Patent or Proprietary medicine is defined as "'a drug which is a remedy or prescription presented in a form ready for internal or external administration of human beings or animals and which is not included in the current edition of the Indian Pharmacopoeia or any other Pharmacopoeia authorized in this behalf by the Central Government after consultation with the Drugs Technical Advisory Board".
Proprietary medicines are now available in ever increasing numbers. Hence traditional compounding of medicines has lost its importance except in hospitals where physician may prescribe compounded prescriptions but to a very limited extent.
This means that pharmacists must pay greater attention to dispensing of proprietary medicines. As a matter of fact the number of proprietary medicines available in the market covers a very wide range of therapeutic categories of drugs.
Most often proprietary medicines are having similar nomenclature that makes the pharmacist's job much difficult. Pharmacist must clearly understand the wishes of the prescriber and must avoid chances of confusion, error etc., while dispensing proprietary medicines and must make use of computer programs and software in resolving such problems.