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Nontraditional pharmacy job options

Discussion in 'Pharmacy' started by bacillus1, May 27, 2008.

  1. bacillus1

    10+ Year Member

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    No offense to retail people, and I know your jobs are useful, but I'm looking for pharmacy career options that require some creativity and "a brain", not just someone who basically dispenses and does data entry most of the day. I also do not really want to deal with angry customers all day.
    So far I've thought about going into clinical research. I'm doing my PharmD with a statistics minor, so that would make me more marketable for that kind of job. I also thought of regulatory affairs.
    Any other interesting nontraditional pharmacy jobs with dispensing being a very small part of them (or not there altogether)?
     
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  3. RxWildcat

    RxWildcat Julius Randle BEASTMODE!
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    Try doing a search for non-dispensing jobs, you will find a lot of info already here in the forums. You won't get much love calling retail pharmacist brainless in your fourth post.
     
  4. MarchIoda

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    Great thread. I've been thinking a lot about this lately too. I can sum up what was said in my dead thread (not sure if you saw it). I inquired about curise ship pharmacies, but the guys here said they doubt there are many (if any) opportunities. I also read an article about NASA's one and only clinical pharmacist who makes medpacks for astronauts and studies the stability of drugs bombarded with cosmic radiation.
    http://www.ashp.org/s_ashp/article_n...D=2024&id=2883
    If you find anything else let me know!
     
  5. bacillus1

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    Wow the NASA is interesting, though your article didn't show up. We had a day where nontraditional pharmacists came and talked to us. There was a clinical research guy. A bunch of pediatric people. There's also the option of being an MSL (basically work for a pharm. company and prepare big presentations of the company's pharmaceutical products), call centers, regulatory affairs, etc...
    Just seeing what else there is. Some kind of a forensic pharmacist would also be cool, if such a thing existed.
     
  6. asmaabadr

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    I do not know if you have actually worked in retail ever or not but it is sooooooooooo not a brainless job , If you work for some of the big retailers you will know that .So you can choose to pick what ever job you like but do not you ever call retail people brainless because as much as I hate retail it is so not a brainless job .
    Thanks and good luck ,pharmacy student.
    And by the way guys I m very intersted in information about longterm care facilities too ,, anyone???????????
    Asmaa
     
  7. MarchIoda

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    NASA link:
    http://www.ashp.org/s_ashp/article_news.asp?CID=167&DID=2024&id=2883
    Thanks to Pharmdcd for finding it.

    Does anyone know if a masters / residency is needed for an MSL position; if so, what type is perferred? I heard its kind of like selling your soul to the drug co. since you have to push your company's drugs which aren't included in treatment protocols (usually for good reason). Any input on the pros and cons of this type of work would be great.

    Also does anyone know the best locations (outside D.C.) to get a PharmD job w/ the FDA, DEA, or other regulatory agency? What does the day-to-day work for these pharmacists include, and again, what type of residency / PhD would they value?
    Thanks!
     
  8. bacillus1

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    I apologize for calling retail pharmacy brainless. That was poor word choice on my behalf.

    And apparently FDA has regional offices all over, but you usually have to work in the US public health service to be in them (which means they can basically deploy you wherever). I would also like to know if there are DEA pharmacists. Even DC area would be fine.

    About MSLs, I believe it depends. Some jobs require a residency while some do not, I think it depends on what drugs the company makes. But I could be wrong, that's just what I've heard. I thought you needed a residency, but a guy I spoke with said you don't actually NEED one, but who knows.
     
  9. firefighter9015

    firefighter9015 It's not THAT kind of study hour...
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    Do your homework there are plenty of unique options available for pharmacist. Ones that come to mind include Managed Care and Long-term care. One that isn't so unique but it isn't retail is clinical pharmacist in inpatient and ambulatory settings.
     
  10. Pharmavixen

    Pharmavixen foxy pharmacist
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    There's prison pharmacy through the Bureau of Prisons.

    In the jail where I practice, it's rather like a mini infirmary. Our people are mostly ambulatory, but there are correctional hospitals serving the health care needs of people serving life sentences.
     
  11. bacillus1

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    Yeah it seems like a dispensing position though. I was asking about nondispensing positions (e.g. clinical research, regulatory affairs, etc...)
     
  12. glowinglimabean

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    Last summer I was reading a book about different kinds of pharmacy jobs. One that was very interesting was working for Poison Control Centers and there was one pharmacist that worked in a Zoo. I assume that those kinds of pharmacy jobs are hard to find.
     
  13. Pharmavixen

    Pharmavixen foxy pharmacist
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    Drug information.
     
  14. MarchIoda

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    Pharmavixen-
    What's it like doing medication counseling with the inmates particularly with psychiatric patients? I would think most "homes for the criminally insane" (not sure what the current PC term is) have a BCPP on staff, is this true?
     
  15. xml2

    xml2 Member
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    Is that fun?

    Isn't this a helpdesk type of position?

     
  16. twester

    twester Senior Member
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    I know a former psychiatrist at the State Mental Hospital who had nothing but good things to say about the pharmacy staff there (including several BCPPs). He said he worked very closely with them adjusting meds and coming up with new ways to treat patients who were resistant to standard regimens (an especially tricky proposition in the geriatric patient population he worked with).
     
  17. EKpharmd

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    I currently am the Sr Medical Director or an MSL team in a Specialty pharmaceutical company and a PharmD with a residency. I started out as an MSL, moved into a region director position and now a national leadership position. The pharmaceutical industry offers a tremendous career opportunity for the Pharmd trained. Yes a residency helps, a lot. So does experience, relationship skills, personality, confidence, etc. Your best bet without MSL experience is to look into companies like SOS and The Medical Affairs Company. They are contract organizations that are hired to start MSL programs for pharma companies. They hire and train people to be MSL's. Once you get a year or 2 under your belt you can pretty much choose your program. We recently instituted a career path that includes hiring doctorate level professionals straight out of programs or training that have strong transferable skills (personable, presentation expertise, knowledge, etc).

    There are other careers for PharmD's in pharma. R&D, phase iV groups, Medical Information that are all excellent opportunities.
     
  18. bacillus1

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    Interesting. Sounds like there are lots of options. I guess it's a good thing I'm starting to look early (I just finished my 2nd prepharm year). Next year I'm going to try to look for an internship that has something to do with one of e positions you mentioned, MSL or otherwise (though I don't know what'll happen with that since pharm. companies usually hire interns after P2).
     
  19. MarchIoda

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    I pulled up this from the "MSL w/o PharmD thread". It offers some cons to MSL. I think this career sounds VERY interesting (almost too good to be true) so I'm playing devil's advocate looking for the down side. It would be interesting to see a response from someone in the field.

    HenryH
    10-20-2007, 12:14 PM
    Are you saying that the job security of MSLs is flimsy? Is it a realistic "career?"
    Epic
    10-20-2007, 12:48 PM

    HenryH,

    I'm not an MSL so I won't claim to have the inside scoop on the industry. But I work closely with MSL. I worked with on in the 90's. He was a previous Director of Pharmacy with a PharmD, residency, and a felloship. He was detailing Zithromax. Do you think he's still detailing Zithromax? No. I have no idea what he does now.

    When a drug goes generic and is no longer marketed, MSL has to move on to a new product. Here is your dillema. Every time you have to move on to a new line or a new product, you'll be competing with other PharmD, MD, PhD who are MSLs. And most likely, you'll be less competitive with the degrees you're seeking.

    If you're serious about becoming an MSL, and if it's your life long aspiration, consider a professional degree + academic degree..PharmD/PhD, MD/PhD, or BSN/PhD.
     
  20. Pharmavixen

    Pharmavixen foxy pharmacist
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    It's not much different from counselling people elsewhere. I worked many years in retail, and one of the things I like about my current position is I feel I can be completely honest with the clientele. In retail, the "customer is always right" ethos combined with the realities of good business practices made me feel pressured to tell people what they wanted to hear rather than what they needed to hear.

    And I don't have to take any crap.

    BTW, I'm not American, and some of your acronyms left me dazed and confused. What the heck is MSL or BCPP?? Google was not my friend.
     
  21. MarchIoda

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    Thanks for the input.
    MSL = medical science liaison
    BCPP = board certified psychiatric pharmacist
     
  22. bacillus1

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    So there's been a lot of MSL discussion so I pulled up the salary at http://www.mslsalary.com/

    Seems like most people get over 100k and most people in the profession are PharmDs.

    The only issue is what happens when the drug you MSL for gets pulled off the market or whatnot...
     
  23. MarchIoda

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    Yeah, drugs aren't new forever that's my main concern with MSL.

    Have you guys any experiences with Board Certified Pharmacotherapy Specialists (BCPS) or Medication Therapy Management (MTM)? I'm pretty sure the 2 are essential the same, BCPS goes on your degree and MTM is your job title.
    Some say BCPS is the future of clinical pharmacy to distinguish those pharmacists from the ever increasing majority who want non-dispensing positions. But is it really worth it? All clinical pharmacists focus on the safe and efficacious use of medications in terms of cost and treatment outcomes. Wouldn't it be more advantageous to specialize in a therapeutic area rather than going for BCPS?
    Also does anyone know the current trend on the industry embracing MTM positions? I know of the Ashville NC experiment as a golden standard which showed that diabetic patients who received medication counseling saved an average of $2K each year, but do retail chains and hospitals really want to pay a pharmacist to counsel patients and NOT dispense considering the low reimbursement from insurance / medicare? In the near future won't computers track this information and forward it to physicians to do the counseling?
     

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