Retail Pharmacy State of Affairs

October 1st, 2023

Hello there,

Busy couple of weeks in Kansas City - amirite, Swifties? Retail pharmacists in the KC area had the CVS executives right where they wanted ‘em. CVS even issued a public apology. But will anything actually change for our retail brethren? Maybe after the rumors of an upcoming Walgreens walkout comes to fruition.

This one (read: newsletter) goes out to retail pharmacists. 

Today’s Insights

Steady or Stagnant?

TL;DR - Compared to their peers, retail pharmacists are unhappy and underpaid.

Retail pharmacy is the face of the industry. Unfortunately, no matter how much adapalene and hyaluronic acid applied, pharmacy’s face is blemished and haggard. The vitamin C serum ain’t brightening this outlook either.

A lot of pharmacists (and pharmacy students) seem to be under the impression that retail pharmacy is tough work but you’ll be appropriately compensated. Is this assumption factual?

Pharmacist Compensation collected and analyzed data from 1,200+ retail pharmacists. Retail pharmacists reported the lowest median annual wages ($135,000) compared to the other 4 major pharmacist settings (seen below).

The rectangular boxes represent the middle 50% of pharmacists. The middle of each rectangular box is the median of the entire data set.

Moreover, the earning potential of each retail position is relatively flat. Take a look at that median retail wages reported based on years of experience.

Wondering about annual raises? Well the wage growth, or lack of, seems to barely be keeping up with US inflation numbers. Especially in a post-COVID world.

But money isn’t everything, right? It has been said, ¨money can’t buy happiness¨. Unfortunately, most retail pharmacists report they also aren’t finding their happy place at work. Again, retail pharmacists as a group had the lowest overall scores (5.7 out of 10) on job satisfaction compared to their peers in the other 4 major settings.

Conclusion - something’s gotta change in retail pharmacy. If the company or industry won’t, maybe it’s time you make a move.

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