A pharmacy manager is a pharmacist who also has to oversee the day-to-day operations of the pharmacy. Usually this position is achieved by promoting from within the pharmacy or the parent company. However, an outside pharmacist who has more experience may also fill the position.
While it may seem as though a pharmacy runs effortlessly with the pharmacists dispensing medications as the orders come in, there is quite a bit more to the process than that. As we have discussed before, there are pharmacy technicians as well as the various pharmacists, and there are also pharmacy managers. The pharmacy manager will often also take shifts in the pharmacy, dispensing medications in addition to his or her other duties. So what are those duties?
Have you ever noticed how when you go to the pharmacy with your prescription, they can usually have your order filled within half an hour? Because I have been known to struggle with planning a menu, I often find myself fascinated that my pharmacy has whatever medication my doctor has prescribed, no matter how random it may seem to me. Even the small family pharmacy I go to almost always has whatever medication I need; it is the medicine equivalent of Santa’s toyshop. How do they manage to have every medication?
The pharmacy manager manages the ordering and maintains records. This is a huge responsibility. They have to know which medications are most likely to be prescribed, and make sure they have those that are less often prescribed on hand as well. The stock can’t be kept sitting on the shelf indefinitely because it will go bad, so they must also make sure that their choices are not too infrequently dispensed. If one of their clients is taking a medication that is not on the usual rotation, they must also be sure to maintain that medication so refills are not delayed. In addition to this, which to me is the most complex and fascinating aspect of their job, they also must complete managerial tasks as well.
Schedules must be made for pharmacy employees, new documentation on medications and drug interactions must be read and distributed, quality assurance goals must be met, and employees must be monitored and evaluated. They must also handle customer complaints, maintain contact with doctors’ offices, and be familiar with their customers. Essentially, they must do what any manager does while at the same time ensuring that life saving medications and information are available. What a responsibility!
If you are a pharmacist, do you want to move into a managerial position? If you already are, or have been, a pharmacy manager what are your favorite aspects of the job and which could you do without?