Corporate Pharmacy: Implications for the Pharmacy Profession, Researchers and Teachers*
Keywords:Corporatisation, Pharmacy education, Pharmacy policy, Pharmacy practice research, Rationalisation
Change within pharmacy is increasingly directed by the commercial decisions of the corporate sector. Commensurately, the ability of researchers, individual pharmacists and their professional body to shape the development of pharmaceutical services is restricted. Here, it is argued that future developments in practice and policy within community pharmacy will not be shaped primarily by research evidence or the initiatives of Pharmacy’s professional body, but rather by the strategies and commercial expediencies of large, corporate-owned pharmacies. This is particularly pertinent for researchers who hitherto have generated evidence to inform developments and initiatives in pharmacy services.
Educators of the future pharmacy workforce must come to terms with the reality that an increasing proportion of their graduates will become corporate pharmacy employees, undertaking routine work as employees in retail outlets such as supermarkets and large stores. This shift in the career path of graduates, together with expanding student numbers and recruitment of students to pharmacy degree programmes from non-traditional backgrounds such as pharmacy technicians, must inevitably impact on the content of undergraduate programmes and the teaching methods employed.
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