List of Free Online Pharmacy Courses & Continuing Education

Jan 07, 2020

Free Pharmacy Tech Training and Online Pharmacy Courses Overview

Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians, or those who aspire to those careers, may benefit from free online courses in the field. There are some free courses and resources available online, but if individuals want to complete them for continuing education credit, they should be sure the courses are accredited. In addition, free pharmacy technician training courses may offer certificates of completion, but certification to become a pharmacy technician, which is required in some states, can be achieved only passing an exam by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board or National Healthcareer Association. In addition, those interested in becoming pharmacists can pursue online pre-pharmacy degree programs.

Courses to Study Pharmacy Online for Free

  • MIT OpenCourseWare Principles of Pharmacology: The MIT OpenCourseWare platform offers the university's course materials online for free. This course covers the basics of how drugs work and explores topics related to biochemistry, biophysics and physiology. It also covers drug interactions, toxicity, drug metabolism and more, with focuses on specific drug agents. The available course materials include lecture notes, assignments, exams and study materials.
  • MIT OpenCourseWare Principles and Practice of Drug Development: This course is about the process of discovering new drugs, covering the different parts of the process like clinical investigation and manufacturing. It also delves into regulatory topics and financial issues. The course materials available include lecture notes, a list of reading material and an archive of news articles related to the topics.
  • Johns Hopkins OpenCourseWare Principles of Drug Development: Like MIT, Johns Hopkins University also offers its course materials on a free online platform. This course covers the process of how new drugs are made, from the inception in the lab to launching to the public. It also covers phases of drug development, and legal, ethical and financial factors. Lecture materials and readings are available for this course.
  • Johns Hopkins OpenCourseWare Pharmaceuticals Management for Underserved Populations: The goal of this course is to explore the access of drugs and medications in countries throughout the world. It covers real-world examples and dives into the pharmaceutical trade in various countries. This includes understanding how regulatory agencies, governments and non-governmental organizations play a role in the industry. Some lecture notes and readings are available from this course.
  • Pharmacy Times: This publication for pharmacists also provides free online continuing education for professionals in the field. It offers accredited courses, which can all be viewed on its website. Course topics vary, but cover areas like recent opioid legislation, over-the-counter cold and flu medicines, cancer treatment updates, oral health and more.
  • Medscape: Medscape is another publication and resource for medical professionals, including pharmacists. Pharmacists who register on the website for a free account can have access to no-cost, accredited continuing education courses. The continuing education offered on its website is varied, with courses that last as little as 15 minutes. The offerings are kept up to date and cover a range of pharmacological topics.

Free Online Pharmacy Courses with Certificates

Online learning platform Alison offers free pharmacy-related classes. Students can take the courses for free, but if they want a certificate of completion, they must pay for it.

  • Community and Institutional Pharmacy: This one-to-two hour course is made up of three modules that cover community pharmacy topics, like pharmaceutical compounding and giving patients medication, and institutional pharmacy topics, which address hospital pharmacy work and infection control.
  • Pharmacotherapy: Nervous, Sensory & Genitourinary Systems: In fewer than three hours, students will learn about symptoms of nervous, sensory and genitourinary system diseases and how to treat them with drugs. The issues covered include ear and eye disease, Parkinson's disease, ADHD, mood disorders and more. Medications can be used to cure or control these disorders.
  • Pharmacotherapy: Cardio, Respiratory, Gastro & Endocrine Systems: In this course, students learn about the functions of the cardio, respiratory, gastro and endocrine body systems, and how to treat disorders and diseases of these systems using drugs. Some of the issues covered include colds, asthma, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and nausea. They will also learn about the importance of insulin, hyper-and hypothyroidism, using a nebulizer and more.

Pharmacy Technician Classes Online for Free

  • Brain Measures Pharmacy Technician Certification Test: This company, which focuses on online certification tests, offers one for pharmacy technicians. Students who sign up for the test get a free e-book that covers the topics that will be tested on. The test is free, but the certificate must be paid for.
  • Alison Diploma in Pharmacy Technician: This online learning platform offers a course about working as a pharmacy technician. The course can be completed in about eight to 10 hours and is made up of 14 modules and a final assessment. It covers topics like community and institutional pharmacy, different kinds of drugs and pharmacotherapy. Note that the course itself is free, but students must pay to actually receive a certificate. A certificate can be valuable to show potential employers you completed a course, but it may not be the certificate required to actually become a pharmacy technician, which varies by state.
  • Alison Introduction to Pharmacy Practice: In three modules, this one-to-two-hour course covers the basics of being a pharmacy technician, including pharmacy laws, drug development and administering medications. It also covers drug safety and effectively communicating with patients about their medications. Like other Alison courses, the course is free but you must pay for a certificate of completion if you want one.
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