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The timeline of current crisis in Pharmacy?

mentos

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I remember when I graduated from high school (2006), the pharmacy job market couldn't have been better. About when did the decline start and when did it accelerate?

Everything couldn't have been better in 2006 - jobs, stocks, housing market. Pharmacies were still rapidly expanding at that stage. I remember CVS moved out west at that time - people in CA never heard of it. Long's Drugs and Sav-On were bought out.

It all came crashing down in 2008. Most new constructions came to a halt, so no more new pharmacies being built anymore. I think CVS achieved their goal of having a pharmacy within 3 miles of every home at that point. This is when hours started being cut and are still being cut to this day. The signup bonuses quickly went away and it was all downhill from there.

Conversely, new pharmacy schools opened at an exponential pace this whole time. Existing schools increased their class sizes. Admission standards began to decrease - I think someone posted something like 33% of applicants were accepted to pharmacy school in 99-2000 but now they accept around 80%. There must be near double the amount of schools now than in 2006, I lost count.

I'd say saturation started in desirable areas in 2009 then suburbs in 2010 then areas within 2-3 hours of metro areas in 2011.
 
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WVUPharm2007

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It started when the Great Recession did. When I was looking for job in May 2008, I was taken out to dinner, promised sign on bonuses, extra weeks vacation - they were begging. Then by 2010, I couldn't even get an interview. Resumes sent without responses, being told by everyone that they have nothing available - I was the one begging. It went from heaven to **** in two years.

At least I got a taste before it went to hell.
 
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mentos

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It started when the Great Recession did. When I was looking for job in May 2008, I was taken out to dinner, promised sign on bonuses, extra weeks vacation - they were begging. Then by 2010, I couldn't even get an interview. Resumes sent without responses, being told by everyone that they have nothing available - I was the one begging. It went from heaven to **** in two years.

At least I got a taste before it went to hell.

How much was the sign on bonus and how much vacation did you get? I like to live vicariously LoL.
 

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I got out in 2012. I never knew the good times. Paul Ryan had already left CVS, and Larry Merlo, a "professional manager" took over. All I knew was metrics and an unattainable flu shot goal, of which one will never be appreciated or acknowledged for.
 
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WVUPharm2007

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How much was the sign on bonus and how much vacation did you get? I like to live vicariously LoL.


Signed at a hospital. I'm going off of memory and I'm pretty sure I got a sign on bonus that was $15,000 to sign. $15,000 one year from sign on date. $5,000 each year after that on the sign on date for 5 years total. Got a steak dinner out of it, too. I forget how many vacation days I got, though. It was more generous than CVS by far.
 
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mentos

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Signed at a hospital. I'm going off of memory and I'm pretty sure I got a sign on bonus that was $15,000 to sign. $15,000 one year from sign on date. $5,000 each year after that on the sign on date for 5 years total. Got a steak dinner out of it, too. I forget how many vacation days I got, though. It was more generous than CVS by far.

You left that for CVS??
 

WVUPharm2007

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You left that for CVS??
I mean...I got that second $15,000 payout.

But that job sucked.

It only paid $42.88/hr.

That and I got fired for cursing my boss out. It was a blow up, drag out. I told him to go eff himself, I told him to suck my D...and so on...I was only 26, let me be...lol. Dude left me alone as the only pharmacist in the building in the middle of November from like 3PM to 8PM with a 180 census. Even at CVS in the middle of North Philly during flu shot season have I never been as stressed out and pissed off. At one point I had two codes that needed stat meds simultaneously. I can't begin to describe the scene. I was flipping the hell out at everyone that night. I haven't been so pissed off over work ever.

Of course, I later learned that they were told they needed to cut a FTE earlier in the week due to the recession starting...and I was the only one getting sign on bonus money...so I guess I made the decision for them. (There was a great thread on here back in the day about it)

Hence why I started looking for another job in 2010.

I was about 24 hours away from signing a offer letter and moving to Tyler, Texas to start with CVS down there. Then I got a last second call from the old North Philly suburbs supervisor (and literally the only good boss I've ever had in my life) telling me that I was needed in the Philly metro if I wanted it.

And here I am.

I actually like my job, BTW. Nobody believes me. But I really do. Working overnights is great. I've had job offers, too. A few in LTC and mail order a lot of people would jump at. But, nah, I'm good here.
 
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Old Timer

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Tom Ryan was considered devil back in day until Merlo took it to another level.

Now Ryan is remembered as a good guy by old timers. Funny how perception changes.

Not by me. He was great CEO. He took customer service once a month or so. He was once driving by a store in Philly and one of the lights was out on the sign. He didn't call an underling, he picked up the phone and called the store manager himself. Image recieving that call. When he was the CEO it was bottom up company. Once Merlo took over it became a bottom down company. Tom Ryan was always a pharmacist at heart.
 
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lord999

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I mean...I got that second $15,000 payout.

But that job sucked.

It only paid $42.88/hr.

That and I got fired for cursing my boss out. It was a blow up, drag out. I told him to go eff himself, I told him to suck my D...and so on...I was only 26, let me be...lol. Dude left me alone as the only pharmacist in the building in the middle of November from like 3PM to 8PM with a 180 census. Even at CVS in the middle of North Philly during flu shot season have I never been as stressed out and pissed off. At one point I had two codes that needed stat meds simultaneously. I can't begin to describe the scene. I was flipping the hell out at everyone that night. I haven't been so pissed off over work ever.

Of course, I later learned that they were told they needed to cut a FTE earlier in the week due to the recession starting...and I was the only one getting sign on bonus money...so I guess I made the decision for them. (There was a great thread on here back in the day about it)

Hence why I started looking for another job in 2010.

I was about 24 hours away from signing a offer letter and moving to Tyler, Texas to start with CVS down there. Then I got a last second call from the old North Philly suburbs supervisor (and literally the only good boss I've ever had in my life) telling me that I was needed in the Philly metro if I wanted it.

And here I am.

I actually like my job, BTW. Nobody believes me. But I really do. Working overnights is great. I've had job offers, too. A few in LTC and mail order a lot of people would jump at. But, nah, I'm good here.

Coming from that part of the country myself (10 miles North in Good Country Living), Tyler would have not been a pleasant place to live. You would have taken over the former Eckerd's there, and that was a terrible place. The town then and now is heavily segregated.

The problem from my perspective started in 1977, and we have been in a see-saw since, but who is counting? I remember the days when hospital was severely underpaid and the civil service was the worst game in town. It's even worse that it is considered the best in town now.
 

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Things really accelerated in 2017 when the large chains started to halt raises. Then in 2018, another wave of new pharmacy schools graduated their first classes in Southern California. Starting pay has been reduced. Chains started to merge, cut staff/hours, and even close stores.
 
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Things really accelerated in 2017 when the large chains started to halt raises. Then in 2018, another wave of new pharmacy schools graduated their first classes in Southern California. Starting pay has been reduced. Chains started to merge, cut staff/hours, and even close stores.
And in 2019, the closing of stores, cutting staff/hours, forcing pharmacist to work with less help increased. Hospitals forcing senior pharmacists to stay and staff pharmacists moving from full time work to part time work. Staff pharmacists working more for the same pay. Management changes. Bigger hospitals buying out smaller hospitals.

And then here we are with COVID-19 of 2020 taking the profession to another level of disaster.
 
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tennismaniac

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And in 2019, the closing of stores, cutting staff/hours, forcing pharmacist to work with less help increased. Hospitals forcing senior pharmacists to stay and staff pharmacists moving from full time work to part time work. Staff pharmacists working more for the same pay. Management changes. Bigger hospitals buying out smaller hospitals.

And then here we are with COVID-19 of 2020 taking the profession to another level of disaster.
Actually, I was reading in a recent article that pharmacists jobs are going to increase because they need healthcare workers to help. Whether this true or based on someone's opinion, I cannot say.
 

Momus

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Actually, I was reading in a recent article that pharmacists jobs are going to increase because they need healthcare workers to help. Whether this true or based on someone's opinion, I cannot say.
Have you been brain washed by your professors? No way someone is that naive.
 
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mentos

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Actually, I was reading in a recent article that pharmacists jobs are going to increase because they need healthcare workers to help. Whether this true or based on someone's opinion, I cannot say.

You actually believe this? CVS just cut hours nationwide after the Covid-19 surge and all of a sudden they need to hire 50k pharmacists to help with Covid-19? LMAO.
 
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Actually, I was reading in a recent article that pharmacists jobs are going to increase because they need healthcare workers to help. Whether this true or based on someone's opinion, I cannot say.
In my state alone, there are very few retail job posts for pharmacists. Most of the retail job posts are for technicians. There are a few pharmacists jobs that are in the hospital, more job posts for hospital pharmacy compared to retail though.However, many of those jobs need experience/residency. Only or two jobs don’t require the residency or experience
 

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Wanted to hear people's thoughts on why pharmacy hours are continually being cut when at the pharmacy I work at is doing the same amount of prescriptions if not more compared to last year, people are now going out so there's more foot traffic so yes it was slower back in mid April, but business is back. Our hours are based on prescription sales, not quantity, and just basing off the register print-off every day we are bringing in the same sales, and slightly more compared to last year. Granted, there are way less vaccines and I know we are dependent on vaccine sales. But besides a drop in vaccines, what else could be contributing to the decrease in hours?
 

VA77

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Wanted to hear people's thoughts on why pharmacy hours are continually being cut when at the pharmacy I work at is doing the same amount of prescriptions if not more compared to last year, people are now going out so there's more foot traffic so yes it was slower back in mid April, but business is back. Our hours are based on prescription sales, not quantity, and just basing off the register print-off every day we are bringing in the same sales, and slightly more compared to last year. Granted, there are way less vaccines and I know we are dependent on vaccine sales. But besides a drop in vaccines, what else could be contributing to the decrease in hours?
Lower reimbursements from PBMs and lower margins on cheaper generic drugs and higher margins on brand names going to "specialty" pharmacies. Even if you are filling the same amount of Rx then you are losing money
 
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mentos

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Wanted to hear people's thoughts on why pharmacy hours are continually being cut when at the pharmacy I work at is doing the same amount of prescriptions if not more compared to last year, people are now going out so there's more foot traffic so yes it was slower back in mid April, but business is back. Our hours are based on prescription sales, not quantity, and just basing off the register print-off every day we are bringing in the same sales, and slightly more compared to last year. Granted, there are way less vaccines and I know we are dependent on vaccine sales. But besides a drop in vaccines, what else could be contributing to the decrease in hours?

Because the bean counters see that your store is running so why go back?
 
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Actually, I was reading in a recent article that pharmacists jobs are going to increase because they need healthcare workers to help. Whether this true or based on someone's opinion, I cannot say.

Paul Tran critiques this article beautifully and provides the reality of the pharmacy job market
 
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Gombrich12

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By 2011 floaters were already fighting for hours in my area. I remember around the same time a bunch of us pharmacists were out to dinner and someone mentioned their sister was looking at going to pharmacy school and the consensus across the table concluded it was a bad idea. I'm surprised that 10 years later we're graduating nearly 15,000 pharmacists. Who are these people spending $250,000 and wanting to go to school for an extra 4 years to make $90,000 and get yelled at by a bunch of deplorables?
 
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And in 2019, the closing of stores, cutting staff/hours, forcing pharmacist to work with less help increased. Hospitals forcing senior pharmacists to stay and staff pharmacists moving from full time work to part time work. Staff pharmacists working more for the same pay. Management changes. Bigger hospitals buying out smaller hospitals.

And then here we are with COVID-19 of 2020 taking the profession to another level of disaster.
And now 2020. Hospital pharmacy: furloughs left and right for clinical and staff pharmacists. Hours getting cut has increased. Hiring freezes.
Retail pharmacy: more or less true same problems as 2019. Continued cut in hours and salary and continuation of inadequate staff. And the addition of another outsourced metric from nursing COVID-19 testing. Hiring freezes. Meanwhile Walgreens and CVS are experimenting with automation. The timeline till 2020 has been completed.
 

tennismaniac

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And now 2020. Hospital pharmacy: furloughs left and right for clinical and staff pharmacists. Hours getting cut has increased. Hiring freezes.
Retail pharmacy: more or less true same problems as 2019. Continued cut in hours and salary and continuation of inadequate staff. And the addition of another outsourced metric from nursing COVID-19 testing. Hiring freezes. Meanwhile Walgreens and CVS are experimenting with automation. The timeline till 2020 has been completed.
Can the same thing be implied about other sectors of pharmacy, such as nuclear, consulting, ambulatory care, etc?
 

tennismaniac

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Nuclear is actually quite attractive. Currently they are projecting total nuclear jobs to top 12! That's up 20% from just 10 jobs in 2019!
That's good to know. Instead of retail or clinical pharmacy, I was looking at other pharmacy fields like nuclear, consulting, ambulatory care, consulting, FDA pharmacist, etc. I have heard the job market is saturated so I'm looking at other pharmacy fields.
 

WVUPharm2007

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That's good to know. Instead of retail or clinical pharmacy, I was looking at other pharmacy fields like nuclear, consulting, ambulatory care, consulting, FDA pharmacist, etc. I have heard the job market is saturated so I'm looking at other pharmacy fields.

Those are saturated, too.
 
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Momus

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That's good to know. Instead of retail or clinical pharmacy, I was looking at other pharmacy fields like nuclear, consulting, ambulatory care, consulting, FDA pharmacist, etc. I have heard the job market is saturated so I'm looking at other pharmacy fields.
Why do people think those aren't saturated? Retail is the last field people want to get into. People always go for the easy 8-5s, no weekends, sit down job first. Retail will get 40-50 applicants for a part time position, and anything but will get 200 apps+.
 
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Can the same thing be implied about other sectors of pharmacy, such as nuclear, consulting, ambulatory care, etc?
Ambulatory Care is part of clinical pharmacy. Not many job positions to begin with. Needs a residency or two. and additional certifications. I can see Amb care pharmacists also getting furloughed, as many of their jobs involve a lot more featherbedding than inpatient pharmacy, otherwise it encroaches on Primary Care Doctors

Consulting, needs a fellowship. Not many new grads can get those jobs. Consulting is the next “Magic bullet” because informatics failed. Let’s see how they fair.

Informatic pharmacists with residencies/ no programming skills bring no value compared to IT or medical informatics. Furloughed for sure.

Nuclear pharmacy- not many job postings to begin. Probably needs two or three years experience. Not something for a new grad
 
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tennismaniac

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Ambulatory Care is part of clinical pharmacy. Not many job positions to begin with. Needs a residency or two. and additional certifications. I can see Amb care pharmacists also getting furloughed, as many of their jobs involve a lot of featherbedding, otherwise it encroaches on Primary Care Doctors
It baffles me that med students are graduating early to treat COVID patients, but not pharmacy students. Do you feel that class of 2020's graduating pharmacy students are having a tough time finding jobs right now?
 
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It baffles me that med students are graduating early to treat COVID patients, but not pharmacy students. Do you feel that class of 2020's graduating pharmacy students are having a tough time finding jobs right now?
I am 2019 and I am still having tough time getting a job. Applied to undesirable jobs in hospital, no response. Ask Hedgehog32. He is class of 2020. I am sure Hedgehog32 can comment on this, but the only job he is getting is floating in retail in the BFE.
 

tennismaniac

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I am 2019 and I am still having tough time getting a job. Applied to undesirable jobs in hospital, no response. Ask Hedgehog32. He is class of 2020. I am sure Hedgehog32 can comment on this, but the only job he is getting is floating in retail in the BFE.
Even in the boonies? Like in a rural area? Is it still difficult to find a job?
 
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It baffles me that med students are graduating early to treat COVID patients, but not pharmacy students. Do you feel that class of 2020's graduating pharmacy students are having a tough time finding jobs right now?
If a patient is having cardiac arrest on plane, who will they call first to help with diagnosing and stabilizing the patient? Physicians. The air hostess never say is there a pharmacist on board. Get rid of the school programming that you are a front line worker as a pharmacist.
 
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tennismaniac

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If a patient is having cardiac arrest on plane, who will they call first to help with diagnosing and stabilizing the patient? Physicians. The air hostess never say is there a pharmacist on board. Get rid of the school programming that you are a front line worker as a pharmacist.
Yep. You're right. It may be best to choose an alternative career like PA or MD/DO
 
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mentos

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It baffles me that med students are graduating early to treat COVID patients, but not pharmacy students. Do you feel that class of 2020's graduating pharmacy students are having a tough time finding jobs right now?

I didn't realize pharmacists treated Covid-19 patients. Can you enlighten us about how they treat the patients? Do they intubate in the ICU?
 

tennismaniac

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I didn't realize pharmacists treated Covid-19 patients. Can you enlighten us about how they treat the patients? Do they intubate in the ICU?
I recall reading that California pharmacists are authorized to give COVID-19 tests.
https://www.drugtopics.com/communit...ted-authority-order-administer-covid-19-tests
My second question was not related to the first question. It was just a general question asking if the class of 2020 is having a tough time finding jobs because I'm sure people have student loans to pay off. But I guess from my understanding people will always need doctors but pharmacists may not be that much in demand because like someone said in this group, they've cut jobs.
 

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It baffles me that med students are graduating early to treat COVID patients, but not pharmacy students. Do you feel that class of 2020's graduating pharmacy students are having a tough time finding jobs right now?

it baffles me too that you have been on this forum for 2+ years and still asks if its hard for people to find jobs lol
 

mentos

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I recall reading that California pharmacists are authorized to give COVID-19 tests.
California Pharmacists Granted Authority to Order, Administer COVID-19 Tests

It baffles me that you think giving tests is treatment. Giving tests is not treatment. So you're baffled why pharmacy students aren't graduating early so they can give tests? The answer is because hours got cut across the nation and there is no need for additional pharmacists to do a menial task.
 

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Nasal swabs are just another thing on pile on retail pharmacists' plate. For those skittish about giving shots (I'm not; I gave two last Sat and geniuses still asking for flu shots in June, two months after I gave my last 2019-2020 IIV), they'll sure be happy about having another metric to follow
 

WVUPharm2007

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If a patient is having cardiac arrest on plane, who will they call first to help with diagnosing and stabilizing the patient? Physicians. The air hostess never say is there a pharmacist on board. Get rid of the school programming that you are a front line worker as a pharmacist.

I always see people throw this old canard out there. I always wonder what the hell is a physician going to do, anyway? Use psychic powers to dissolve an embolus or something? They are on the plane with a fricking Nintendo Switch, a copy of Animal Crossing, and a phone charger. Lol.

Maybe if the plane had an AED. Which any idiot can use these days. They bark instructions for use at you.
 
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