Pharmacists who work in large institutions (e.g., hospitals) with on-site pharmacies can ascend the ladder of success to become pharmacy directors. Pharmacy schools prepare one for an entry level pharmacy position, and work experience prepares one for a director of pharmacy position.
In some hospitals, the pharmacy is more than just another department within the hospital; it is a money-making operation. Pharmacy directors working in this environment are responsible for making sure the pharmacy is profitable and for developing business plans that lead to this end. In this model, the hospital pharmacy is in direct competition with local community pharmacies, and it is the pharmacy director’s job to make sure that the hospital pharmacy outperforms these other pharmacies.
The pharmacy director is also ultimately responsible for all medication distribution, adherence to hospital policy, personnel management, and customer service. Because of the variety and difficulty of tasks encountered in this position, pharmacy director jobs are usually awarded to those with more than five years of work experience following pharmacy school.
Part of the pharmacy director’s job is to ensure that the pharmacy is properly stocked with medications. This can include keeping an adequate stock of existing medications and acquiring a stock of new and/or experimental medications. Since the pharmacy is meant to be a profitable venture, it is also the pharmacy director’s responsibility to set prices for the medications available for purchase.
The pharmacy director has a higher earning potential than a typical pharmacist, which is reflective of the added daily responsibilities. For individuals who would like to work as pharmacists in management positions, a pharmacy director position should be one to strive for.