Community pharmacists Pharmaceutical scientists Independent prescribers
Hospital pharmacists Pharmacy students Pharmacy technicians
Industrial pharmacists Pre-registration trainees Regulatory pharmacists
Academics Pharmacy owners Health policy makers
Other healthcare professionals  

Community pharmacists 

Community pharmacists are responsible for maintaining and improving people’s health by providing advice and information as well as supplying prescription medicines, recommending and selling over-the-counter (OTC) medical products and instructing patients on the use of medicines. Some also offer specialist health checks, such as blood pressure monitoring and diabetes screening, and run stop smoking clinics and weight reduction programmes. They work in high street pharmacies, supermarkets, local healthcare centres and GP surgeries. 

  • What they are most interested in:  Community pharmacists read the news and analysis section for healthcare policy, medicines information and clinical breakthroughs. They rely heavily on our learning and CPD modules and learning articles for staying up-to-date with clinical management of medical conditions, and are quite interested in the information we provide on OTC medicines. They regularly monitor Pharmaceutical Journal Job board for new career opportunities. Our Opinion section is also quite popular among community pharmacists.
  • Which publications they read:

    The Pharmaceutical Journal


Hospital pharmacists

Hospital pharmacists work in hospital pharmacy services, primarily within the public sector. They are medicines experts and are responsible for dispensing prescriptions as well as purchasing, manufacturing and quality testing all medicines used in a hospital. Many hospital pharmacists are qualified to prescribe in their own right. They work closely with medical and nursing staff to ensure that patients receive the best treatment by advising on the selection of medicines, their doses and administration routes. Hospital pharmacists also provide help and advice to patients in all aspects of their medicines. The role of a hospital pharmacist can extend outside the hospital with responsibility for medicines in health centres, nursing homes, hospices and GP surgeries.


Industrial pharmacists

Industrial pharmacists may be involved in researching and developing medicines, using their expertise in formulation development to ensure that active ingredients are biologically available. They ensure an integrated approach to quality assurance by validating the various stages of production and testing of products before release. Some industrial pharmacists provide detailed information about medicines to members of the health professions and the public, as well as providing an information service within the company. Others are involved in patent applications and drug registration, clinical trials and post-marketing surveillance, and may contribute to marketing the products.



Pharmacy academics are employed in universities, research institutes and other organisations, and may be teaching, researching, practising or combination of all three. Teacher practitioners spend on average around 60% of their time working in hospital, community or industrial pharmacy and the other 40% of the time as a pharmacy teacher or lecturer. Some are research pharmacists, involved in fields from drug design through to the provision of pharmacy services. 


Pharmaceutical scientists

Pharmaceutical scientists usually hold a degree in a subject related to the pharmaceutical sciences, and work in the basic or applied sciences or the social sciences. Their work may focus on the discovery, development, delivery, quality, safety, efficacy, regulation or usage of medicines and medical devices. Pharmaceutical scientists may also be involved in medicines regulation.They may work in the pharmaceutical industry, academia, or hospital environment.


Pharmacy students

Pharmacy students, studying in accredited universities, are preparing themselves for a career in pharmacy by learning about chemistry, human biology and physiology, pharmaceutics and pharmacology. Most pharmacy degrees combine academic research with more vocational training and professional pharmacy skills, such as learning about legal and ethical issues and how to interact with patients. Students learn about prescriptions, drugs, medicines and clinical practice. As they study pharmacy, they may have the opportunity to specialise in a particular type of role (such as new medicine development or patient care), or in a particular field of medical care (such as infectious diseases, or care of the elderly).


Pre-registration trainees

In the UK, once individuals graduate with their MPharm pharmacy degrees, they need to undergo a year of pre-registration training and pass the registration assessment before they become qualified to practise as pharmacists. They can undergo their training in a variety of settings, including the community, hospitals, or the industry. They work and study hard for a whole year and have clear training needs.

  • What they are most interested in:  They are avid readers of our career articles and use our ONtrack platform to prepare for the registration assessment. They also read the news and analysis section for healthcare policy, medicines information and clinical news. They rely heavily on our learning and CPD articles for staying up-to-date with clinical management of medical conditions. They regularly monitor Pharmaceutical Journal Job board for new career opportunities. 
  • Which publications they read:

    The Pharmaceutical Journal

    Tomorrow’s Pharmacist


Pharmacy owners/independent contractors

Pharmacy owners/independent contractors are usually (but not exclusively) pharmacists, who order medicines, manage their staff, and maintain the pharmacy’s relationship with the public. They read our healthcare policy stories mostly and are also interested in management, as well new products and services they can offer to their community.


Independent prescribers

Independent prescribers are pharmacists who have undertaken additional training to allow them to prescribe medicines for specific conditions. Once qualified, a pharmacist independent prescriber can prescribe any licensed medicine for any medical condition within their competence. This includes controlled drugs, except schedule 1 and prescribing for the treatment of addiction.


Pharmacy technicians

Pharmacy technicians, working under the supervision of a pharmacist, are responsible for preparing medicines and other healthcare products and supplying them to patients. They also take an active role in providing patients with guidance about taking their medicines. To train as a technician, an individual must undertake

Technicians are in need of our healthcare policy stories, notice-board section, CPD articles and information about OTC medicines and changes to dispensing. They monitor Pharmaceutical Journal Job board regularly for new career opportunities.


Regulatory pharmacists

Regulatory pharmacists are individuals, usually with experience in the pharmaceutical industry, who are employed by the regulatory authorities to assess submissions from companies for new or modified medicines. This includes examining results from clinical trials, development studies, manufacturing trials and inspecting the factories themselves.

Regulatory pharmacists are most interested in our News and analysis section, feature articles and the Opinion section.


Health policy makers

Health policy makers, who may be healthcare professionals or non-healthcare professionals, usually work for or with the government. They are involved in decisions, plans, and actions undertaken to achieve specific healthcare goals within society. They may be involved in various categories of health policies, including personal healthcare policy, pharmaceutical policy, and policies related to public health such as vaccinations, tobacco control or breastfeeding promotion. Healthcare politicians mainly read The Pharmaceutical Journal’s features and the Opinion section, to stay informed of experts’ views on health policy.


Other healthcare professionals, including GPs, nurses and allied health professionals

Our News and Opinion sections are widely read by other healthcare professionals, depending on the subject matter.


Last updated
The Pharmaceutical Journal, Audience;Online:DOI:10.1211/PJ.2015.20068057

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