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    What should be done about the oversupply of pharmacists?

    For years, anecdotal evidence suggested the increase in pharmacy schools and resulting spike in new graduates, as well as the slow track toward provider status, might be creating more pharmacists than available jobs.

    Recently, the Pharmacy Workforce Center (PWC) released its November 2015 Aggregate Demand Index. The report added fuel to those arguments, revealing that the nationwide supply of pharmacists outnumbered available jobs for the first time in recent history.

    Pharmacists from throughout the country swiftly responded to the PWC report.

    Editor’s Choice: Have retail pharmacists become overeducated technicians?

    Stopping the pharmacy-school train

    Dan Brown, Palm Beach Atlantic University’s director of faculty development, said the oversupply identified in the PWC report would most likely increase.

    “What people need to realize is that since the increasing number of new graduates continues to surpass the increase in new pharmacist jobs, pharmacists find themselves in a situation analogous to increasing the dose of a drug. It takes time to reach a new steady-state equilibrium,” Brown said.

    “Unfortunately, despite the obvious signs of a gradually weakening job market, especially for new graduates, new PharmD programs continue to be established and existing programs continue to expand,” Brown said. “It’s as if a patient were beginning to show the early signs of toxicity but the prescriber continues to increase the dosing regimen.” 

    Mark Lowery, Editor
    Mark Lowery an Editor for Drug Topics magazine.

    3 Comments

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    • EdWalsh
      So, is this where that MAC reform bill got us. It's MAC stupid!! We have also been the victims of associations in the association business. We must embrace value-based healthcare and help change the reimbursement methodology that does not include MAC. We must build alliances with Health Plans to create programs that utilize Pharmacists and pharmacy services that improve patient outcomes. This will create new jobs for new PharmDs.
    • MichaelRupp
      What should be done about the oversupply of pharmacists? Why don't we just deny it exists and ignore it? That seems to work for AACP.
    • ArnieCammeyer
      The greedy schools of pharmacy caused this to happen & they need to pay. So all current staff at the pharmacy schools should be terminated & replaced by the pharmacists in need of a jobs.