Thursday, April 25, 2013

Sunday, September 2, 2012

The Attrition Rate

How many of you know pharmacists that would like to be retired but due to financial concerns are still in the workforce? I am noticing more pharmacists working much later in life than before because they simply cannot afford to retire. Many need the income because their employers have been cutting back on retirement benefits or their own retirement savings are less than anticipated due to the market and the economy. In the future, the fragile state of both of Medicare and Social Security will most likely only worsen this scenario as more and more cuts are made to these social programs. For Social Security, the age where benefits begin has already been increased to 67. Looking ahead, that age will more than likely be forced higher. Coupled with potential decreases in benefits and the ever vanishing employer contribution, it seems as though it will be much more difficult to retire in the future. This in turn means more pharmacists who were expected to leave the workforce due to retirement will still be in the workforce. The jobs that the numerous new graduates will be so desperate to find because the big, ugly, black cloud of the school loan is hovering above their heads might be unavailable in the worst case scenario. Alternatively, the new graduate may only be able to secure part time or per diem employment rather than full time.  The "projected" need of new graduates to replace the attrition caused by outbound retiring pharmacists are inflated in my view and just another excuse for the new pharmacy schools to justify their need to exist...

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Hope on the Horizon for Student Loans?

This is good news for those willing to work as a pharmacist in an underserved area. The benefit will be government aid to pay off some of the ever inflating student loan burden of new graduates. However, the root of the problem still lies with the schools and the skyrocketing tuitions. They are increasing at an alarming rate at the worst time...

Friday, February 10, 2012

The Foreign Influx

From Drug Topics:


Jim Plagakis
Longtime Drug Topics columnist Jim Plagakis, RPh, has pointed out that during years of high demand, pharmacy chains sponsored numerous foreign pharmacists for H1b visas to help fill the gap.

  • Between 2001 and 2008, CVS applied to sponsor 3,590 H1b pharmacists. Only 15 applications were denied.
  • Rite Aid applied for 3,448 visas, of which 33 were denied.
  • Walgreens applied for 1,477 visas and received 13 denials.
Those foreign pharmacists are still here and presumably still working. And they're still coming. In 2011, pharmacy is No. 22 on the list of 50 top occupations for the H1b program, with 1,119 sponsorship applications offering an average salary of $107,442. No. 1 on the list is computer programmers, with 14,805 applications and an average salary of $62,986. No. 50 is occupational therapists, with 448 applications at an average salary of $73,464.   
"You've got thousands of foreign pharmacists brought here by chains, which sponsored them for visas, helped them study for their exams, and now have an indentured workforce that is in no position to complain about wages or working conditions," said California pharmacist Lowell McNichol, PharmD.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

The Fleecing of the Pharmacy Student

The tuition for pharmacy schools in California has reached new heights. The opening of more schools has not fostered any competition it seems. There are just more of them to lure in more students. The loan amounts that I hear from some fourth level students leaves me shaking my head. The current job market and stagnant pay only worsens the situation. These are the yearly costs of the eight schools currently in operation. These of course are not the total cost of their education. If you factor in room and board, transportation, etc., these figures are even more horrendous.

UCSF:              $33,000+
UCSD:             $33,000+
USC:                $44,000+
Loma Linda:     $44,000+
Touro:              $38,000+
Western:          $44,000+
CA Northstate: $46,000+
UOP:               $41,000+ (3 yr program--averaged out over 4 years)

How are these students going to pay their loans once they graduate? That is with the assumption that they can find a full time job if they want it. I get numerous requests for employment and many of the newer graduates that are finding employment are not getting offered a full time position. At part time, how much of their paycheck would go to their loan payment? It is ridiculous! More graduates will only worsen this...

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Poll Results

The poll results are in!
Although the vote tally was not high, the voters agreed 100% that an excessive amount of pharmacy schools opening is a serious concern to the future employment of pharmacists.