2.2. Untapped Potential for Pharmacy Through centuries, pharmacy systems have

developed in the different countries and

cultures and have adapted to the changing

needs of societies and citizens to provide

the necessary services. In our era we have

seen the industrial revolution change

pharmacies so that the most important task

of pharmacies is no longer the compounding

of medicines but the distribution of

medicines. In addition, medicines have

become very effective and complex systems,

in which their optimal use has proven to be

of the utmost importance for the success of

the treatment. As a consequence, the main

role of a community pharmacist today is to

support the responsible use of medication

and to support adherence, while preventing,

detecting and resolving drug related


As today s medicines are very complex

systems, they have to be produced, stored,

distributed and used under specific

conditions and with adequate knowledge. In

order to maximize patient safety and avoid

quality failures and counterfeiting, the

production and distribution chain of

medicines have traditionally been well

controlled and under continuous

supervision. Furthermore, from an economic

point of view it is important for patients and

society to have the possibility to influence

the pricing and reimbursement system.

Efficiencies are being sought throughout

the health care system to take full

advantage of the contributions of all health

care professionals2. Those efficiencies are

essential for the sustainability of the


Community pharmacies have an important

role to play in Healthcare due to a number of

key strengths, as depicted in the UK White

Paper from the Department of Health3: