Concept of Clinical Pharmacy

Concept of Clinical Pharmacy

Baker (1976) has defined clinical pharmacy as: “pharmacist involvement in monitoring patient’s therapy and giving advice which directly influences the decisions concerning drug therapy and how it is administered”.

The clinical pharmacy may be defined as: “The active participation of the pharmacist in patient care with the long-term aim of giving advice on medication with an individual patient in mind and tailoring drug therapy for that individual”. 

“Clinical pharmacy is a novel discipline that carries a traditional hospital pharmacist from his product-oriented approach to a healthier patient-oriented approach, to ensure the patient's maximum well-being while on drug therapy”.


The concept of clinical pharmacy includes the range of services through which all practicing pharmacists exercise their responsibilities toward the care of patients. Clinical pharmacy is concerned with the rational selection and use of medications at the patient level.  It ensures the appropriate and safe use of drugs in patient care. 

In the process of drug use, several stages may be identified. The need for drug therapy must be assessed. The appropriate drug and the dose, route, form, frequency, and duration of treatment must be selected. Drugs have then to be administered accurately. The whole process must be monitored and the success or failure of the outcome carefully evaluated.  Doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and patients must make both independent and shared decisions at each of these stages. These decisions determine whether the prescribed therapy is appropriate for the patient. 

Among the major activities covered under the term clinical pharmacy include;  involvement in prescribing rounds, patient counseling, drug history taking, parenteral nutrition service, pharmacokinetic advisory service, and monitoring for adverse drug reactions/interactions. Relatively minor activities are health education, training/education of own staff and doctors/nurses, clinical trials, case references, research, and clinical meetings.


A clinical pharmacist works side by side with the physician, at the patient’s bedside where he monitors the drugs, dosage, and side effects and advice the physician on these.  Hence, we can say clinical pharmacy has brought the pharmacist into closer touch with the prescribers and the details of the treatment of patients.

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