[Tagging] Feature Proposal - RFC - Deprecate healthcare=pharmacy

Joseph Eisenberg joseph.eisenberg at gmail.com
Tue Apr 28 17:14:53 UTC 2020

The tag amenity=pharmacy was approved in 2006 and since then has been the
consensus tag for mapping pharmacies.

I propose to deprecate the recently-created tag healthcare=pharmacy, which
was added as a preset in one editor application about 2 years ago, and
therefore is often automatically added to features mapped with
amenity=pharmacy by new users.


The tag amenity=pharmacy has been widely used for 14 years to map
pharmacies ("a shop where a pharmacist sells prescription medications"),
and it has already been approved for this purpose. This proposal seeks to
clarify that amenity=pharmacy remains the approved tag to use, and
therefore the newer duplicate healthcare=pharmacy should be deprecated.

While pharmacies are somewhat healthcare-related, but they are also shops.
In many countries they sell a variety of items, in addition to prescription
pharmaceuticals, and sometimes serve as convenience shops (e.g. in the
USA). Therefore, they are not exactly shops, nor exactly like a healthcare
facility. The original key amenity=* is a reasonable choice. This has been
confirmed with extensive usage of amenity=pharmacy by mappers and database


So why are some pharmacies also tagged with healthcare=pharmacy? The
history is that healthcare=* tags were introduced by the healthcare
proposal. Originally the proposal authors suggested to deprecate
amenity=pharmacy and replace it with shop=pharmacy, but due to strong
opposition to deprecating amenity=pharmacy, that idea was abandoned in 2010.

However, later the tag healthcare=pharmacy started to be used later anyway,
with intention by some mappers to deprecate amenity=pharmacy. This tag has
almost exclusively been added to amenity=pharmacy features, not used alone.
Almost all instances of healthcare=pharmacy were added in the past 2 years,
due to a change in presets in one editor application.

Approving this proposal will re-affirm the previous approval of
amenity=pharmacy. This will make it clear that healthcare=pharmacy is not
needed and should be deprecated.

-- Joseph Eisenberg
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