CHANGES COMING TO THE PHARMACY INDUSTRY

Changes coming to the pharmacy industry.It’s an exciting time for students who will soon be entering or graduating from pharmacy technician degree programs. The industry has been experiencing a considerable amount of growth over the past few years, and technological advances are making the jobs of pharmacy technicians increasingly more stratified and interesting on a day-to-day level.

While this growth will certainly bring with it challenges, it’s something that should be celebrated by those in the field. Whether you’re considering entering a pharmacy technician program,  or simply hoping to learn more about the field, recent trends can indicate quite a bit about the industry. Take a look at some of the recent news from around the field:

Quality of life and employment

Professionals who have established a career as a pharmacy technician, no doubt, will have many good things to say about it. Still, that quality of life that they enjoy recently gained a bit more exposure. The Pharmacy Times has reported that the pharmacist position came in on top of the Forbes list of Best Health Care Jobs for 2015.4

The list was based on a series of studies regarding the health care industry as well as a large amount of data centering on earnings, quality of life and satisfaction with employment. While pharmacy technicians would have to work their way up the ladder to become a full-fledged pharmacist, the benefits of doing so are certainly attractive.

The list indicates that pharmacists earn an average salary of $116,670 annually.2 Perhaps even more enticing is the fact that the industry is growing at a remarkable speed, with a 14 percent growth rate projected overall by 2022.

POC testing and new roles

Something that professionals across all industries look for is the ability to learn new skill sets, while in a given role, that will help them as they progress through their career. Pharmacy technicians and pharmacists alike have the opportunity to experience a great deal of this already due to the growth of the medical industry, but that privilege may be growing even larger in scope.

The Pharmacy Times has also reported that there is a growing movement in the U.S. to turn pharmacies into neighborhood care centers, or NHCs.2 These centers allow residents to receive basic testing and health care without having to leave their area or make an appointment with a general practitioner, which can be a lengthy process.

As these NHCs begin to take on more clinical duties, including testing for a wide array of ailments, then pharmacy technicians will be able to gain experience across a wider array of duties, making them more marketable.

Education bolsters industry

The more resources and time that can be dedicated to education surrounding an industry, the better off the market for the skill being taught will be. One of the best things about the pharmacy technician pharmaceuticals industry is that the educational realm leading into the field is constantly experiencing growth. For example, the pharmacy school at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill recently received its largest individual gift ever as an alumni donor gave $100 million to the school.3

While this is only one instance, it suffices to say that gifts (though this one is exceptionally large) to pharmacy programs are not rare by any means. As the students and the courses that they take evolve from these additional resources, so does the industry.

1) Pharmacist Tops Forbes’ List of Best Health Care Jobs in 2015, Meghan Ross, The Pharmacy Times, 12/9/14

2) 10 Things That Could Change the Pharmacy Industry, Fred M. Eckel, The Pharmacy Times, 12/8/2014

3) UNC Pharmacy School Gets $100 Million Gift, Leoneda Inge, WUNC, 12/4/2014

4) The Best Jobs in Health Care for 2015, Forbes

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