Pharmacology vs Pharmacy: Amazing Differences You Must Know

Pharmacology vs Pharmacy; a timely comparison we must do to keep students informed about their choice to make in terms of pursuing their Undergraduate, Masters, Ph.D., and Research programs.

Are you currently considering a career as a pharmacist? Or you have developed an interest in pharmacology, and you want to know the difference?

The thing is, some careers can be in the same field and still be quite similar, while sometimes, they are very different in 2023.

In this post, you will learn the difference between pharmacology and pharmacy in terms of their education requirements, duties and so on.

A glance at the table of contents below will give you an overview of all that this post entails.

Pharmacology vs. Pharmacy Career

In choosing a career for life, especially one that requires academic education, it’s always important to get as much information as possible to ensure you are on the right track. That one doesn’t waste time on the wrong information.

It’s certainly possible to switch careers and educational paths at any time. Still, if you intend to get into a career as quickly as possible, you want to be sure of what you’re delving into, and that you are making the right educational choice.

In a career in the pharmaceutical field, it’s best to get a strong sense of where one is going before diving into their education.

This is probably because the requirements for education are fairly extensive and consume. It’s essential to be sure one has his or her focus in the right place.

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Pharmacist vs. Pharmacologist: Amazing Differences You Must Know

The most convenient way to determine your direction is to research each career further and what it takes to achieve it.

You’ll also want to look into the quality of life, pay and benefits, and how easily you’ll find work in your chosen location.

Pharmacist vs. Pharmacologist: General Comparison

Besides dispensing medication, pharmacists provide patient-professional health care education about the uses of medications.

They are widely considered medication experts, especially in managing diseases through medication and distribution.

On the other hand, they are not seen performing any of these duties; instead, their designation is more on the science behind medicine, which includes how it reacts in the body system.

The main goal of a pharmacist is to help patients get well through the use of medicine. They aim to diagnose disease, cure it, and prevent further spread.

They typically eliminate or reduce symptoms and nullify the physiological process of a patient’s health. Pharmacists can achieve these goals by understanding the composition of drugs, their manufacture, and their use.

This includes drug purity and strength, and in the light of this knowledge, they make sure patients are treated with the proper medication to ensure they get well.

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Pharmacology vs. Pharmacy Job Descriptions: Healthcare Job Descriptions

While they may be closely related, the studies of pharmacy and pharmacology are uniquely their own, and students of either program will enter different career paths upon graduation.

Pharmacy graduates can dispense medication in their role as a pharmacist. On the other hand, pharmacology graduates explore and study-related reactions to the use of medicine in the human body.

Pharmacists: Dispensing Medication

Students who want to work in a pharmacy dispensing medication should aim for at least a degree in pharmacy. A Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm D.) along with passing a state license exam permits graduates to be a practitioner of pharmacy in the United States.


Do not perform any of these duties; instead, they focus more on the science behind medicine, including how it reacts in the body.

Pharmacologists: Studying the Effects Medicine

Even before medications are being dispensed or prescribed. They study the sources, chemical properties and the effects of medicine in the human body.

This study can vary anywhere from drug discovery to toxicology, with a wide variety of disciplines available within the industry of pharmacology.

Pharmacology: Pharmacodynamics and Pharmacokinetics

Unlike pharmacy, pharmacology may include two (2) closely related areas:

  • pharmacodynamics
  • pharmacokinetics.

While Pharmacodynamics is designated to study how drugs affect cellular systems through molecular, biological, and physiological effects. Pharmacokinetics then analyzes the drug absorption, delivery, and excretion from the system.

These two (2) components are very important to the study of pharmacology and are less important when compared to a pharmacy.

Pharmacology vs Pharmacy: Work Environment

As a pharmacist, the person will work in a pharmacy, probably like the ones in his or her town’s convenience or grocery stores.

They may also be able to find work at a hospital or clinic, while pharmacists work for universities or drug companies.

Pharmacologists usually work in research centers, laboratories, and academic institutions.

They are often employed by government organizations, private foundations, and the drug manufacturing industry to conduct research and development.

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Pharmacology vs Pharmacy: Work Responsibilities

As a retail pharmacist, one will spend time filling prescriptions, advising patients, completing insurance forms and other administrative designations.

Most pharmacists work in stores, but they could also work as a consultant or in a clinical role, primarily to assist doctors who work directly with patients.

Pharmacologists, however, are the developers of the drugs, and they test it for effectiveness and safety.

They are often designated in one area, such as endocrine, chemotherapy, toxicology or veterinary pharmacology.

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Pharmacology vs. Pharmacy: Education

To become a practicing pharmacist, one must have a doctor of pharmacy degree, which usually takes four (4) years to complete.

To be prepared for an advanced pharmacy job, they may take on a one (1) to two (2) year residency program after they have finished their Pharm.D.

Business courses also can be helpful, especially if the person wants to run his or her store. They will also need to pass at least two (2) licensing exams in order to work – one(1) testing general knowledge and one (1)on pharmacy law in their state of residency.

Pharmacologists may need a Ph.D. in pharmacology or some other related field. Though programs may vary depending on the institution, one can expect to complete a significant amount of original research.

Given that pharmacology is highly related to medical science, some institutions may provide the option to earn a joint M.D. and Ph.D. degree.

Sometimes pharmacologists also complete two (2) to four (4) years of postdoctoral research. In general, they are not required to have a license to work as a pharmacologist.

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Pharmacology Salary vs. Pharmacy Salary

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, pharmacists earn a median annual salary of $122,230. However, On the low end, pharmacists earned a 25th percentile salary of $109,400, which perhaps implies that 75 percent earned more than this amount.

The 75th percentile salary is $138,920, meaning 25 percent earn more. In the year 2016, 312,500 total number of people were employed in the U.S. as pharmacists.

Pharmacology Here, income varies widely, depending on the individual’s field. The median salary for all medical scientists is $82,240, while it is recorded that the highest paid professionals in this field earn $175,320 working in professional, scientific, and technical services.

Can a Pharmacologist open a Pharmacy?

Pharmacies don’t have heavy requirements regarding their opening, as they make it easier for people to get medication for their ill health. Hence, pharmacologists can open pharmacies wherein they will retail medication.

On the flip side, this is not advisable as regulatory bodies can clamp down on your pharmacy store and request you show them a license. And when you can’t produce a license, they can seal your store.

Conclusively, you’re advised to get a pharmacy license if you want to practice pharmacy.

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