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by UBRICA ONE - Wednesday, 7 October 2015, 8:53 PM

One of the three components of the URCC will be a pharmacy.  The Pharmacy will be a key part of the URCC as it will hold centre stage in our quest to engage the public with health.  The pharmacy will provide dispensing services, advice on the use of medicines, medication review for patients on already established treatment regimes amongst other services. Patients who would like to have health checks will be assigned to the clinic on site.

The pharmacy will comprise of four sections including:

1.     customer service area (Front of shop)

2.     Dispensary

3.     Stock Room

4.     Back office

Front of the Shop

The customer service area is located at the front of the pharmacy where medicines and other goods are sold. At the shop front customers seeking advice on the use of their medications takes place.  The front of shop is sub-divided into sections;

1.     The general sales (GSL) section which has over the counter medications.  Patients can self select remedies for treatment of minor ailments such as pain relief, constipation, cold and flu etc. 

2.     The front of shop also displays other merchandise that promotes general well being.  Items  in this section include non prescription spectacles , face cloths, hot water bottles, soap, shampoos, body creams, body lotions only to list a few.

3.     The pharmacy also has a consultation room which enables a pharmacist to have private conversations with patients away from other customers.  This room is equipped with a desk, two chairs, a hand wash basin, dispenser for paper towel or a hand sanitizer dispenser.  The consultation room should also have basic health check equipment including a blood pressure monitor, weighing scale, height measuring rule.  It is also ideal to have a desktop or laptop which is a “slave” of the main dispensing system to enable easy access to patient records.

4.     In the front of shop there is the ‘behind the counter’ section which is usually demarcated from the rest of the shop floor by a work top where the Electronic point of sale (EPOS) computer is located.  This computer is also a ‘slave’ of the master computer that stores all the patient medication records and is a system that ensures the safe sale of medicines.  This computer system acts as cash till to enable the sale of both over the counter medicines as well as general well being merchandise and prescription medicines that can only be sold whilst the pharmacist is on site.

The key components of the front of shop:

1.     Ample space and shelf display well demarcated to include over the counter medicines, general well being merchandise and the grocery store display

2.     Consultation room containing a wash basin, table, two chairs, lap top, health check equipment

3.     A work top demarcating Pharmacy area and over the counter medicines

4.     EPOS computer system including one or two cash tills

5.     Ample shelf display shelves for over the counter medicines, general well being merchandise.

In line with the vision with URCC the front of shop will also be the home of our grocery store which will be stocked with groceries such as sweet potatoes and potatoes and will be situated within the pharmacy shop floor.  It is anticipated that the customers will be paying for their merchandise via the EPOS system giving the pharmacy staff an opportunity to engage with the public on matters of their health.


The dispensary is a separate room located behind the counter. The dispensary will be kept under lock and key when a pharmacist is not around. The dispensary houses the main computers also known as the master computer and backup computer which is another slave to the master computer. All patient medication records (electronic and paper; PMR) will be held in the main computer.  In the dispensary there will also be a back up.  In total there should be four computers running the pharmacy for easy access to patient information. 

The dispensary should have ample dispensing space.  Work tops should be made of vinyl as it is easy to keep clean and does not accumulate dirt.  The dispensary should have a space demarcated as the dispensing area where prescriptions are assembled and also a checking area where checks are made before they are issued to the patients or await collection.  The dispensary should also have a storage system for tablets which could be in any form or shape so long as it is easily accessible and convenient e.g. sliding drawers that open easily with shelving. 

Medication is usually stored in alphabetical order for tablets and other formulations.  There should also be separate shelves for liquids, creams, emollients, eye drops, nasal drops, suppositories, sachets, food supplements etc.  It is recommended that there is a separate allocated space for all the different formulations. The dispensary should have at least one dispensing sink which should have a rack that can hold several dispensing cylinders for measuring volumes of water for reconstituting antibiotics, or measuring oral suspensions or solutions.

There should also be two dispensary fridges able to maintain temperatures of 2 -8 degrees to sustain the cold chain.  One fridge should hold the stock and the other will be used for holding dispensed medication awaiting collection. In the dispensary, a controlled drugs cabinet is also paramount to ensure safe custody of narcotics.  It may be prudent to seek guidelines before the cabinet is assembled as they may need to be of a particular standard as prescribed by Pharmacy and Poisons Board of Kenya (PPBK).

Last but not least, there should also be shelves for the storage of medication awaiting collection if the customer has not collected the item and it needs safe keeping in the dispensary until it is collected.

Stock room

The stock room is designated for storage of excess medication or merchandise also known as the back stock.  This room should also hold an area for the management of unwanted medication by patients that have been returned to the dispensary for destruction.  The stock room could also hold the safe for the storage of daily revenue before banking. The stock room should also be used for the safe keeping of controlled drug cabinet keys, back up keys, till override keys etc

Back office

The back office is a small office area where all the paper work is done.  This office should also hold the CCTV room where the pharmacist/manager can keep an eye on the front of shop.  Cashing up and management of change could be undertaken in this area.