Pharmacy Job Market/Outlook
Will there be too many new graduates in the future? Things to consider:
1) In the lean years with fewer graduates e.g. 2000, there we about 7500 Pharm D.s graduating.
2) In another 4 years from now, there will be about 9000 - 9500 graduating (assuming a 12% average attition rate in pharmacy school) due to the complete transition to Pharm D., lots more new schools and expansion of existing programs. We are talking of a about 25% increase in number of graduates.
3) Women working part time is a factor in reducing the effective number of graduates, but not as much as people state that it is - it works out to about a 15% reduction in full time equivalent pharmacists. It is not like most of them work half time.
4) In the past 4 years, the "shortage" of pharmacists has been whittled down from about 7000 to about 3500. This is in spite of increased retail openings (retail growth rates should level off or be lower in the future) and increased volumes - this means that at an annual rate of 7500 graduates - you still have a slight oversupply. The excess at this point is nearly equivalent to, say, the number needed to staff K Mart pharmacies - if they went under which is a distinct possibility, the shortage may be mostly wiped out.
5) Mail order (with its greatly reduced need for pharmacists for each unit of work performed) handles more business than independents - and more growth is on the way.
6) A move towards 90-day refills will affect the approximately 50% retail business which is for chronic medications. This will reduce some work.
7) Automation, e-prescriptions, RFIDs will reduce the need for multiple Pharm D.s at a pharmacy. At the current salary levels, retail will surely try and reduce the number of Pharm D.s needed.
However, in spite of quoting some of the numbers mentioned above, you see newspaper articles state that there will be a shortage in the future. I don't see the logic. Seems fashionable at this time to perpetuate the myth of a shortage. Clinical positions are supposed to increase the need for Pharm D.s in the future, but as the manpower and other studies state, the expected clinical positions are a perceived need by the guardians of the profession and are not projections of actual demand.
Does anyone have a take on these facts? Thanks!