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Should you choose a pharmacy career for the money?

Published on: 23 Oct 2017

Vaishali Shah 2

Fourth-year student Vaishali Shah believes having a financial incentive to deliver services can detract from patient care.

My personal reason for choosing pharmacy was due to the manner in which my local pharmacist treated my grandmother.

She was 73 years old and had a variety of conditions that needed managing. The pharmacist took her time to explain what each medicine was, how each medicine worked, and if they had worked to my grandmother's expectations. She had 14 medicines in total.

Yes, the pharmacy wasn’t particularly busy and so the pharmacist could spend the time with my grandmother, but shouldn’t everyone’s experience and level of care be the same, whether the store is busy or not?

Unfortunately the bottom line will always be a huge factor, with pharmacists asking: “Does it save money for the NHS, my boss or me? How will I be reimbursed, and how much?”

Is the pressure of hitting targets and making money turning competent and honest pharmacists into fraudsters?

Since performing a medicines use review (MUR) has a financial kick-back from the NHS, I think it has diminished and evolved into a paper-pushing exercise, which ultimately places the patient at a disadvantage.

I personally want to be a pharmacist who can treat each patient as if they were my grandma, and not another number to help me achieve some targets.

Vaishali Shah is a fourth year student at Medway School of Pharmacy. Ms Shah's views are her own, and do not represent those of Medway School of Pharmacy.