycotics;
  • Healing agents;
  • Painkillers;
  • Between others.

And antibiotic?

No. Although there are some drugs that can be prescribed by pharmacists and pharmacists (which are those that do not have a medical prescription), antibiotics are among the remedies that can only be prescribed by medical professionals.

Can a pharmacist change a doctor’s prescription?

No. If there is a medical prescription, the prescription guidelines must be followed when purchasing the medication.

Thus, resolution CFF nº 586/2013 says that “the pharmacist is forbidden to modify the patient’s medication prescription, issued by another prescriber, except when provided for in a collaboration agreement, in which case, the modification, accompanied by the corresponding justification , should be communicated to the other prescriber. ”

Therefore, the medicine that has been prescribed cannot be replaced. But, in some cases, there may be interchangeability (possible exchange between the drug prescribed by the generic or similar), which follows specific rules.

There is a list published by ANVISA that allows interchangeability between some drugs. This substitution can only be done strictly following this list and it is up to the pharmacist (a) to suggest the exchange, as long as there are no restrictions on the medical prescription.

Bearing in mind that pharmacy professionals cannot exchange generics for similar ones, or vice versa, and that interchangeability between reference and generic medication and / or reference and similar can only occur.

According to resolution nº 135, of May 29, 2003:

When the Brazilian Common Denomination (DCB) or the International Common Denomination (DCI) is present in the prescription – that is, the package insert contains the name of the drug or active ingredient – only the corresponding reference drug or generic is available .

If the name of the reference drug appears on the prescription, it is possible to interchangeability with the corresponding generic or similar interchangeable.

And if the package insert prescribes a similar interchangeable drug, it can be dispensed with or the reference.

However, the substitution of the pharmaceutical professional will be allowed, except for restrictions expressed by the prescribing professional.

It is essential that the pharmacist or pharmacist indicate the substitution made in the prescription, along with the stamp, name and registration number of the Regional Pharmacy Council, put the date and sign.

Counting on the assistance and guidance of pharmacy professionals is indispensable so that there are less risks during treatment, as well as greater adherence to the correct and conscious use of medicines.