SoleilFischer

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Jan 28, 2013
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Hi, as many new Pharmacy school graduates I am having difficulties finding ANY position. I applied to whatever came up to the market - hospital, retail, chain, part time, full time, prn- with no luck whatsoever.
I have experience in compounding and I am thinking of opening up my own compounding pharmacy.
would you say it is a crazy idea? Anyone with similar experience? Any thoughts or advices?
 

ranger99rx

2+ Year Member
Nov 12, 2017
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I know it's tough right now, don't give up, keep trying. Cvs are hiring temp as well as Walmart. Keep reapplying. Have you looked back and reassessed how you answered the interview questions? Would you answer those questions in more detail with example and outcomes to the situation? I had mentioned in the past post- you are being assessed for customer service skill, behavior, and intergity during interview. Don't give short answer.

It's even tougher to open a compound pharmacy unless you're pretty confident and know all the financial aspects to run an independent pharmacy. Maybe call up an independent see if you can cover prn or even volunteer, at least you can put down on your resume that you are currently working for an independent RX while looking for job, and try to learn every else about them prior to getting loans to open one.
 
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SoleilFischer

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Jan 28, 2013
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I am actually thinking of start knocking on doors and offer to volunteer. It’s a pretty desperate move, but yes, at this point any experience is valuable.

I haven’t had any Interviews, I just receive letters back saying that they’ve decided to go with more suitable candidates. I am newly licensed, I worked as technician, but never as a pharmacist.

I worked for a compounding pharmacy and know the process of compounding. I actually have a business plan, vendors etc, and even got pre approved for a business loan, but at the last moment my partner bailed out and I am scared to go into it all by myself
 
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ranger99rx

2+ Year Member
Nov 12, 2017
174
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I know 3 pharmacists that own independent pharmacies, I used to work at one of them. 1st-co-partner-opened from scratch and it took them 3 years to earn a salary. 2nd was a rite aid pharmacist who bought/took over a pharmacy, he is doing fine. 3rd was a rite aid DM who now has 2 pharmacies and his wife is a board of pharmacy inspector! Recently, one of the Walmart PCSM opened his own pharmacy too.

For me, it’s just too much to take care. Good luck.
 
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Hels2007

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Jun 30, 2007
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The only way I would open a pharmacy as a new grad is if I was doing it in an extremely underserved area, where both the population and the government would be more forgiving towards inevitable blunders I would make along the way. Lawyers can hang a shingle when they can't find a job, but all they need is a computer and a phone, a pharmacy needs lots and lots and lots of up-front investment. And then there are all the rules and regulations. Nope, not unless I had worked as a pharmacy manager or at an independent where they let me see and learn all the aspects of their business, I wouldn't do it, I know how much I don't know and I have been a pharmacist for 13 years and worked as a tech for five years before that. There are too many tricks to the trade if you want to keep your head above water, stay out of trouble and actually make money.
 
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Chrish

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Oct 27, 2017
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Two of my friends opened up their own pharmacy from a scratch after working couple of years for corporate.. They purchased another one shortly after and now looking for third one. And it’s just a traditional retail; no compounding.

So, I am assuming they are doing quite ok for themselves
 

Dred Pirate

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Jan 18, 2014
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I would love to see indy's actually compete (and beat) the chains, I just think it is a huge uphill battle - do you know how much money upfront you will need? I don't see any bank lending that much, unless you have a significant personal investment - which most new grads simply don't have

good luck
 

Hels2007

I bite
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I know several successful retail indies... but they are all either rural (as in, an hour plus to the nearest interstate rural) or they are in ethnic enclaves and operating a bit (or more than a bit) shady. Also know a couple successful indies that differentiate by having medical supplies, podiatrist and orthopedic shoe store on premises in addition to a diabetes counseling services, compounding or some other shtick. But given how common 'preferred pharmacy' networks are becoming, and how the age of generics where you could make a lot of money on spread is over, it's going to be super hard to win/keep customers as a new indy and even harder to make money.
 
Jul 14, 2018
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I think you really need to work a couple years as a PIC before doing something like that. You're setting yourself up for failure if you think you can open and run a pharmacy without experience. Best way to find something is to reach out to classmates and preceptors you had. You'll find an opportunity sooner or later.
 
Nov 30, 2020
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Opening a new pharmacy may take time. Starting with finding the right place to getting it licensed, it may take up to a year or longer to start. Once you start, depending on which part of state you're in, insurances may not grant you contracts in "heat zones" until you've been in operation for at least a year. Finding the right vendor may be difficult too since the big wholesalers won't give you rebates unless you're part of a buying group or have multiple pharmacies. It usually good to have at least 2 years worth of income saved up before starting a brand new pharmacy since you're probably not gonna make any money for the first year or two.

It may be wise to buy an existing pharmacy but the problem there is if you're running it by yourself, you may be working 70-80 hours a week just dodging bullets lol. There are niches that you can explore. I can't tell you what they are here since it's proprietary info but if you ever find out what those are, you can make decent money. Good luck.
 
Dec 31, 2020
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I am actually thinking of start knocking on doors and offer to volunteer. It’s a pretty desperate move, but yes, at this point any experience is valuable.

I haven’t had any Interviews, I just receive letters back saying that they’ve decided to go with more suitable candidates. I am newly licensed, I worked as technician, but never as a pharmacist.

I worked for a compounding pharmacy and know the process of compounding. I actually have a business plan, vendors etc, and even got pre approved for a business loan, but at the last moment my partner bailed out and I am scared to go into it all by myself
I am also in the middle of planning on starting my own pharmacy here. I certainly think it is challenging but it is doable Perhaps compounding has its unique niche and I am looking into that area as well
 
Feb 19, 2020
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I had experience as a pharmacist before doing this, but another alternative career path is medical writing, and I don't think you would need practice experience before getting into it. There are even fellowships in medical communications that, in my opinion, are a great alternative to residency. Plus, with some of the fellowships, I've seen guaranteed placement at the med comms agency after completion.

Here's an example of one: http://www.pharmaw.com/documents/Fellowship Presentation 11-29-11 FINAL.pdf

Here's a medical info fellowship: Medical Fellow in US Scientific Communications/Medical Information in Ridgefield, CT for Boehringer Ingelheim

And one more: https://www.pharmacy.umaryland.edu/...dfs/jobs/2020/ECIR Medical Communications.pdf

Lastly, I've been doing it mostly as a freelancer but at this point have regular clients, experience in a lot of different areas, and would be competitive for a full-time medical writing job if/when I decide to go that route. I created a Udemy course to help other clinicians (including pharmacists) figure out how to do it.

I have a promotion going on now through 1/24 where you can get it for $9.99:

I hope that helps. Unfortunately, in my opinion pharmacy schools don't seem to care at all about showing students non-traditional career paths, and somehow expect that everyone will find a job in this market.
 

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