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Pharmacist Career Description

Pharmacists are responsible for the control, dispensing and distribution of medicine. Pharmacy forms the link between the manufacturer, the doctor and the patient, and the patient and the community.

What am I going to do in this occupation?

Pharmacists manufacture, dispense and distribute medicine for the treatment and prevention of diseases in humans and animals. The management and distribution of medicine are under strict legislative control. Pharmacists must be aware of all legal aspects concerning the pharmaceutical profession. The work of pharmacists varies according to the field they work in.

Community pharmacy
Pharmacists work closely with the medical practitioner and the general public. The pharmacists make up the medicine according to the doctor's prescription, as well as on their own initiative. Pharmacists check the prescribed dosage, see to it that the safety margins are not exceeded and that different medicines that are prescribed together, do not interfere with each other's functions, since some medicines cannot be taken together.

Pharmacists advise patients concerning their health, and also supply medicine for less serious illnesses, without a prescription.

Wholesalers' pharmacy and the manufacturing industry
Pharmacists in this industry are responsible for controlling the production of medicine. It involves checking all ingredients, and checking the procedures that are used in the manufacture of medicine. New products are constantly developed and tested to ensure that they are safe and effective. The pharmacists also perform some administrative tasks, such as the preparation of information about new products for submission to the Medical Control Board, the provision of information to physicians, and the planning and marketing of products.

Hospital pharmacy
Hospital pharmacists are employed by a provincial, private or state hospital, where they are responsible for routine dispensing of medicine, surgical material and instruments, as well as administrative duties.

Pharmacists can also be involved with training and research at various training institutions.


What kind of personality do I need? The prospective pharmacist must be hardworking and motivated. Accuracy, responsibility and good interpersonal relationships are also important.

Where can I work?

Medicine manufacturers, private and state hospitals, government departments such as the National Defense Force and private practices employ pharmacists.

Can I work for myself in this occupation?

Pharmacists can start their own businesses.

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