Pharmacists’ confidence about the profession’s future is generally up, but more managers are disenchanted than ever before
Findings from the November 2018 iteration of the UTS Pharmacy Barometer, released yesterday (7/5) reveal that pharmacists are by and large neutral in their view of the profession’s future.
The latest barometer has recorded the highest degree of positivity among the profession than at any time in its eight year history, with a score of 99 out of 200 (a score of 100 represents a neutral level of confidence).
Around 3% more pharmacists reported feeling positive than in the 2017 barometer, with almost 1 in 5 (19%) expressing positivity. However, 1% more than in 2017 (16% in total) were negative.
The expert panel were surprised at the large spike is dissatisfaction reported by pharmacy managers and pharmacists-in-charge. Almost 1 in 10 (9.1%) of this group who were surveyed expressed pessimism about the future of pharmacy, compared to 5.5% of employed pharmacists and 4.5% of owner managers.
The pharmacist manager group also had lower levels of optimism than the others.
“Maybe the burden of change is falling predominantly on the pharmacy manager,” said Adjunct Professor John Montgomery, while former PSA president Warwick Plunkett said “it may be that remuneration for the pharmacy manager does not reflect their level of burden.”
However in overall terms the panel said the 2018 results were good, saying that “pharmacists fear and uncertainty about the future of community pharmacy is dissipating, demonstrated by increasing optimism, the support for pharmacist role diversification and becoming accustomed to the Sixth Community Pharmacy Agreement.”
“Significantly, pharmacists support the changing landscape of the industry to be more services oriented, with the majority offering vaccination services (59% of pharmacies) and wanting to see this role expand further,” the Barometer summary stated.