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Publication Detail
Pharmacy Workforce Intelligence: Global Trends Report 2018
  • Publication Type:
  • Authors:
    Bates I, John C, Meilianti S, Bader L
  • Publisher:
    International Pharmaceutical Federation
  • publication date:
  • Place of publication:
    The Hague
  • Pagination:
    1, 40
  • ISBN-13:
  • Status:
  • Commisioning body:
    International Pharmaceutical Federation
  • Keywords:
    Pharmacy, Workforce, Global, Workforce Intelligence
  • Author URL:
  • Publisher URL:
  • Addresses:
    Ian Bates
    UCL School Pharmacy
    29-39 Brunswick square
    WC1N 1AX
1.1 This report describes the global capacity trends observed in the pharmaceutical workforce from 2006 to 2016, building on the FIP 2015 Global Pharmacy Workforce Intelligence Trends Report; this report features additional analysis to track global and national trends, including gender distribution and capacity growth mapped to regional variation and country-level economic indicators. 1.2 Pharmacist capacity data collected by FIP over the 2006–2016 period were collated and analysed for the largest retrospective study of pharmaceutical workforce capacity conducted by any organisation to date. The findings reported in this publication use improved visual charts and include forecasting and rates of growth calculations. To describe a complex global situation, the report uses a mixed-model approach to analyse and illustrate capacity variances across our sample nations and represented regions; using the global mean of sample nations allows for the description of global capacity trends over time but the real-world narratives operate at national levels. We use pharmacist density as a measure of workforce capacity (number of pharmacists per 10,000 population). 1.3 In addition to expanding the evidence base on global capacity trends, disaggregated by WHO regions, this report also provides an analysis of past, current and future trends linked to country economic status and income level, as well as a focus on workforce gender distribution and corresponding changes over the time period of the data. 1.4 Overall, our analysis suggests an increase in the global capacity of pharmacists with varying capacity changes across different WHO regions. The Eastern Mediterranean and Europe regions displayed the highest absolute changes in capacity between 2006 and 2016. Our forecasting analysis using this current sample of countries, and assuming no change in linearity, estimates a 40% projected growth of the global pharmacy workforce by 2030, from the last data collection point in 2016. 1.5 Analysis by country income levels indicates that low income countries exhibited the slowest growth in the capacity of pharmacists (measured as density – pharmacists per 10,000 population). Furthermore, our analysis points towards an increasing income-based “capacity gap” between countries that will continue to widen into the future. 1.6 The proportion of women in the pharmacy workforce between 2009 and 2016 shows a steady increase at a percentage rate of around 7.5% every decade. The South East Asia region showed the highest proportional increase in the sample period. Our analysis indicates that the average female proportion of the total global pharmacy workforce will increase to around 72% by 2030. 1.7 In addition to providing a comprehensive overview of capacity trends, this report and its findings provide a significant contribution to understanding the current, and persistent, workforce capacity inequities in pharmacy — including country income level and gender — and highlighting the future need to explore implications of these inequities of access to both medicines and the collective medicines expertise of the global pharmaceutical workforce; without adequate capacity there cannot be safe and effective use of medicines, globally, regionally, nationally or locally. However, using global means to help illustrate variance and complexity does have challenges, and relying on aggregated means may have unintended consequences with “over-generalisation” of local or national trends, particularly where we see large variance between countries and economic indicators. 1.8 This report is a starting point for further focused work in regions and to initiate specific discussions around needs-based approaches, including workforce demand and supply in line with WHO strategies. A needs-based understanding of shortages, particularly in low income and/or developing nations and the supply side influences in high income and/or developed nations need further detailed analysis. 1.9 The findings of this report are of critical importance to global, regional and national pharmaceutical workforce planning in the context of the WHO’s predictions and expectations for 2030 on the global health workforce shortages (mainly affecting low income countries) and increased demand (largely by higher income countries).
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