Duane Reade Walgreens Deerfield
What Is the Difference Between a Pharmacy & a Drugstore?
In the United States, the words “pharmacy” and “drugstore” are used interchangeably, though the latter label often suggests a store that sells prescription medications and other products. What a business chooses to call itself often depends on what additional products, if any, the business sells besides pharmaceuticals.
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The term “pharmacy,” when referring to a business, means a place where medications are dispensed and sold, or both. A drugstore, on the other hand, may be set up as a “convenience store,” according to BBC America. Drugstores may sell cosmetics, toiletry items, first-aid supplies and patent medications, such as nonprescription cold medicines. Many drugstores sell greeting cards, gift cards and magazines. In addition, soft drinks, adult beverages, breakfast cereal and milk are common drugstore items.
Not all pharmacies are part of a drugstore. For example, several department store chains have pharmacies, as do several major supermarket chains. Most hospitals and many health clinics have pharmacies on the premises. In a health-care service setting, however, the pharmacy will not typically carry items you would find in a drugstore, such as paperback books, electronics and batteries.
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