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The dictionary meaning of pharmacy is 'the art and science of preparing and dispensing drugs and medicines'. But in local tongue, how far we associate the word with preparation is debatable; but for sure, we tend to use the word more liberally, mostly in association with 'drug storage' in hospitals or in medical shops we see various parts of the city. Just recall your last visit to a hospital, and you very well might have walked past the pharmacy, dispensing medicines to the patients based on the respective prescriptions appearing on the computer screen. To describe in few words, in a hospital, pharmacy is as dispensable as an oxygen cylinder in an operation theater or the specialist in the major departments.

But in a broader perspective, pharmacy also means the various subdivisions of pharmacy and pharmaceuticals, and is often used in association with the training imparted on prospective pharmacists in the various 'schools of pharmacy'. Different prescription services and pharmacy organizations are also often grouped under the scope of the term 'pharmacy'. So, next time, when you use the word pharmacy, take care to specify the context as well. Let there be any room for confusions or out of the box interpretations!

As somebody said, if medicine can be imagined to be a wheel - a big wheel - pharmacy is a vital cog in that without which the wheel won't be stable enough to move about. But how many of us have shown the maturity to realize that?


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