Non-Traditional Career Paths in Pharmacy
By Gautham Venkatesh on February 3rd, 2022
The Common Misconception
“So do you just dispense pills at CVS or Walgreens?” This is a common question that arises from friends and family when the profession of pharmacy is discussed. Many people outside the world of healthcare (and even many within) are oblivious to pharmacists’ vast scope of practice. Over the past 40 years, pharmacists have made significant strides in transforming their public perception from “pill counter” to trusted patient advocate. Pharmacists nowadays contribute regularly to patient care by rounding with medical teams, leading medication adherence efforts, and pursuing federal legislation to reduce drug costs. A novel and growing field is industry pharmacy.
What Does an Industry Pharmacist Do?
Pharmacists within the industry are employed in a plethora of positions to aid in the drug development process. Practice titles, role descriptions, and skills required vary by company, but the drug development team can be broken down into four categories: Clinical development, regulatory affairs, medical affairs, and commercial/marketing. Examples of positions within each category include:
How to get Involved?
It is never too late to consider a career within the industry! If you are a current pharmacy student looking to explore career paths within the pharmaceutical industry, consider joining industry related organizations such as Industry Pharmacists Organization (IPhO) or Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy (AMCP). IPhO offers an annual VIP Case Competition where students work as a team and compete with other pharmacy schools to construct a comprehensive drug development plan for a fictitious, scenario-based drug. Although proficient pharmaceutical knowledge is crucial, the key to thriving within the industry is NETWORKING. Attend guest lectures and connect with the lecturers to learn about their role within the industry.
Other Career Options
The role of a pharmacist is no longer reserved to only retail or hospital. Below is a link to the APhA website that outlines various career options available to pharmacists along with a brief description of each: