Pharmacy versus Pharmacology
How Are They Different?
Pharmacology programs differ from pharmacy degree programs.
A degree in pharmacology does not prepare graduates to
practice pharmacy in the U.S., whereas, a Doctor of Pharmacy
(Pharm.D.) degree does. Pharmacology programs are offered
both in U.S. colleges and schools of pharmacy, as well
as other institutions. AACP does not track the availability
of pharmacology programs. For information about research
careers in pharmacology, visit the web site for the American
Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.
Pharmacology is defined as the study of the interaction
of drugs with living systems. Pharmacology is an essential
component in the study of pharmacy and is included as
one of the six major areas of instruction in the pharmacy
degree curriculum. Pharmacy students study pharmacology
to learn the effects of various doses of medicinal substances,
as well as the different ways in which medicine can be
introduced into the body. The effects of poisons and the
means to overcome them are studied in toxicology. Generally,
animal tests are required to learn the strength of drugs.
Physicians know a great deal about pharmacology and toxicology;
yet, as the expert about drugs, the pharmacist must maintain
this knowledge to an even greater extent. This subject
has a fascinating history and continues to be relevant
in modern times. It deals with a number of questions.
What is the molecular site of action,
What are the changes caused by a drug in the normal
function of tissues and organs,
What is the relationship between the dose of a drug
and its effect,
How do drugs produce their effects, and
What happens to drugs once they enter the body?
Since a drug is traditionally defined as a chemical that
interacts with living systems, this subject has a very
broad relevance from its obvious importance in the diagnosis
and treatment of disease to the impact of abuse substances
or environmental chemicals on societies.
Pharmacy is a licensed health profession in which pharmacists
provide information regarding medication to consumers
and health care professionals. Pharmacists are "medication
experts", concerned with disease state management
and safe guarding the public's health in matters relating
to medication distribution and use. To practice pharmacy
in the U.S., all new graduates must earn a Doctor of Pharmacy
(PharmD) degree and pass a state license examination.
While responsibilities vary among the different areas
of pharmacy practice, the bottom line is that pharmacists
help patients get well. Pharmacist responsibilities include
a range of care for patients, from dispensing medications
to monitoring patient health and progress to maximize
their response to the medication. Pharmacists also educate
consumers and patients on the use of prescriptions and
over-the-counter medications, and advise physicians, nurses,
and other health professionals on drug decisions. Pharmacists
also provide expertise about the composition of drugs,
including their chemical, biological, and physical properties
and their manufacture and use. They ensure drug purity
and strength and make sure that drugs do not interact
in a harmful way. Pharmacists are drug experts ultimately
concerned about their patients' health and wellness.
Professional Commitment: The principal goal of pharmaceutical
care is to achieve positive outcomes from the use of medication
that improves patients' quality of life with minimum risk.
Pharmacists are professionals, uniquely prepared and available,
committed to public service and to the achievement of
the followings goals. Pharmacists strive to:
Eliminate or reduce symptoms;
Arrest or slow a disease process;
Alter physiological processes for desirable result
in the patient's health