DISCUSSION: How would you correct the saturated pharmacy job market?

6 Comments → “DISCUSSION: How would you correct the saturated pharmacy job market?”

  1. diana 8 years ago  

    Biggest contributor?

    Well, it’s a number of factors,

    An increase in pharmacy schools, so increased amount of graduates,

    Decreased hours and no overlap at the chains, so part timers bit the dust

    Mandatory mail order taking more prescriptions out of retail

    As an independent pharmacy owner, I am getting requests for work like I never have before.

    I could now hire a pharmacist for 25% less salary if I wasn’t so happy with the ones I have.

    If I was a large corporation answering to stockholders, I’d be forced to fire my staff and hire
    new cheaper ones. Thats what the chains will soon begin to do, and burn out the new graduates.

  2. Dennis Bryan 8 years ago  

    The whole situation leaves a number of thought to be considered:
    1) As to the number of pharmacy schools, look at it from a purely business point of view, if you are a business( schools are) and you need a cash flow, you look for one. If you see an opptunity you take it. Their is a large number of students looking to get into pharmacy school, an no barriers to prevent them from opening them. So what would you do, turn your back and walk away from the cash source, no you will not. So much for item one.
    2) As to the students themselves, do they not have the foresigiht to look at the end of their education, and see if their are oppunitites to practice. Look like they do not, or there would not be this glut. So I put a go part of the blame game o them. Why would you take on $100,000-$200,000 in debt for no job. TO the pre pharmacy studnets, I say this, look before you leap, and you can avoid a hugh debt load.
    3) As what to do, as long as the schools meet ACPE guidelines, nothing, it would considered “restraint of trade” and probably illegal. However, you could is explore the possiblility of some legislation which would establish what is known as a “crtificate of need” in order to open a new school, just like they do in some state when gviven a request to build new hospitals. Now you would have some to protcet their citizens(students) from possibly spending the money unnecessarily when there is enough pharmacist in the current situation.

  3. Kevin Mero 8 years ago  

    @ Diana What do you think should be done about the over supply of pharmacists and those that are now in the pipeline to graduate? Should there be a moratorium on the opening of new schools? Should pharmacy form a guild? Should there be a board or a demonstrated need that determines needs as Dennis pointed out?
    Dennis and I exchanged emails about the # of new pharmacy schools that are opening in IL and his state is not unique. If you have been following the recent articles in Drug Topics new grads are coming out of school with $250K+ in debt and can’t find sites to get their internship hours much less find work, and CA has 5 new schools scheduled to open!
    According to Mercer’s recent salary survey on PW.com pharmacy salaries are still going up however technician pay is now headed down. Although it is not widespread I do hear of pharmacists pay heading down and while recent history was you were paid based on experience I’m hearing of many pharmacists with 25 years of experience and more accepting $50 per hour. In some cases they are taking a $40K hits annually so it goes along with your statement about a 25% drop in pay.
    I’m also being contacted by many pharmacists who are north of 50 years old and out of work. These are very seasoned people who can bring a lot of wisdom to the table as well as be great mentors. I sure do not see a machine replacing them anytime soon. Thank you both for your comments, they are always appreciated! Kevin

  4. Cory Anderson 8 years ago  

    I don’t have a way to correct this. But from someone who just recently graduated, I have a lot of friends that are in pharmacy school at the moment, and I wasn’t aware the market was saturated. Isn’t there always room for pharmaceutical manufacturing, general pharmacy jobs, etc.? My friends always told me that pharmaceutical jobs are plentiful, the pay is great, and the job market for pharmacy students has a greater outlook than a lot of other fields. But I have noticed that A LOT of my friends are studying pharmacy, so that could change in the near future (if it has not already).

  5. Cory Anderson 8 years ago  

    @Kevin Mero: I’ve been wondering the same thing because I have a lot of friends that are in pharmacy school at the moment, and I wasn’t aware the market was saturated. Isn’t there always room for pharmaceutical manufacturing, general pharmacy jobs, etc.? My friends always told me that pharmaceutical jobs are plentiful, the pay is great, and the job market for pharmacy students has a greater outlook than a lot of other fields. But I have noticed that A LOT of my friends are studying pharmacy, so that could change in the near future (if it has not already).

  6. PharmacyWeek 8 years ago  

    Cory – Thank you for your comments, they are always appreciated! The pharmacy employment market is soon going to test your point “Isn’t there always room for a general pharmacy jobs, etc.?” While new grads and pharmacists in general are still getting hired it certainly is not anywhere near the pace it was just a few years ago. If this recession continues, and as new colleges of pharmacy open and existing ones increase their graduates, the total number of new grads is going to double to approx. 14K in a few short years. When you add in the number of H1B pharmacists of approx. 6K we’re going to be at 20K new grads. Unless you can convince the Baby Boomer pharmacists to not postpone their retirement where are all the jobs going to come from? There are a lot of really bright minds involved with this but can the “system” predict just how many new grads we need to maintain balance? In my opinion pharmacy is a lot like many other disciplines in America today, we have a mis-match of where people want to live vs. where the jobs are located. There are plenty of open positions in the rural areas but unless you have some ties to that area would you want to live there? HR dept.’s know this and most are going to ask you why you want to come work for them. If there is no compelling reason to come there why would you stay?

    The link you listed is a CRO. We used to get a lot of openings from CRO’s but we have not seen them in some time. I also do not think that the pay is going to be the same as in many cases they really do not need a pharmacist degree as they already have many Phd’s on staff. There was no phone number on their site so I will email them and see if I can find out how many pharmacists they have on staff. Thanks again and please write anytime! Kevin