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The Role of a Pharmacy Manager

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You will find a pharmacy manager in almost every pharmacy across the country. But what exactly does a pharmacy manager do and how do you become a pharmacy manager? We answered these burning questions and broke down the different job responsibilities of a pharmacy manager.

What is a pharmacy manager?

A pharmacy manager is a pharmacist who also oversees the day-to-day operations of the pharmacy. Usually, the position is filled by promoting from within the pharmacy or the parent company. However, an outside pharmacist who has more experience may also fill the position.

What Does a Pharmacy Manager Do?

Pharmacy managers play an important and critical role within a pharmacy. Their main responsibility is to manage the pharmacy staff and oversee the day-to-day operations that take place within the pharmacy. Pharmacy manager responsibilities can vary due to the number of patients they serve, the size of the pharmacy, the type of pharmacy, and the number of employees they oversee. However, there are several responsibilities that remain constant for pharmacy managers.

Pharmacists often double as a pharmacy manager

While it may seem as though a pharmacy runs effortlessly with the pharmacists dispensing medications as the orders come in, there is quite a bit more to the process than that. In the pharmacy, there are pharmacy technicians as well as the various pharmacists, and there are also pharmacy managers. The pharmacy manager will often also take shifts in the pharmacy, dispensing medications in addition to their other duties.

Pharmacy managers make the pharmacy run smoothly

Have you ever noticed that when you go to the pharmacy with your prescription, they usually fill your order within half an hour? Because I have been known to struggle with planning a menu, I often find myself fascinated that my pharmacy has whatever medication my doctor has prescribed, no matter how random it may seem to me. Even the small family pharmacy I go to almost always has whatever medication I need; it is the medical equivalent of Santa’s toyshop. How do they manage to have every medication?

Ordering and Maintaining Records

The pharmacy manager manages the ordering and maintains records. This is a huge responsibility. They have to know which medications are most likely to be prescribed and make sure they have those that are less often prescribed on hand as well. The stock can’t be kept sitting on the shelf indefinitely because it will go bad. Pharmacy managers must also make sure that their choices are not too infrequently dispensed. If one of their clients is taking a medication that is not on the usual rotation, they must maintain that medication so refills are not delayed. In addition to this, which to me is the most complex and fascinating aspect of their job, they also must complete managerial tasks as well.

Schedules, QA and Employee Management

Schedules must be made for pharmacy employees, new documentation on medications and drug interactions must be read and distributed, quality assurance goals must be met, and employees must be monitored and evaluated. They must also handle customer complaints, maintain contact with doctors’ offices, and be familiar with their customers. Essentially, they must do what any manager does while at the same time ensuring that life-saving medications and information are available. What a responsibility!

How To Become a Pharmacy Manager

The first step into becoming a pharmacy manager is obtaining a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) from an accredited institution. After you have received your degree you can then get an entry-level pharmacy position to gain experience. Most pharmacy manager positions will require several years of pharmacy experience and even other managerial experience. However, this varies from employer to employer and some positions may only require one year experience. For further information, view the Bureau of Labor Statistics job outlook, requirements, and expected pay for pharmacists in the U.S.

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Contributor Kimberly Anders

As the Division Director of pharmacy, allied and healthcare IT recruitment for Soliant, Kimberly brings over 14 years of success in all aspects of the staffing industry to lead operations for a highly recognized and respected brand in pharmacy recruitment. Upon walking into a temporary staffing office, to find part-time work around a college schedule, Kimberly was fixated on developing a career in the recruiting industry. The following 20 years in the profession have provided her the perfect livelihood, a platform to guide, educate and coach talented individuals to fulfilling new jobs. Kimberly is experienced working with pharmacies and pharmacy professionals in large health systems, rural inpatient hospitals, home infusion, ambulatory care, long term care, mail order, retail, PBM and specialty settings across the country. Make sure to check out the rest of her blogs!