Field of Study: Pharmacy Administration
Pharmacy administration programs prepare people to organize pharmacy services. Students learn to manage budgets, people, and supplies. They learn to estimate costs and advertise for customers. In addition, they learn about drug research, development, and policy analysis.
As technology advances and the population ages, it seems that nothing related to health care and pharmaceuticals is simple anymore. Technology sheds light on how to treat diseases, so more medicines are available. Different ways of providing health care, especially managed care, are available, yet medical costs are skyrocketing. One thing remains the same, however: people get sick and will always need medicine! Therefore, people trained in pharmacy administration are increasingly in demand.
Courses in pharmacy administration programs include management theory, health care policy, research methods, and statistics. You also take courses in administration, health care information technology, health outcomes research, and drug development. In addition, you learn about the different ways people receive drug therapies and health care. You learn about managed care systems, such as health maintenance organizations (HMOs) and preferred provider organizations (PPOs). You also study the principles of economics as they apply to pharmaceuticals and health care delivery. This allows you to plan budgets and manage finances.
As a pharmacy administrator, you can work in a variety of healthcare settings. Many become managers and administrators for pharmacies. You can also work as a policy analyst for trade associations or government agencies. In addition, you can work as a research leader for large universities, health insurance companies, or pharmaceutical companies.
You can become a pharmacy administrator by going to a graduate program after you finish your bachelor's degree. About 20 colleges and universities in the U.S. offer pharmacy administration programs. Usually these programs are offered through the school of pharmacy. Often you can earn both a master's and a doctoral degree in pharmacy administration. Most people with doctoral degrees in pharmacy administration become professors.