In the past, the perception of pharmacists was fairly uniform; white-coated individuals handing prescriptions to customers in the local chemist. However, there is so much more to the profession, particularly in recent years with some exciting innovations in the sector.
Rapid shifts in technology have led to a myriad of innovations in the pharmacy industry, including some impressive homegrown ventures. One such example is DOSEME – an Australian company that has developed the world’s first precision dosing tool for clinical practice. The software delivers a host of benefits, such as boosting the survival rates of children with leukemia, halving the side effects of chemotherapy and reducing patient costs.
Another exciting innovation in biopharma circles is the concept of bioprinting, with Cellink among the first companies in the world to offer “3D printable bioink – a liquid that enables life and growth of human cells”.
Along with these advances, it is an interesting time for the pharmaceutical sector, with Amazon looking to forge a deal with prescription medication service PillPack in the United States that has the potential to cause a big shake up for medical and pharma companies. In Australia, the federal government announced a $500 Genomics Health Futures Mission during the 2018 Budget, which will be committed towards education, development of technology and clinical trials.
According to The Good Universities Guide, 95.3 per cent of pharmacy graduates find full-employment within four months of finishing university. For students at the University of Tasmania, this figure is, remarkably, 100 per cent. The median starting salary of $41,600 isn’t quite as impressive, trailing the likes of nursing ($55,000), teaching ($60,000) and engineering ($62,500), but wages tend to spike quickly after just a few years in the pharmacy system. From a fiscal perspective, it’s short-term pain for long-term gain.
Roles in the sector aren’t limited to just pharmacists either. Companies like GlaxoKlineSmith (GSK), which produces Panadol, is one of several large pharmaceutical brands that offer industry-based learning (IBL) programs for university students in areas such as marketing, legal and procurement.
So, if you were under the impression that working in pharmacy is limited to your stock standard chemist, think again; it could be the pathway to a career you never considered.