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Public-images-osm logo.svg dispensing
Typical Doctors Prescription.jpg
Whether a pharmacy dispenses prescription drugs or not. Show/edit corresponding data item.
Group: health
Used on these elements
may be used on nodesshould not be used on waysmay be used on areas (and multipolygon relations)should not be used on relations (except multipolygon relations)
Status: approvedPage for proposal

The key dispensing=* is used to specify whether a pharmacy dispenses prescription drugs or not. It adds information to something that is already tagged as amenity=pharmacy.

However, database users should be aware that this tag is automatically added to all new pharmacies mapped with the iD editor, unless the user chooses to remove it.

How to map

  • dispensing=yes - A pharmacy with a dispensing pharmacist able to sell prescription drugs as well as over the counter drugs.
  • dispensing=no - A pharmacy with a pharmacist that does not fill prescriptions, but does sell pharmacist-only drugs (e.g., pseudoephedrine in the US).

Regional specific

Note that combination of amenity=pharmacy + dispensing=no will be never valid in some areas.

Situation in Poland

  • to call itself "pharmacy" business needs to pass certain legal requirements (hire people with specific certification, ban on advertising and so on)
  • all pharmacies are allowed to carry all medicines
    • including all prescription drugs (dispensing=yes)
    • including for example restricted opioid painkillers
    • but some medicines have "strict accounting" status ("ścisłego zarachowania"), adding extra requirements, so not all pharmacies will carry them and some will order them only by request
    • but pharmacies carrying them will carry different subset of them, for example pharmacy next to hospice or cancer-focused hospital is far more likely to have supply of opioid painkillers that can be bought immediately by people having prescription for them, without waiting for order. At the same time such pharmacy may not carry other medicines.
  • Maybe in theory someone could open shop selling primarily medicines without any that require prescription, without calling itself "pharmacy" but this does not really make an economical sense and such shops do not exist. They will typically sell also other products, for example herbs/new-age stuff and be rather shop=herbalist or shop=new_age or such section will be a small part of larger shop.

Situation in Croatia

  • Some drugs are restricted (antibiotics, heavy opioids etc.) and can only be dispensed if the Ministry of Health has approved their use for a specific person
  • thus, only pharmacies which are under contract with Ministry of Health ("Ugovorni partner HZZO-a") and have implemented technical measures for connection to them (so they can digitally verify such persons and their prescriptions) are dispensing=yes and can dispense such medicines.