Types of Pharmacies

Updated on December 18, 2022

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There are many different types of pharmacies, each with their own unique purpose and function. Community pharmacies are the most common type of pharmacy and can be found in nearly every town and city. Hospital pharmacies are found in hospitals and other healthcare facilities, while clinical pharmacies provide specialized services to patients in long-term care facilities or hospital outpatient clinics. Industrial pharmacies produce medications for use in hospitals, nursing homes, and other healthcare facilities. Compounding pharmacies create customized medications for individual patients. Consulting pharmacists provide pharmaceutical services to clients outside of a traditional pharmacy setting. Ambulatory care pharmacies focus on providing medication therapy management services to patients who are not hospitalized. Finally, regulatory pharmacists ensure that all aspects of the pharmacy profession comply with state and federal regulations.

Each type of pharmacy has its own unique set of challenges and opportunities. However, all pharmacies share the common goal of providing quality medications and services to patients.

Community Pharmacy:

Generally speaking, a community pharmacy is located within a store such as a grocery or department store. Some keep their pharmacies open 24 hours a day.

The community pharmacy generally offers a wider range of products and services than the hospital pharmacy. The community pharmacist provides more comprehensive care to patients, including medication therapy management than the hospital pharmacist.

Hospital Pharmacy:

A hospital pharmacy is a pharmacy that is located within a hospital. The hospital pharmacy generally provides medications for patients admitted to the hospital and for outpatients who are receiving care at the hospital.

Clinical Pharmacy:

Clinical pharmacists are pharmacists who have specialized in the area of clinical pharmacy. Clinical pharmacists work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, clinics, and pharmacies. Clinical pharmacists provide medication therapy management and other clinical services to patients.

Industrial Pharmacy:

An industrial pharmacy is a pharmacy that is located in a factory or other industrial setting. Industrial pharmacies generally provide medications to workers in the factory or industrial setting. Industrial pharmacies may also provide medications to patients who live in the area near the factory or industrial setting.

Compounding Pharmacy:

Compounding pharmacies are pharmacies that specialize in compounding medications. Compounding pharmacies create customized medications for patients based on the individual patient’s needs. Compounding pharmacies may also create specialized formulations of medications, such as liquid suspensions or flavored medications for children.

Consulting Pharmacy:

Consulting pharmacies are pharmacies that provide consulting services to other pharmacies and healthcare facilities. Consulting pharmacies offer expertise on topics such as drug information, reimbursement, and product selection. Consulting pharmacies may also provide training to other healthcare professionals on topics such as medication safety and prescription drug abuse prevention.

Ambulatory Care Pharmacy:

Ambulatory care pharmacies are pharmacies that provide outpatient pharmaceutical services. Ambulatory care pharmacies may be located in clinics, doctor’s offices, or other medical facilities. Ambulatory care pharmacies offer a variety of services, including medication therapy management, immunizations, and diabetes education.

Regulatory Pharmacy:

Regulatory pharmacies are pharmacies that are responsible for ensuring that medications meet regulatory standards. Regulatory pharmacies test medications for quality and accuracy before they are made available to the public. Regulatory pharmacies also develop regulations for the manufacture and distribution of medications.

Home Care Pharmacy:

Home care pharmacies are pharmacies that provide pharmaceutical services to patients who are homebound. Home care pharmacies generally deliver medications to patients’ homes and provide medication therapy management services. Home care pharmacies may also offer other services, such as home health aides and durable medical equipment.


There are various types of pharmacies, which can be classified into several categories. The most common types are community pharmacy, hospital pharmacy, clinical pharmacy, industrial pharmacy, compounding pharmacy, and consulting pharmacy. Each type of pharmacy has its own unique roles and functions in the health care system.

The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.