Pharmaceutical sciences' manpower supply and internal rate of return

Pharm Res. 1991 Jun;8(6):676-82. doi: 10.1023/a:1015881429496.


A pharmacy student has many career options upon graduation. These options include graduate education in one of the pharmaceutical sciences and a retail pharmacy position. The attractive salaries offered by chain pharmacies play an important role in the recent graduate's career decision-making process. The purpose of this study is to provide a comparative assessment of the internal rate of return (IRR) for different pharmaceutical science career options as related to chain-store pharmacist earnings. Additionally, this study analyzes the effect of the IRR on the applicant pool size and composition for graduate study in pharmaceutical sciences. Income/age profiles were developed using public domain income data derived from salary surveys sponsored by professional associations. Based on these income/age profiles, IRRs were estimated for the pharmaceutical science disciplines, clinical pharmacy, pharmaceutics, medicinal chemistry, and pharmacy administration, and further differentiated for industry versus academic careers. The IRRs are the highest for Pharm.D.'s in academic careers (16.0%), followed by pharmaceutical scientists employed by pharmaceutical industry (8.13%). The IRR of pharmaceutical scientists in academia is lower than the return of other financial investment vehicles. Other authors have established a relationship between the IRR of a profession and a rise or decline in the applicant pool. The IRRs calculated here imply that this association can also be observed for the pharmaceutical scientist applicant pool. Low IRRs should result in a declining applicant pool. However, the last decade has shown an increase of 66% in the number of Ph.D.'s granted, while the percentage of Ph.D.'s granted to nonpharmacists or non-Americans has not increased significantly over the same time period.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

MeSH terms

  • Career Choice
  • Education, Pharmacy, Graduate
  • Foreign Professional Personnel
  • Pharmacists / statistics & numerical data
  • Pharmacology*
  • Salaries and Fringe Benefits
  • Students, Pharmacy / statistics & numerical data
  • United States
  • Workforce