Pharmacy Law and Legal Definition

Pharmacy is a highly-regulated profession, and the details of that regulation have been changing significantly in recent years to accommodate additional practice settings, increased scope of practice for pharmacists and other health care personnel, and dramatic changes in technology. Every pharmacist must stay abreast of changes in the regulatory environment to ensure safe and legal practice. Laws regulate the labelling, recordkeeping, and drugs handled by pharmacies.

State pharmacy boards exist to regulate the licensing and practices of pharmacists. To practice pharmacy in any state, a pharmacist must become a registered pharmacist (RPh), also known as a licensed pharmacist.

Pharmacists are licensed by the State Board of Pharmacy. Requirements vary somewhat from state to state, but in general, to be licensed a pharmacist must:

  • Graduate from an accredited college of pharmacy
  • Participate in residency or internship programs to acquire direct, "hands-on" patient care experience
  • Pass a rigorous examination, known as the NABPLEX (National Association of Boards of Pharmacy Licensing Examination)