Pharmacists Wanted

Discussion
Oct 29, 2002
George Anderson

By George Anderson


There’s a shortage of licensed pharmacists on the job and prospects are not good for improvement in the short term, says The New York Times.


There were nearly 7,000 openings for pharmacists in 2000 up from just 2,700 two years earlier according to the Department of Health and Human Services. The United States has approximately 200,000 licensed pharmacists today.


Starting pay is high for new graduates, but long hours and a ceiling on earnings has limited pharmacy as a career path. First, however, a student must spend up to six years training to become a pharmacist.


Anthony Cuti, chairman and ceo, Duane Reade told the Times, “The single biggest issue is the economic model,” Mr. Cuti also said that the educational requirements for pharmacists were too high.


Charles Monahan Jr., president, Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, commenting on the educational requirements said, “We’re having a difficult time convincing high school graduates to go six years.”


Evidently, pay and upward mobility are seen by many as less of a problem for the many pharmacists that go to work for pharmaceutical companies or start their own drug stores.


Moderator’s Comment: What is the answer to the pharmacist
shortage at retail?


The Heldrich Center and the Center for Survey Research
and Analysis at UConn conducted earlier this year where 58 percent said they
thought now was a bad time to find a good job. The 1,000 respondents to the
poll must not have included many pharmacists.

[George
Anderson – Moderator
]

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