Pharmacists

AUTOMATION RISK
CALCULATED
34%
risk level
POLLING
50%
Based on 1,388 votes
LABOR DEMAND
GROWTH
2.4%
by year 2032
WAGES
$132,750
or $63.82 per hour
Volume
325,480
as of 2022
SUMMARY
JOB SCORE
6.0/10

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Automation risk

34% (Low Risk)

Low Risk (21-40%): Jobs in this level have a limited risk of automation, as they demand a mix of technical and human-centric skills.

More information on what this score is, and how it is calculated is available here.

Some quite important qualities of the job are difficult to automate:

  • Assisting and Caring for Others

  • Social Perceptiveness

  • Finger Dexterity

  • Manual Dexterity

User poll

50% chance of full automation within the next two decades

Our visitors have voted they are unsure if this occupation will be automated. However, employees may be able to find reassurance in the automated risk level we have generated, which shows 34% chance of automation.

What do you think the risk of automation is?

What is the likelihood that Pharmacists will be replaced by robots or artificial intelligence within the next 20 years?






Sentiment

The following graph(s) are included wherever there is a substantial amount of votes to render meaningful data. These visual representations display user poll results over time, providing a significant indication of sentiment trends.

Sentiment over time (quarterly)

Sentiment over time (yearly)

Growth

Slow growth relative to other professions.

The number of 'Pharmacists' job openings is expected to rise 2.4% by 2032

Total employment, and estimated job openings

* Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics for the period between 2021 and 2031
Updated projections are due 09-2023.

Wages

Very high paid relative to other professions

In 2022, the median annual wage for 'Pharmacists' was $132,750, or $63 per hour

'Pharmacists' were paid 186.7% higher than the national median wage, which stood at $46,310

Wages over time

* Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics

Volume

Significantly greater range of job opportunities compared to other professions

As of 2022 there were 325,480 people employed as 'Pharmacists' within the United States.

This represents around 0.22% of the employed workforce across the country

Put another way, around 1 in 454 people are employed as 'Pharmacists'.

Job description

Dispense drugs prescribed by physicians and other health practitioners and provide information to patients about medications and their use. May advise physicians and other health practitioners on the selection, dosage, interactions, and side effects of medications.

SOC Code: 29-1051.00

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Comments

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Günter Von Stein (Moderate) says
Physicians, in contrast to Pharmacists and certain other healthcare providers, possess the highest level of expertise in evaluating the effectiveness of medication therapy through diagnostic and physiological assessments. Given that prescribing medications is a core aspect of medical practice, it rightfully falls within the purview of Physicians due to their specialized knowledge and training.

While Nurse Practitioners, Physician Assistants, and Clinical Pharmacists have sought to expand their roles over time, the emergence of Artificial Intelligence (AI) software presents a significant shift. AI technology has the potential to disrupt this trend by offering cost-effective solutions that surpass the capabilities of Clinical Pharmacists in medication review. This development challenges the traditional arguments used to justify the involvement of non-physician providers in prescribing practices.

As AI software becomes more prevalent in healthcare, it is poised to enhance the efficiency of Physician-managed prescribing processes, potentially rendering the need for Clinical Pharmacists and other non-physician prescribers obsolete. This shift may prompt a reevaluation of the costs associated with employing these professionals outside their traditional scope. While AI is not expected to entirely replace Pharmacists and other healthcare providers, it will redirect their focus towards their core competencies, creating new opportunities for collaboration with Physicians and technology companies.

The evolving landscape of healthcare will require Pharmacists and other healthcare professionals to pivot towards roles that align with their original training, while also offering them opportunities to contribute to the development and maintenance of AI-driven prescribing software. This collaboration will be essential in ensuring the quality and reliability of these technological advancements, thereby fostering trust among the public in the outputs generated by such systems.
Apr 11, 2024 at 11:12 AM
Daniel (Highly likely) says
most of our job is looking at LexiComp, ClinPharm, etc. for guidelines and treatment algorithms. Easily automated via a sophisticated piece of software
Apr 08, 2024 at 09:49 PM
Zachary Rodrigues (Uncertain) says
In the future, as AI software becomes standard for healthcare professionals to access and evaluate medication therapies, there will be a shift in the role of Clinical Pharmacists. Physicians and other healthcare providers will increasingly question the necessity of Clinical Pharmacists, as they themselves can directly utilize AI tools for analyzing data.

Physicians, unlike the general public, are trained experts in diagnosing and treating patients, with prescribing medications falling within their domain rather than that of pharmacists. While pharmacists traditionally excel in reviewing medication therapies, the integration of AI in data analysis is reshaping the landscape. This technological advancement is expected to reduce the necessity for clinical pharmacists to conduct extensive reviews in clinical settings. With physicians inputting data into AI systems for analysis and interpreting the outputs themselves, there will be a significant decrease in the previous reliance on pharmacists for medication optimization assessments.

The evolving role of AI may assume tasks previously handled by Clinical Pharmacists, such as ensuring prescribed medications align with patient needs and care goals. However, Pharmacists will still play a crucial role in training, updating, and refining AI systems to adapt to changing regulations and advancements in medicine. The responsibility will increasingly fall on Informatics Pharmacists, Information Technology Pharmacists, Data Scientists, Machine Learning Engineers, and Software Engineers, rather than solely on Clinical Pharmacists.
Apr 03, 2024 at 04:35 PM
Bill Evans (Uncertain) says
The decline of Clinical Pharmacy is on the horizon as AI advancements pose a significant threat to Clinical Pharmacists who heavily rely on algorithms for decision-making. AI's strength in algorithm-driven tasks aligns closely with the core functions of Clinical Pharmacy. It is crucial to differentiate between Clinical Pharmacists and other types of Pharmacists.

With technology playing an expanding role in the Pharmaceutical Industry, there will be a growing need for regulatory frameworks to supervise the sector. This shift will create a demand for Pharmacists specializing in Compliance and Regulatory Affairs within pharmacies. Increased site inspections will become necessary, requiring Pharmacists to intensify their monitoring efforts. Pharmacists will also face a rising burden of conducting independent assessments and detailed reporting to ensure that the technologies utilized comply with industry standards and regulations.
Mar 29, 2024 at 03:30 AM
A.J. (Highly likely) says
A machine can count out pills. A person is NOT necessary or even preferred for such a role.
Mar 06, 2024 at 12:57 PM
Bill Evans says
Pharmacists are not responsible for counting pills; this task falls under the purview of Pharmacy Technicians. When dispensing medication, pharmacists use their judgment to ensure the validity of the prescribed treatment.
Mar 29, 2024 at 02:36 AM
DS (Highly likely) says
There’s already apps out there that counts our tablets we dispense
Jan 30, 2024 at 01:43 AM
d. mena (Highly likely) says
Ucsf already has an impressive robotic pharmacy where there’s 1 pharmacist regulating what the robots do.

They had 0% human error in the years they launched it. This is so pharmacists can do more patient care which I think is a great idea. But for those who didn’t do residency vs those that did, I’m sure employers will choose the residency trained pharm over the non residency trained pharm.

Maybe the option to not do residency will diminish in the future.

There’s already low applicants as of this year with over 90% acceptance rates. It’s crazy bc seeing how much it was in demand ten years ago.

I think sooner or later other hospitals will follow, along with other companies in terms of AI and robots. Community pharmacists will have issues in the future if robotics are indeed what companies will invest in. Invest in robotics and you won’t have to pay 130-180k for each human to do the same job. They might be highly trained, but the job used to be on the job training, used to be Bachelor level. Lots of admin work. The whole PharmD was from greedy leaders that wanted to take advantage of the loans for higher education. Sucks.
Oct 07, 2023 at 08:12 PM
pharmacist (Uncertain) says
Pharmacist will Always have to interpretate the customer problem. I think there will be a cooperation with automation on the future
Sep 18, 2023 at 07:47 PM
Ph. Ridha ahmed (No chance) says
The bigest part of my jop is hope and emotion i give to my patients that they will be fine and treated . And evaluat if any drug even if AI make will treat people suffciently and what advirse effect will make by it
Jul 25, 2023 at 02:30 PM
Mark Kleinbeck (Highly likely) says
We use robotics to fill prescription now. The doctor can input what he wants dispensed and can discuss the effects and side effects
Jul 18, 2023 at 11:33 PM
Sally (Highly likely) says
Prescription dispensers will become the norm. Not using human pharmacists will reduce the margin of error.
Jun 23, 2023 at 05:39 AM
RK (Highly likely) says
Hospital systems , utilizing automated dispensing systems , are only a few steps away from literately creating a pharmacist free process. Those same systems are creeping into the retail segment removing pharmacist opportunities .
May 27, 2023 at 08:43 PM
Mark (Low) says
Just goes to show you the public’s true ignorance on what we actually do. Current “automation” is trash & much is highly dependent on patient information and a plethora of other variables that can change on a whim.

I really feel sad for how ignorant and out of touch with reality (oblivious of common sense) some programmers are in their confidence with automating pharmacy
May 08, 2023 at 03:37 AM
Licastro says
I'm sure you haven't considered psychological and social perspectives. No matter how advanced AI is, not everyone will trust them. I would still be careful about it. I, myself, wouldn't want to consult an AI without getting to an expert first.

If in any case, an AI becomes so advanced that it's capable of doing everything, we might as well lose all other jobs, including those in the I.T. industry and Data Science. This field is much easier for them to replicate. Just imagine an AI who can command other AI programs; it would not need many people anymore. It would only need a very few to act as their Quality Analyst or something related.

Besides, do people really think of Pharmacists only as community pharmacists? There are so many careers in this field. I'm sure an AI can't conduct its own pharmaceutical research, clinical trials, and even patient counseling. You might think, "Oh, but an AI can do the patient counseling too." I think this is also a good time for Pharmacists to level up from compounding and dispensing to counseling and focusing on clinical skills.

Also, just like what I told you, there are still so many people who prefer to talk to a human rather than an AI. I know this since I work as a Chat Support for a Telecommunications Company and believe me, they would always tell me they hated our automated system, which I think is a pretty advanced system since they can already do troubleshooting, discuss billing, and even purchase products or services through AI. However, these people still always wanted to talk to a human person no matter how many times we provide them self-service options.

If the time comes that it becomes so advanced, trust me, all existing jobs would perish and only a number of people will be left to monitor, control, and regulate these machines. I'm surprised that the majority of people who work in I.T., including Decision Science and Data Science, aren't afraid of AI and seem to think they know everything that a Pharmacist studies.

Remember, biochemical processes aren't always the same. That's why different pharmaceutical products are created just for a single illness. This is because the human body is so unique that each and every person has their own biological, physiological, and psychological reaction to drugs. We still don't fully understand cancer and other illnesses and disorders. Cells are so complicated that they can react to a single substance in a good or bad way. Certain drugs can have its own effects on the human anatomy.

I do not claim to know everything. I am not even a pharmacist. However, I studied almost 2 years of Medical Laboratory Science before I stopped due to financial issues. This is also the reason why I believe that each healthcare profession will not be removed. Instead, there will be changes with their roles and practices.

I'm certain that all professions would find its way to evolve no matter how much we rely on technology. Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Psychology, and all other allied health professionals aren't just pure science. It also includes art. That's why these professions are always stated to be both science and an art. It is so much more than just theoretical concepts since it also involves practical applications.
May 03, 2023 at 01:55 PM
Jiovanni (Moderate) says
After release of chatGPT there is nothing for sure is safe
Apr 18, 2023 at 11:02 PM
psychpharmd says
Staff pharmacists may be the most at risk for replacement, however, clinical pharmacists play a key role in assisting physicians with complex patient specific problems. Interpreting the best treatment pathway forward with medications that the clinical pharmacist has specialized in especially with years of direct clinical experience is not easy to replace. But it is something AI may be able to do with time but if we’ve reached that point…doctors will be out of jobs too.
Apr 17, 2023 at 05:17 PM
A realistic pharmacist (No chance) says
Physicians, PAs, NPs, RNs. Simply make too many mistakes when ordering medications. Example: when home meds are re-ordered and are clinically inappropriate. Sure memaw was taking Klor-Con 20 mEq at home, but her potassium once admitted is 7. Yea let’s help memaw see the lord. Or how about when Amphotericin B is ordered with NS flushes? There are far too many instances in which a real person is required.
Apr 06, 2023 at 08:30 PM
Wit and Grit (No chance) says
Pharmacists are responsible for dispensing both regular and regulated drugs. Robots do not have a license to dispense dangerous drugs, so if pharmacists were to be replaced with robots, there would be limits to the kind of drugs they are allowed to dispense.

Regarding side effects and contraindications, pharmacists have a method for appropriately disclosing such information. A robot, on the other hand, can only provide information to the limit of how it's programmed to.

The profession of a pharmacist is quite broad. You can search it on Google. A non-living machine has its limits. Just observe phones and cars.

I don't know what people think about robots, like the ones they see in sci-fi movies or novels. It's not impossible that robots may take on the role of a pharmacist. However, it's highly unlikely that they will completely take over the role of a pharmacist as a healthcare provider.
Mar 13, 2023 at 07:01 AM
Tenzin tashi says
There are chances that dispensing Pharmacist could be replaced by next 7 years with the data collected hitherto. The no of hiring pharmacist could plummet horrendously but the surviving pharmacist could be one the who could deal with data and automation, more like scientist pharmacist with background of medicine along with AI or automation. So good luck to the pharmacists.
Dec 28, 2022 at 05:18 AM
adevena says
There is a range of pharmacist jobs, such as retail pharmacist and clinical pharmacist, and some are more likely to be replaced compared to others.

That being said, the pharmacy job requires you to give health advice, recognize forged prescriptions, and be able to explain medication use, among other things. It also involves obtaining medical histories, etc.

There are a lot of things pharmacists have to do - not just dispensing prescriptions.
Dec 21, 2022 at 10:58 AM

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