Pharmacist pay may not adequately reflect the value of pharmacists' work nor the education required to practice

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27 Aug 2016 - General

Professional Pharmacists Australia (PPA - pharmacists' union) has welcomed the Pharmacy Guild's (a pharmacy corporation representing pharmacy owners) support for a coherent pharmacy workforce strategy. Their change of heart is welcome news for Australian pharmacists!!! The Guild outlined concern about the low pay. It has been almost two years since PPA met with the Guild leaders in a bid to work with them to restore respect to thousands of employee pharmacists by lifting pay rates in the Pharmacy Industry Award. Whilst their shift in attitude has been some time in the making, the Guild's words must now translate into action and support for our work value case. The case in the Fair Work Commission is a practical way to repair the damage that low wages has on community pharmacy. The PPA have argued for an increase in Award rates of pay of about 30% alongside better recognition for increased workloads, training, and skill requirements. Currently, the Minimum Award Wage is $24/hour. You could potentially get higher pay working as a pharmacy technician or courier in Australia! Those working in discount pharmacy chains also get $5 less than in private pharmacies. These low rates of pay - underpinned by low rates in the Award - put downward pressure on wages across the profession, creating a widening gap between the value of pharmacists' work and what they are paid. Let's hope this shift in attitude from the Guild is a stepping stone to a better future for pharmacists' profession. Why on earth did it come to this predicament in the first place for this once respected profession is beyond me! I would like to extend this small window of positivity to other pharmacists (and health professionals) around the world. Does your country have a union to speak on behalf of the profession? It is a difficult time in Australia for Australian pharmacists, how are prospects in other countries? 

Lianne Marie Victoria Laruan There was a time Australian pharmacists were paid well and valued as health professionals (8-10 years ago), but since then they have increased the quota for university acceptance (i.e. dropped the entrance level requirement) and increased the number of universities offering the course and the cohort size of graduates. All of these changes have drastically affected the industry. The Min...
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Oh, I'm surprised that Australia has low rates for pharmacists, since I've heard some of my colleagues migrate there as the pay is higher. Lucky for Australia that an organization is lobbying for a higher wage for pharmacists. Anyhow, here in the Philippines, obviously wages are much lower (even with other health care professions). We do have the Philippine Pharmacists' Association (PPhA) that lobbies for the pharmacists' rights here, but seemingly, the government cannot really c...
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It is great to see that Australia's pharmacy guild is taking actions to improve the financial compensation for pharmacists. In the Philippines, I am not sure about the situation. Maybe Lianne Marie Victoria Laruan can shed light on this matter. Pharmacists really need to be compensated well because they interact with the patients who buy prescription drugs. Patients get the benefit of knowing what is the most ...
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