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Future problems in pharmacy

Discussion in 'Pre-Pharmacy' started by crazy4eck, 11.07.08.


  1. Thanks to Crack the PCAT
  1. crazy4eck

    crazy4eck

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    SDN Members don't see this ad. (About Ads)
    Does anybody know a good, accurate source to read up on potential problems in the field of pharmacy? I'm trying to prep myself for upcoming interviews. Thanks a bunch.
  2. Dash1228

    Dash1228

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    You know, I just called the pharmacist who gave me my reference and talked to him about it for fifteen minutes or so. (I would physically go in if you can.) He gave me some really good information and helped narrow my research.
  3. Sparda29

    Sparda29 En Taro Adun Gold Donor

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    Well, the main problem is that there are a lot of people getting older and there aren't enough pharmacists to go around in the system.

    Healthcare has to also focus on preventive medicine, and there are a lot of health disparities that have to be fixed.
  4. alenadoma

    alenadoma

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    I agree 100%. If I was asked that question, I would answer that we need to focus more on preventative medicine. The US spends the most in the world on healthcare (I think its like a $1.5 trillion market) and we are by far from being the healthiest people in the world doesn't. Clearly something is wrong. Preventative medicine would help lower the incidence of chronic disease, and ultimately reduce health care costs in the long term. Unfortunately, our society is one that demands instant satisfaction. If we don't see results right away, we assume that intervention is not worth it. We also need to rework the healthcare system so that everyone has access to primary care.
  5. Kirbypuff

    Kirbypuff Worldling

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    i agree with you 100% too!!!
  6. Aznfarmerboi

    Aznfarmerboi Senior Member

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    Last time I checked, there were enough pharmacists to go around.
  7. Pharmboi

    Pharmboi ACCEPTED

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    Problem in pharmacy is that too much outsourcing...one day ple will get their meds ina vending machine...where's the human contact
  8. alenadoma

    alenadoma

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    One more thing...
    These $4 lists are turning pharmacies into a free-for-all. While it's an excellent way to attract patients into a pharmacy and also a great resource for all of those people without insurance, I think it takes away from the integrity of the profession. Would anyone ever question a doctor about why their medical office visit copay is so high??
  9. PumpkinSmasher

    PumpkinSmasher Pharmacist

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    What about a $5 list, would that bring the integrity back?
  10. Sparda29

    Sparda29 En Taro Adun Gold Donor

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    Really, then why do most companies never have more than one pharmacist working at the same time, other than extremely high volume situations.

    Even for stores that do 250 scripts/day, there should be 2 pharmacists working. That's about 21 scripts/hour for a 12 hour day at the stores, mistakes start happening around 16 scripts/hour.
    We all know that the early mornings and late nights are relatively quiet, thus there have to be times where they are processing as much as 40 scripts an hour.
  11. mth0611

    mth0611

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    That one is easy--corporate greed. Profit maximization is the name of the game in retail. Retail pharmacies are understaffed, in general.
  12. Prepharm1214

    Prepharm1214

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    I agree but I still remember reading somewhere there is a shortage of about 1,500 pharmacists.
  13. Transformer

    Transformer

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    It really depends on what we define or label as a problem or a potential problem.

    In terms of Pharmacist job security, I strongly believe the pharmacy field (or any other profession) is generally better suited towards having a shortage of pharmacists than an excess number of pharmacists. This is exactly what we get when pharmacy schools are only allowed to graduate a certain number of pharm D. students per year. For that reason, the number of new U.S. pharmacists is somewhat controlled.
    Last edited: 11.07.08
  14. PharmD321

    PharmD321 Lifetime Donor

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    Absolutely not true. My teacher (that used to be a pharmacist) said that the country has a shortage of about 7000 pharmacist. I am curious though, where did you find that number?
  15. calisoca

    calisoca

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    You're claiming this is ABSOLUTELY NOT true because your teacher said so...wow. The point is, there is a shortage.
  16. PharmD321

    PharmD321 Lifetime Donor

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    1500 is very small number. 7000 is bigger and seems more realistic. did you notice that I asked him to tell me where he found this info and he didn't answer yet so then I would be able to change my views if what he said is true. Thank you for telling me this but I already know that there is a shortage. I just meant that the number is very different than what my teacher said.
  17. calisoca

    calisoca

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    If what he said was true? I thought you just said that it was ABSOLUTELY NOT true.
  18. PrepharmKID

    PrepharmKID

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    Is this discussion about retail? or all fields of pharmacy?
  19. PrepharmKID

    PrepharmKID

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    Ahh, nevermind, just read the post that sparked this discussion.

    Easy way to resolve this situation... Someone find a source for this information. End of discussion. :thumbup:
  20. PharmD321

    PharmD321 Lifetime Donor

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    http://www.uspharmacist.com/index.asp?show=article&page=8_1008.htm

    I found out this website said that we might need 100,000 more pharmacist by 2020. I calculated how many pharmacist we will need per year (average) and this article was published in 2002. So, I did 100,000 amount of pharmacist divided by 18 years and that came out 5,555.55 pharmacist jobs will be opened per year (average).

    Another website:

    This one is more updated. This one was made in 2005 by msnbc and they said 157,000 shortages by 2020.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9956386/

    Again I did the same calculation (157,000 pharmacist jobs open/15 years) and got 10,466.66 pharmacist jobs opens up per year until 2020 (average).

    So the shortage can vary. I said that 1500 is a small number if it was nationwide because the amount of drug orders are becoming more and more crazy every year and we will always need more pharmacist.
  21. Idesiretosling

    Idesiretosling

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    Well, my teacher said you and your teacher are toolbags.
  22. kbv

    kbv

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    Get real. Who would want to live in a desert or rural area? Yes, shortage happens there; just read their sign-on bonus and relocation bonus, etc... policies. Surplus of pharmacists overflows in the other areas, resulting in hours being cut down. Number is just number, and doesn't account for the other major factors (like in this state of economy...?) Your pharmacists can say whatever they want, but be more realistic.
  23. UNMorBUST

    UNMorBUST Mystery Man

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    I second that:thumbup:. The truth is there is a shortage, noone knows how much. Like the post above it is dependant on location. We all know Florida and California as well as other desirable are in less demand. Now if you go to say Idaho, im sure they are in extreme demand. Now for the record my teacher says there is a shortage of 1,200,000 pharmacist FTW.
  24. Aznfarmerboi

    Aznfarmerboi Senior Member

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    The pharmacist shortage is regional. In metropolitian areas (NYC, Pitts, Fl, Cali), there are no shortage. In fact most pharmacists would agree there is an oversaturation. In rural areas however, you can expect big sign on bonuses.

    I want to make sure that you guys are aware that 1.5k to 7k shortage is not a lot when there are 243,000 pharmacy jobs in the US. In fact, NYS alone graduates more than 1000 pharmacy students a year (Refer to NYS board of education pharmacy discipline).

    Sparda, you will NEVER find a retail pharmacy with more than one pharmacists on shift unless it is a 24 hour store with overlaps. The reason for this as one of the poster mentioned before is corporate greed. I have seen pharmacists push out 400-500 a day, and a few stores 1k. Most companies (Duane reade) have a central filling station. Some companies require chronic medications to be mail ordered (NYC is heavily unionized). etc

    I noticed that you are from Touro so that was why I quoted you. NYC is over saturated. The evidence is there. Two years ago, there would be a sign on bonus for 10k. Now there are none. Two years ago, a contract would guarantee you at least 44 hours compare to 30 now. Duane reade has delay its hiring process. CVS has a waiting list of pharmacists who wants to get in. Rite Aid probably wont be around in 10 years, and a lot of hospitals are on a hiring freeze. If you type in http://www.rxcareercenter.com/, you will find there are NO companies hiring in NYC.

    Its that simple. When you have 2-3 pharmacies every few blocks and all of them have a complete pharmacy staff plus floaters, where are you going to place the new graduates? That is why so many of us are fustrated against Touro. An oversaturated city cannot support 3 pharmacy schools in the city plus the two new ones opening up upstate (at least there are a few jobs upstate). That, plus we already have a lot of pharmacists coming in from NJ, Penn, and Mass.

    UNmorbust, if you are not being sarcastic about what your teacher said. . . listen to people who are out there working already instead!
    Last edited: 11.08.08
  25. Sparda29

    Sparda29 En Taro Adun Gold Donor

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    What you're forgetting is that a good amount of the older pharmacists are going to retire soon, opening up positions. Asides from that, I do plan on settling down in a rural area when I'm done with pharmacy school and residency, honestly, the roads in New York City are so boring, the cops are nazis about speeding. There's no point in buying a Merc SL or a BMW M Class in NYC because you can't do anything with them until like 2AM.

    I wanna live somewhere, where I can regularly go 100+mph, with crap loads of hard corners, mountainous driving, sounds like the Poconos are my destination.
  26. PharmD321

    PharmD321 Lifetime Donor

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    Dude, I think Colorado needs you!! driving in the mountains is a very crazyyyy thing to do. I always go 160+ mph in my audi in vail or breck!!!
  27. calisoca

    calisoca

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    Excess of 160 mph? I can now rest assured knowing you're full of it.
  28. pharmacognosy

    pharmacognosy

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    iam egyptian pharmacy student and its my pleasure to have friends frm usa specially pharmacy student can u accept me as afriend??:hello::nod:
  29. pharmacognosy

    pharmacognosy

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    yes u r right i agree with u its our dream that the pharmacist can do its real role to day and tomorrow by the way iam egyptian pharmacy student and wish to be agood friend in this disscution
  30. UNMorBUST

    UNMorBUST Mystery Man

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    I thought i was being blatantly obvious:D. I was mocking a bit about random quotes by teachers or papers. nice post though.
  31. LongPigeon

    LongPigeon

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    This is a really good post to get focused. I think so far we've covered:
    1. shortage of pharmacists
    2. need to focus on preventive medicine
    3. affordable and accessible insurance plans

    anything else to add?
  32. Aznfarmerboi

    Aznfarmerboi Senior Member

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    Sparda. . . do you know any pharmacists retiring anytime soon? I have been in pharmacy for a while now and in fact, we actually have old pharmacists coming back to work. Pharmacists did not always make 6 figures and many of them do not have pensions. In addition, there really isnt much physical limitations to being one.

    My problems with problems of pharmacy:

    1. Too much information being presented to us by computers for us to focus on what really matters, leading to medication errors.

    2. Obsolete barriers that prevents pharmacist from doing what they can do best. Barriers includes legislations, public perception, and other things.

    3. Devaluation of pharmacy services with drive thrus and 4 dollar generics.

    The three that you mentioned above such as shortage of pharmacist, needs to focus on preventive medicine, and affordable and accessible insurance plan is not potential problems of pharmacy but potential problems of healthcare in general. Say it and I guarantee you the admission staff knows you have no idea of anything relating to pharmacy or have any pharmacy experience at all.
  33. Transformer

    Transformer

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    I can definitely understand the three problems you currently have with the direction the pharmacy field is going towards.

    Can you please give a specific example of a current legislation that is preventing pharmacists from doing what they can do best?

    thanks:)
  34. SHC1984

    SHC1984 Removed

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    Thanks for all your information. I just decided to do pharmacy a few weeks ago. Can you please elaborate more on #1 and #2. What are the computers giving you that's too much??
    Also can you please elaborate on the barriers?
    Again I just decided on pharmacy and would like to know more about it. Any information is useful to me at this point. (I might get hired at Walgreens soon, as a pharm tech...do you like Walgreens??? whats your fave pharmacy to work for?)


    My last question is, since you are already a pharmacist, if given a opportunity would you choose this profession again?

    Thanks so much! :)

    Ps. If I had to "guess" a potential problem...it would be mail orders...but again I am new to this profession and do not know much about it at all.
  35. pharmtechgirl26

    pharmtechgirl26 Accepted pharmacy student

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    Those $4 lists are dirt cheap medications that have gone generic anyway. They should be cheap. What is taking away from the integrity of the profession is when people are not getting the medications they NEED because they are too expensive and they do not have insurance. The drug companies have too much control. When they bring a medication to market they charge the absolute highest price they can because they know we will pay for it (if we can). When a drug is about to go generic they add a new ingredient and call it an improvement. What happened to research on new drugs that actually do help cure disease states??? If we could somehow control the drug companies we might bring some of the integrity back to the profession of pharmacy. the whole idea is that we are helping people get healthy (and stay healthy) right? and people do question why their medical copays are so high. it is actually a huge problem now. and many doctors are no longer accepting specific third party insurances because they do not get reimbursed enough or in a timely fashion. just some thoughts
  36. SHC1984

    SHC1984 Removed

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    That is a good question. How is it possible for a pharmacist to make 100K a year if the prescriptions are costing patients $4 dollars only??? Are these people on medicaid or are these drugs really that cheap??? I figure the drug itself proberly cost MORE then $4 to produce..
  37. alenadoma

    alenadoma

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    Well, look at the places where the $4 generic lists are offered: Target and Wal-Mart. These huge stores rely on the idea that while these patients are waiting for their $4 prescriptions they will go out into the store, spend $100 by other things, and their losses are accounted for.
  38. calisoca

    calisoca

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    Bingo. This is why (and you may have noticed) these places always put their pharmacies near the back of the store. You have to walk by all kinds of murchandise to get to their pharmacy. The intent is that you will purchase other crap on your way.
  39. TheScientist

    TheScientist UNC Class of 2013

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    The drug companies charge enough money to recoup the amount of money that they invested in the drug to bring it to the market as well as to pay for all of the other drugs that did not make it to the market. Drug companies also have to finance the research for the drugs of the future. Generic companies are not developing the the drugs of the future, they are only stealing the development of the large pharma companines and trying to make a profit off of it. Once the big pharma companies go under due to the loss of their patents, who will bring new drugs to the market?

    P.S.
    No small pharma company can afford to bring a drug through all fo the clinical phases and to market without the help of a large pharm company.
  40. kbv

    kbv

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    Are you the spokeperson of those "big" pharmaceutical companies? Yes, because they discover the new drug, their patent is like how many years? 10, 20, blah, blah, blah... Too expensive brand for the low-income/uninsured to be able to afford.
  41. medicalCPA

    medicalCPA Cancer Biology PhD to be Moderator Emeritus

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    However, you can't deny that it costs a lot of money to bring new drugs to the market (I've heard estimates as low as $200 million and as high as $800 million). Someone has to foot that bill. I read somewhere that if FDA regulations in the 30's and 40's were as stringent as they are now, penicillin would never have come to the market.

    The thing with big pharma is it has stifled innovation because of money (and greed, too). In the story of penicillin, pharmaceutical companies were unwilling to produce the drug until it was a proven success and there was a high demand for it during WWII. If you only make proven drugs, you will never make new ones.
  42. Prepharm1214

    Prepharm1214

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    “…..the discovery and development of one new drug costs around $800 million (taking failures into account) and takes an average of 10 to 12 years. This degree of investment, with such a late return on this investment, is unparalleled in human activity…..”
  43. orgoishard

    orgoishard

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    does anyone know if the retail pharmacy profession will be outsourced? are they already outsourcing pharmacist? I hate to graduate from 6-8+ years of school with debts and not be able to find a job :(
  44. Sparda29

    Sparda29 En Taro Adun Gold Donor

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    I don't know about outsourced, like by having pharmacists in India doing our jobs because there are licensing issues with that. But there is a good possibility of a robots having major roles in pharmacy. That could mean really bad news for pharmacy technicians, but you still need pharmacists in the retail setting to counsel, make sure the robot isn't screwing up, etc.

    When I say robots, I mean these things:


    [​IMG]

    A technology that should and could be in place in the pharmacy is bar code prescriptions. Basically, the MD types up the prescription on a certain kind of paper, that has a bar code on it, like on the back. On the front, would be all the normal information necessary. But when the prescription gets to the pharmacy, the pharmacist scans the bar code, which automatically enters the encoded prescription information into the computer system, and if the insurance goes through, the robot is activated and counts the medication, which is checked by the pharmacist, and then the pharmacist dispenses it and can counsel as well.

    Say goodbye to the pharmacy technician.
  45. SHC1984

    SHC1984 Removed

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    Mail orders....
  46. SHC1984

    SHC1984 Removed

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    WOW which pharmacy is this?? Most pharm techs are proberly pre-pharm students anyways! LOL....
  47. pharmacognosy

    pharmacognosy

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    hi
    iam egyptian pharmacy student and i want to have friends frm usa pharmacy students and discuss with them
    and to add my mail
    mail:[email protected]:)
  48. AsianGuy26

    AsianGuy26

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    Is there a name for this specific model? I think they call the med packaging machine at the hospital I volunteer @ the robot.
  49. AsianGuy26

    AsianGuy26

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    Egytian's rule the school I go to right now... with all your fancy cars...
  50. meowmeow

    meowmeow Junior Member

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    Just wanted to correct u on never finding more than 1 pharmacist at a retail store... I live in so cal and we are NOT a 24 hr store. M-F we have 2 pharmacists on staff... then again it has nothing much to do with this topic.

    But i agree with the drive-thru issue. Dont ppl have a lack of respect for the pharmacy profession already?

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