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Recession-proof pharmacists

  • July 2, 2009
  • RPh on the Go

Being a pharmacist means you will remain in demand for decades to come. It is a profession that is recession-proof and will remain viable as along people need medicine. I have looked at the Bureau of Labor Statistics and it stated that employment among pharmacists will grow by 22% through 2016. It is considered the fastest rate of employment among most occupations.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics of May 2008, the average annual salary of pharmacists is $104,200. I can remember working as a pharmacist right after college making $35,000/year. I can’t believe how far we have progressed. As my father has always said, “You will never starve as a pharmacist.” Thanks dad, you were right!

We had a national shortage of pharmacists back in 2001. This was due to changing the curriculum from BS Pharmacy to the Pharm.D program. Pharmacy colleges weren’t producing enough pharmacists to meet the demand. Presently, we are meeting the demand, but there are still shortages depending on location around the United States. With the growing influx of prescriptions needing to be filled and more Americans living longer, the demand for pharmacist will always be needed to provide that service.

In President Obamas proposed health care reform, it stresses a team-based approach to care. I have seen working at several VA hospitals where primary care doctors are teamed up with the pharmacist to increase better patient care. I have seen pharmacist increasin g their role in providing immunizations, pain management, and doing blood monitoring for patient taking blood thinners. With this faltering economy, I have seen many patients seeking a pharmacist for free advice instead of spending money for an office visit with their doctor.

We are in an exciting time for our profession. It is not only counting pills by five, it is an ever evolving dynamic profession that is being interweaved with other healthcare professions. I have always believed that we are a very highly educated profession, but the least utilized. But with the advent of people living longer and high level of stress among doctors, I see a glimmer of light that our education will be fully realized.

Cyrus Pacis is a pharmacist who often works on long-term relief pharmacy jobs through RPh on the Go.

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