Pharmacy: What It Is and How It Works, Third Edition

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ISBN 9781439853054
Cat# K12446



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ISBN 9781439896136
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  • Provides a broad, in-depth look at the pharmacy profession
  • Presents new material on what it takes to be a "good pharmacist"
  • Discusses how drugs are developed, the drug-use process, and the concern over medication errors
  • Provides discussion questions, exercises, and challenges for more in-depth study
  • Contains numerous references and websites for further reading


As the first baby boomers have reached 65, more prescriptions than ever are being dispensed, and the need for properly trained pharmacists is critical. Now in its third edition, Pharmacy: What It Is and How It Works continues to provide a comprehensive review of all aspects of pharmacy, from the various roles of pharmacists to particular health care-related events to career planning information.

Beginning with a brief historical perspective on the field, the book discusses the many facets of the pharmacy profession. It describes the role of pharmacists in different settings and provides information ranging from licensing requirements to working conditions, highlighting the critical role of pharmacists within the heath care system. The author examines the drug use process with sections on distribution, prescribing, dispensing, and pricing. He also discusses the role of pharmacy support personnel. An expanded chapter on informatics explores how pharmacy has evolved through information technology and automation. Additional chapters cover poison control, pharmacy schools, pharmacy organizations, the drug approval process, and career development.

Designed for classroom and professional use, the book contains numerous tools to facilitate comprehension, including:

  • Learning objectives to help readers focus on the goals of each chapter
  • Informative tables and figures summarizing data
  • Summary paragraphs tying in salient points
  • Discussion questions and exercises to test assimilation
  • "Challenges" which place the material in broader context
  • Websites and references to encourage further study

Used in many schools of pharmacy in the United States, Canada, and Europe, this volume provides a look into the profession that is both broad and deep, supplying a one-stop reference to a promising career.

Table of Contents

What Is Pharmacy?
The Pharmacist
Pharmacists and the Health Care System
The Drug Use Process
Pharmacy Supportive Personnel
Pharmacy Informatics
Pharmaceutical Care
Ambulatory (Community) Pharmacy
Health System Pharmacy
Managed Care Pharmacy
Home Health and Hospice Care Pharmacy
Long-Term Care Pharmacy
Government Pharmacy
Drug Information and Poison Control
Pharmacy Academia
Pharmacy Organizations
How Drugs Are Discovered, Tested, and Approved
The Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology Industry
Other Opportunities for Pharmacists
Career Development

Author Bio(s)

William N. Kelly has more than 40 years of experience in health care as a pharmacy executive, researcher, professor, and clinician. He has published over 80 peer-reviewed manuscripts and 10 book chapters and has presented his work both nationally and internationally. He is currently president of William N. Kelly Consulting, Inc., a company devoted to advancing medication safety and the practice of pharmacy, and vice president of scientific affairs for Visante.

Editorial Reviews

Praise for Previous Editions:

“This book is intended for the pharmacy student, pharmacy technician student, and pharmacists interested in learning about the many aspects of the profession of pharmacy. … reviews the various aspects of pharmacy practice and provides the history and major changes in the profession over the past few decades. … The book is well written. Each chapter is presented in the same format, making it very user friendly. … Each chapter also contains learning objectives and study questions that could easily be used when incorporation this text into formal coursework. This text not only provides a great deal of information that is unavailable from another single source, but also extensively references the information presented to allow the reader to gain a deeper understanding of the material if necessary. The topics covered include many important aspects of pharmacy practice. The historical information provided is a valuable component that puts the current state of pharmacy practice into perspective. … This is a comprehensive review of the profession of pharmacy and would be useful for introductory courses in PharmD and pharmacy technician curricula. The topics addressed are current and relevant to the profession and the historical data provides valuable perspective on the current state of practice.”
—James S. Kalus, PharmD BCPS, Wayne State University, Detroit, in The Annals of Pharmacotherapy, Vol. 41, July/August 2007

"The book is easy to read and understand, and each chapter begins with learning objectives so that readers know what is going to be covered. Material is well referenced and the index makes finding subjects easy . . . The strength of this book is the breadth of the description of the pharmacy profession . . . provides readers with a good overview of the profession, factors that influence it, and career options."

– William A. Kehoe, Department of Pharmacy Practice, University of the Pacific, in Journal of Pharmacy Technology, July/ August 2007, Vol. 23

From the Foreword
“Current and future pharmacists owe Dr. Kelly a debt of gratitude for expressing his love for the profession through the creation of this book. His well-written and well-organized encapsulation of pharmacy will help ensure that those who enter the field are well-informed and are prepared to become the caring and empathic practitioners that pharmacy treasures.”
—William A. Zellmer, M.P.H., Deputy Executive Vice President, American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Bethesda, Maryland, USA