Should I Go to a Drugstore or a Pharmacy?


 – Drugstore: non-health related products

 – Regulation: distinction pharmacy and drugstore

 – Beware of claims in the drugstore


Drugstore can be under the aegis of a pharmacist or not, which is a source of difficulties.

 In the USA, several actors enter the drug distribution circuit:

 – the pharmacy,

 – drugstore,

 – the pharmaceutical laboratory,

 – the health agency.


Drugstore: non-health-related products

 A drugstore is not a medical specialty. It designates all hygiene and care products authorized to be sold without a medical prescription. For instance, a pharmacist does not necessarily market them. This is why supermarkets and hypermarkets can sell drugstore products without a pharmacist’s presence.


Laboratories require a diploma to sell these products

 It is not necessary to be a graduate to sell drugstore products. However, many laboratories that develop this type of product require a pharmacist to be present at the sale point. However, the difficulty is mainly to make this a respected code on online sales sites specialized in drugstore products.


Regulation: the distinction between pharmacy and drugstore

 – The regulations require a difference to be made between:

 ◦ the products authorized to be sold in a drugstore,

 ◦ and those listed in the pharmaceutical field that can only be delivered in pharmacies.

 – In the drugstore, you will find:

 ◦ certain dietetic products,

 ◦ for personal hygiene products,

 ◦ cosmetics, etc.

 On the other hand, sale in the drugstore is not authorized for products in the pharmaceutical field, such as:

 – dietetic foods,

 – homeopathic medicines,

 – allopathic drugs,

 – any medicinal plant,

 – the dressings listed and per the pharmacopeia,

 – essential oils,

 – any medication for human use only,

 – veterinary drugs.


Beware of claims in drugstores 

A drugstore is faced with increasingly restrictive regulations regarding claims that are indications for advertising purposes, making people believe that a product has scientifically unproven virtues on health, weight loss, etc…


Health claims

 Many products sold in drugstore contain health claims that can be misleading to the consumer.

 Among them are catchy words or phrases like:

 – “contributes to the reinforcement of natural defenses,”

 – “antioxidant”,

 – “has a positive impact on bone health,” etc.


Nutritional claims

 A nutrition claim is different from a health claim because it informs about the presence of nutritional properties beneficial to the body.

 The most common types of claims are:

 – “Light”,

 – “No sugar added,”

 – “High fibre”, etc.


Good to know: buying drugstore products in a pharmacy that has this type of department is safer than on the Internet because regulations are not always observed on the net.

Please note: always carry your insurance card with you before going to the pharmacy and present it when buying medication. 

Pharmacy or drugstore?

Medicines that can only be obtained on specialist advice can be obtained in pharmacies and drugstores, whereas prescription drugs are only available in pharmacies.

Attention: a drugstore may not be an approved provider under your insurance policy. Therefore, treatments that are purchased in a drugstore cannot be reimbursed by health insurance.

If you have any doubt, talk to your pharmacist. If you are in Hialeah, Gladeviews, El Portal, Brownsville, and Westchester, one good address to remember is Regions Pharmacy. From personalized attention to practical advice, their general pharmacy services include international prescription programs, prescription medication delivery, after-surgery package/gifts, and E-prescriptions.

Hope this post helps you decide whether to go to a drugstore or a pharmacy.

Thank you for reading this post. Should you wish to read on something more specific to health-care, please do not hesitate to jot down your comments below.


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