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    The Drug Topics 2017 Pharmacist Salary Survey

    As pharmacist salaries rise, so do demands.


    At the other end of the spectrum is Lisetta Fain, RPh, a counseling pharmacist in a small but growing specialty pharmacy. She spends most of her work time on the phone with patients and prescribers.

    “I’ve worked in a lot of practice environments, everything from retail to hospital, adult residential care, a PBM, hospice, hospital, and more,” she said. “Pharmacy can be as stressful as you let it be.” Fain works directly with patients, all day, every day, she said.

    Related article: The Top 10 Worst States to Be a Pharmacist

    “Yes, we get busy, there are days the only time I’m not talking is when I go to the ladies’ room or lunch. There are only two pharmacists and we could do with less pressure. But I know I’m making a difference when I talk with a patient. Of all the pharmacy settings I’ve worked in, this is the one where I have the most direct impact on patient’s lives.”

    “One of the major frustrations for independents is PBMs and DIR fees and a reimbursement model that doesn’t work well,” said Kari Shanard-Koenders, RPh, Executive Director of the South Dakota Board of Pharmacy. “Chain pharmacists have the frustration of being in a chain with quotas for vaccinations, DIR, and just about everything else that can be quantified. Hospital pharmacists are, for the most part, extremely happy because they have so much patient contact.”

    Gosett QuoteThe 2017 Salary Survey questionnaire was emailed to Drug Topics subscribers in mid-August. More than 1,100 readers responded. The largest group of respondents, 41.5%, are staff pharmacists, followed by pharmacy managers at 16.2%, clinical pharmacists at 12%, supervising pharmacist at 8.6%, and independent owner/partner at 5.3%.

    In broad terms, the 2017 responses were similar to those from 2016 and from the last ten years.

    Just over half of respondents have more than 25 years of experience, a percentage that is not too dissimilar from the 69% who reported more than 21 years on the job in 2011. Slightly over half of respondents reported working between 40 and 44 hours per week this year. Back in 2008, respondents logged an average of 44.1 hours per week.


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