Chemist Shop Vs Pharmacy: Difference between a chemist shop and a pharmacy

Yours sincerely, nimedhealth is going to look into the similarities and differences between a chemist shop and a pharmacy. We are going to compare and contrast what it takes to be a pharmacy shop and what it takes to be a chemist shop.

Some persons on social media tried to compare and contrast a pharmacy shop and a chemist shop.

What is the difference between a chemist shop and a pharmacy shop or even a drug store?

Difference between a chemist shop and a pharmacy
Chemist shop VS Pharmacy.

People Speak:


Please..You guys should know that there’s a clear difference between a “Chemist Shop” and a “Pharmacy”

They can’t sell anything, I mean any damn thing in a chemist shop, but pharmacy has it’s own peculiar settings.

Life of Pablo

In Nigeria the difference between a pharmacy and a chemist is the size of their shop.


A pharmacy is a drug or medicine dispensary or a place where drugs are sold.
A chemist is someone who studied chemistry or is involved in chemical research.
But in British English, pharmacy = chemist

READ ALSO: Can a nurse or medical doctor open a pharmacy shop?

Student Pharmacist

In chemist only OVER THE COUNTER (non prescription drugs, like pain relievers, multivitamins etc) drugs are sold. In pharmacy all, all kindof drugs are gotten there, in addition there must be a pharmacist who will be there to advice and set out your dose regimen clearly.


Chemist is the retail shop for pharmaceutical products, they often don’t have vast knowledge of the medicine unlike the pharmacist, they only know few things about the medicine, like prescriptions on how to use it and what to use it for. But I’m the case of pharmacy, they deal mostly in the production of medicine, and they also have license to administering medicine to patients, they know what each medicine is made from and understands how to use it and what to use it for more than the chemist. Chemist is just like a subsidiary of pharmacy sha.


Pharmacy is a supermarket for drugs while chemist is small shop for drugs at cheaper rate.


Pharmacy is the US term, Chemist is the UK term, both outlets for medicines, just different names depending on where you’re from.


Abike, a pharmacist sheds more light on the difference between a pharmacy and a chemist store and also a drugstore…

Here is what she told

“The term “Chemist” is a loose term used to describe anyone with a diploma in drug dispensing in Nigeria in the 1920s. Such, their shops were also labelled “Chemists”.

As the practice evolved into more than just dispensing drugs, the diploma was upgraded to a degree.

The new era chemists/druggists are called Pharmacists and when it relates to drugs, they are the first point of contact.

A pharmacist can work in a hospital, teaching institution, admin/control agency (e.g. NAFDAC, NDLEA), drug manufacturing company, import/export and community.

In the community, a pharmacist can register an outlet known as pharmacy and has the full permission to buy/sell any kind of drug.

Usually, a big “Rx” logo will be outside the pharmacy.
A pharmacist is also available within the pharmacy.

You walk into a pharmacy knowing you will meet a healthcare provider that will give you the best primary healthcare possible.

That’s how stars do.

A Chemist (drug shop), on the other hand, could either be:
1. Illegal in that it is not registered with the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN) or
2. A drug store owned by someone with at least a primary school education, registered with the PCN and allowed to sell basic drugs.

As expected, you cannot compare the quality of healthcare you will receive at a “drugstore” when the person in charge can offer a wide variety of primary healthcare services by virtue of his/her University training.”

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