Pharmacy workforce supply and demand 2000-2010

Project Details
Project ID: 2001-501
Type: Commissioned
Status: Completed
Institution: Health Care Intelligence
Chief Investigator: Dr David Gadiel

Project Summary

Despite considerable growth in the number of pharmacists in recent years there have been concerns about shortages in the pharmacy labour force. Particular concerns have been voiced about shortages of pharmacists in rural and remote areas and in hospitals. The central purpose of this study was to consider the overall pharmacist labour market situation. At various points this related to specific issues of sectoral or geographical imbalance.

The study accordingly estimated the total demand and supply of pharmacists to 2010. For this purpose it drew on evidence from primary data collected in key person interviews and in a National Pharmacy Workforce Survey; and by way of secondary data from the literature and from conventional sources such as the ABS and the AIHW. The study concluded by linking forecast demand and supply to labour market policies and programs which are likely to effectively meet the Australian population’s need for pharmacy services in 2010.

Using 1995 as a base year, demand and supply are projected for each of community, hospital and “other” pharmacy sectors. The “other” sector includes pharmacists employed in government, the pharmaceutical industry, academic institutions and in certain newly developing roles.

Key considerations influencing the future supply of pharmacists included:

  • increased feminisation of the pharmacy profession
  • an ageing population of mostly male proprietors in retail pharmacy
  • increasing pharmacist interest in less than full time work, especially in retail pharmacy
  • a developing professional interest in new roles involving use of cognitive skills in areas such as patient counselling, medication review and clinical intervention