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A study released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services shows the number of unfilled full- and part-time drug store pharmacists climbed from 2,700 in 1998 to nearly 7,000 in 2000, the most recent figures available. The pharmacist shortage is not only real, but it will get worse in the next 20 years. In 2020, there will be a need for fewer dispensing pharmacists, but there will be a huge demand for pharmacists to assess, counsel, select and adjust therapy, and monitor patients.  It is predicted that that there will be a shortage of approximately 157,000 pharmacists by the year 2020, even as new pharmacy schools open and existing schools try to increase class size. Next year's implementation of a new Medicare drug benefit is expected to increase the nation's demand for pharmacists, who already are in short supply.  About 230,000 pharmacists were employed in 2002, and 25,000 more will be needed by 2012, according to the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics.

"It's (the pharmacy shortage) nationwide," said Lucinda Maine of the American Pharmaceutical Association about the shortage. "It's across all settings and it appears it will be long standing. There's no quick remedy." 

One easy and obvious solution to the manpower shortage in pharmacy is the utilization of professional pharmacist recruiters.  Other professions (such as financial services, computer professionals, nursing, etc) who have been hit hard by employee shortages have turned to recruitment agencies with outstanding results.  Although most recruiters charge a contingency fee for placement of pharmacy professionals, those fees, which range from flat fee of approximately $10,000 per hire, to percentage fees ranging from 15% to 30% of the hires first year's salary, these fees are minimal when compared to the cost of not having a pharmacist in a store or hospital.  In short, in order to hire the best quality pharmacists and retain them - the best choice is the use of a professional recruiter.

While most pharmacy recruitment firms operate on a contingency basis (they don't charge the client a fee unless the client hires their candidate), some operate on a retained basis.  When you retain a recruiter, you are in effect, hiring an independent contractor to work for you for a set fee.  Many retained pharmacy recruiters charge the same as they would as if you hired their candidate, with the difference being that the client pays the recruiter the fee "up front", or in installments, the fee to the recruiter is guaranteed, and the recruiter is obligated to work for that client during the designated time period or until a  candidate is hired.

Utilizing a professional recruiter or recruitment agency is often the very best choice when hiring and retaining quality pharmacists.  Even the large pharmacy chains, with a extensive HR department and full-time employee recruiters, are turning to independent pharmacist recruiters to staff their pharmacies.  Independent pharmacy recruiters know the job landscape, are very motivated to provide results, and have the time to designate to finding the best candidates.  Utilizing recruiters free up the time of district managers and healthcare managers, so they can spend their time running their business, rather that phoning, visiting, and interviewing potential job candidates, the majority of whom are just "kicking the tires", and have no interest in switching jobs. 




Rx Recruiters specializes in efficiently linking healthcare facilities and recruiters with pharmacy professionals nationwide. Our firm's primary focus is pharmacy recruitment.  Rx Recruiters provides a small network of recruitment firms and employers with access to a new and highly targeted group of outstanding pharmacists.  We send out "fresh" resumes to our network of recruiters daily, and use advanced screening and filtering techniques to ensure that our pharmacy candidates are matched with the recruiters and healthcare facilities that best fit their needs.  This insures a superior quality of life and job satisfaction with our placements, and provides our clients dramatically increased retention rates and employee efficiency. 

If you are a recruitment firm or an independent contractor, and your primary area of focus is pharmacy or the pharmaceutical industry, fill out our request for fee split information at the Rx Recruiters owned Pharmacy Fax website.  We work on a contingency basis with other recruiters and healthcare clients, so you will never pay a fee unless one of our candidates fulfills your needs. You will be surprised with the quality of our pharmacy candidates.  See our website at for more and detailed information regarding our services.

If you are a pharmacist employer, and have a large number of pharmacist job openings - you may be interested into subscribing to our Pharmacy Fax service as well.  For an annual fee, you can receive resumes of pharmacist job seekers on a  weekly basis.  E-mail us at for more information.