Forty years ago, the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy undertook the Pharmacy Manpower Information Project, a study that helped to relieve prevailing fears of a manpower glut, in spite of "the outpouring of new pharmacy-school graduates."
The January 15 edition of Drug Topics that year reported that in the spring of 1975, there were 6,450 pharmacy graduates, an increase of 12% over the previous year. Newly minted graduates were expected to reach 7,400 in 1976 and then 8,100 by 1977.
In 1976, more than 20% of pharmacists in seven states were age 60 and older, and nearing retirement. The states in question were Missouri, New York, Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Nevada, and Connecticut.
"There will be a minor manpower squeeze over the course of the next several years as the newer pharmacists are integrated into practice and as others leave because of age, health, or because they have become obsolescent practitioners â¦ In the slightly longer term, I can see no rational case for an oversupply of 21st-century-oriented pharmacists," said Raymond A. Gosselin, president of the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy.
Times have changed
According to the Pharmacy Workforce Centerâs monthly analysis of November 2015, the nationwide supply of pharmacists had exceeded the number of available jobs, specifically in Massachusetts, New York, and Connecticut, with aggregate demand indices of 1.75, 2.00, and 2.33, respectively.