A pharmacist shortage is the latest concern affecting the pharmacy industry.
Currently, 80% of pharmacies are having trouble finding pharmacists, and many are offering huge sign-in bonuses of up to $50,000 to entice them.
Roseman University pharmacy practice professor Leiana Oswald and first-year pharmacy student Louis Prusa recently discussed the issue during a Fox News interview where they also highlighted additional ongoing efforts to attract new pharmacists into the field.
Prior to the pandemic and up until the present, there has been a notable decline in applicants to pharmacy school, noted Oswald.
“We’re starting to see an uptick in applications and getting more pharmacists out there, but it has been a challenge getting students into programs. We want to make sure patients are taken care of,” Oswald said.
Keeping with the topic, Louis Prusa shared his own motivation to attend pharmacy school and ultimately become a pharmacist himself, which was influenced by family and the need to help people. “My father is a dentist and my family has always been in health care,” he said.
During the interview, Oswald also highlighted how the shortage of staff has been challenging for pharmacies. Specifically how pharmacists falling ill amid the pandemic and the lack of staff has led to the closure of pharmacies throughout the nation.
Oswald also made a point to note that the public may be unaware of the role pharmacists play when it comes to helping patients.
“Many people think that pharmacists just count pills. We are counseling patients, we are looking at their medications and looking at what their doctors write and making sure there are no medication interactions. Those opportunities for our pharmacies have created a higher demand for pharmacists,” Oswald said.
One of the final notes Oswald made during the chat was highlighting the time it takes to become a pharmacist, and how it can vary depending upon the program a student is enrolled in.
“At Roseman University we are a three-year accelerated program. Pharmacists graduate with a doctorate degree. There are four-year and three-year programs. They don’t all require a bachelor’s degree. You can go from high school to becoming a pharmacist in five years,” Oswald said.