In many countries only pharmacists may supply the population with the medicines in the pharmacies. The pharmacies may be located within the hospital, as a separate unit, and in the past 15 years in form of online internet pharmacies.
A large number of Internet pharmacies are similar to the public pharmacies, but there is a difference in the way of the issuance and deliver of a medicine. Most internet pharmacies require a valid prescription for the medicines which are issued on prescription, but there are those that do not require it and they are generally considered as an example of bad practice.
Public pharmacies are composed of sale, storage and preparation of the drugs, and they sometimes have a special section for consultation with patients. Sometimes diverse range of pharmacies can be confusing, because among the large number of boxes and bottles with medication, there are cosmetics, dietary supplements, health foods and other products.
However, in order for a pharmaceutical product to be found on the shelves of the pharmacies, it must obtain a marketing authorization. Authorization is issued by the Agency for Medicinal Products and Medical Devices, which analyzes in detail the supporting documentation of the product.
Each preparation must possess evidence of quality of production, security applications, pharmacological efficacy and potential harm. Only after the validation of all the data, the product becomes classified and its further circulation takes place in accordance with the law, according to the characteristics defined by its composition.
Prescription medicine is a status that is given to compositions comprising the purified substance which has an intense effect on human physiology. They are used exclusively for the treatment of diseases for which they are indicated. Their improper use often leads to the appearance of minor or severe adverse effects. Drugs that are issued on prescription must meet the most rigorous verification in terms of quality control and documentation, and their advertising is forbidden by law.
They are prescribed only by a doctor.
Over-the-counter (OTC) (non-prescription) drug is the composition which also contains a pharmaceutical active substance and the quality of purity. Criterion is met by those substances that have been in circulation for many years, which display area is closely and well defined, and which side effects are rare and well known. They are used in self-medication and chronic diseases. Their advertising is allowed.
They are issued by a pharmacist as a therapy.
Dietary supplement is the preparation which in its composition does not contain the active substance of intense effects on the body. It is not used as a medicine, but as an auxiliary healing agent, dietary supplement or addition to the appropriate drug. Its composition can be diverse.
Compositions based on plants, minerals and vitamins, simple or complex, are known as the dietary supplements. Their effect is known, and toxicity is small or is not known. Given their diversity, they represent the largest part of the pharmacy`s assortment. Regulations that they meet are similar to those for food, and their advertising is allowed.
Whether it is a syrup, powder, tablet, capsule, effervescent tablet or elixir, it is perceived as a medicine. This is correct if the given form really helps. However, it does not hurt to ask your pharmacist what type of preparation you have received.
Dietary supplements are recommended by doctors and pharmacists, and some can also be requested on our own initiative.