[OSM-talk] dispensing pharmacy considered confusing

Greg Troxel gdt at ir.bbn.com
Sat May 9 23:37:23 BST 2009

Paul Johnson <baloo at ursamundi.org> writes:

> Stefan Bethke wrote:
>> Am 09.05.2009 um 08:59 schrieb Paul Johnson:
>>>> Yes, but here in the US you wouldn't call anything where you couldn't
>>>> get a prescription filled a pharmacy so the dispensing tag is
>>>> redundant.  I think that's what he's getting at.
>>> That's not true:  I can think of several Rexall and Rite Aid locations
>>> that are not dispensing pharmacies in Oregon.
>> So what would you call it then? A drug store?
> Pharmacies and drug stores are synonymous here, dispensing or not.  And
> I noticed another thing that I didn't before:  There are some pharmacies
> (such as some Walgreens and all WalMart locations) which are 24-hours,
> but are only dispensing during banker's hours.  Not sure how you would
> tag a pharmacy that may or may not be dispensing depending on the time
> of day.

Well, we are trying to be a map, not a complete database of the world -
that's the slippery slope.  I wouldn't worry about these nuances.

So the only real question is whether your example "Rite-Aid" that won't
fill prescriptions is really a pharmacy, or merely shop=chemist.  I
would guess you also can't get sudafed there, which is like the UK "P"

So I will edit the pharmacy tag page to add:

  Denotes a location where a pharmacist (typically licensed by the
  government) sells medications whose sale is typically regulated by the
  government.  In jurisdictions where there is a class of drugs that can
  be sold by pharmacists without a doctor's precscription, pharmacies that
  sell those drugs but do not fill prescriptions should be tagged
  "dispensing=no".  Pharmacies that fill prescriptions should be tagged
  "dispensing=yes".  Stores that sell other items typically found in
  pharmacies such as personal care items, but that do not sell regulated
  medications, should be not be tagged as amenity=pharmacy, but instead
  perhaps as shop=chemist.

The current text is not sufficient to allow someone who understands what
a store does to make tagging decisions.

I think the intent is clear, that amenity=pharmacy is only for places
with registered pharmacists (at least in countries that have such a
concept).  Therefore amenity=pharmacy dispensing=no has to be about a
place with a registered pharmacist that can't fill prescriptions.  In UK
terms, this would be P medications but not POM.  In the US, it would
mean sudafed but not prescriptions (I have never heard of this).

Please object if you don't like my proposed wiki edit above.
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