Monday, August 22, 2022

NYT: Pharmacist pay not keeping up with inflation

Via the New York Times: 

...Yet pay for pharmacists, who typically spend six or seven years after high school working toward their professional degree, fell nearly 5 percent last year after adjusting for inflation. Dr. Poole said her pay, about $65 per hour, did not increase in more than four years — first at an independent pharmacy, then at CVS.

...But by the 2010s, the market for pharmacists was cooling thanks to some of the same factors that have weighed on other middle-class professions. Large chains such as Walgreens and CVS were buying up competitors and adjacent businesses like health insurers.

This consolidation generated large fees for workers at the top of the income ladder — financiers and corporate lawyers — but slowed the growth of retail outlets where pharmacists could find employment. After striking a deal in 2017 to acquire roughly 2,000 Rite Aid stores, Walgreens shut down more than 500 locations. It closed a few hundred more over the next three years.

Automation has further reduced demand for workers — many pharmacists now spend far less time processing insurance claims because software does it for them....

We've been covering the lack of a great job market for pharmacists for a while. It is surprising to me that there hasn't been a turnaround in the last number of years, but I suppose "continuing on trend" shouldn't be a surprise either. Definitely something for educators who work with pre-pharmacy students to think about... 


  1. that's 50% more than what I make:/ and honestly makes sense that cvs isn't paying $65/hr to file insurance claims anymore.

  2. $65 per hour seems like a lot. I always have trouble with these articles because the salaries quoted always seem way off, usually much higher. Or maybe US pharmacists get paid way more than Australian pharmacists. Or maybe I just don't have a clue.

    1. $65/hr is a very good salary - that's around $135k/year.

  3. My mother just retired from retail pharmacy. While they may not be doing as much insurance claims stuff, there is still 101 other tasks the pharmacist has do each shift such as make phone calls to patients and doctors, controlled substance paperwork, manage inventory, reconcile prescriptions that aren’t picked up on time, administer vaccines, etc. on top of verifying each prescription and counseling patients at pickup all while beholden to very strict metrics/KPIs. The only way most of it gets done is by having the pharmacists come in before and leave after their scheduled shifts regularly which is often unpaid time


looks like Blogger doesn't work with anonymous comments from Chrome browsers at the moment - works in Microsoft Edge, or from Chrome with a Blogger account - sorry! CJ 3/21/20