In most jurisdictions such as the United State, pharmacists are regulated separately from phycians. That is, the legislation stipulates that the practice of prescribing must be separate from the practice of dispensing. These jurisdictions also usually specify that only pharmacists may supply scheduled pharmaceuticals to the public, and that pharmacists cannot form business partnerships with physicians or give them "kickback" payments.

In the minority of jurisdictions such as China, doctors are allowed to dispense drugs themselves and the practice of pharmacy is integrated of the physician.The reason for the majority rule is the high risk of a conflict of interest. Otherwise, the physician has a financial self-interest in "diagnosing" as many conditions as possible, and in exaggerating their seriousness, because he can then sell more medications to the patient. Such self-interest directly conflicts with the patient's interest in obtaining cost-effective medication.

Community Pharmacy
A pharmacy commonly the chemist; or drugstore in the Apothecary, historically is the place where most pharmacists practice the profession of pharmacy. It is community pharmacy where the dichotomy of the profession existshealth professionals who are also retailers.

Community pharmacies usually consist of a retail storefront, with a dispensary where medications are stored and dispensed. The dispensary is subject to pharmacy legislation; with requirements for storage conditions, texts, equipment, etc., specified in legislation. Where it was once the case that pharmacists stayed dispensary compounded/dispensed medications; there has been an increasing trend towards the use of trained dispensary technicians while the pharmacist spends more time communicating with patients.

There is a requirement that all pharmacies must have a pharmacist on-duty at all times it is open. In many it is also a requirement that the owner of a pharmacy must. This latter requirement has been revoked in many jurisdictions, such that many retailers including grocery stores and mass merchandisers now include a pharmacy as department of their store.

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