Pharmacists working in managed care organizations–including hospitals and clinics–only represent about a quarter of all pharmacists nationwide. Notwithstanding, they are responsible for delivering prescription drugs and medications to over 210 million Americans. Pharmacists who work in managed care environments, hospitals and clinics focus on ensuring that patients receive the appropriate medications and dosages to improve and maintain their health. All pharmacists dispense drugs, but in addition to dispensing drugs managed care pharmacists also develop clinical programs, communicate directly with patients, and are involved in drug benefit design, business management, and cost management.
The path to becoming a hospital, clinic, or managed care pharmacist is similar to that for becoming a pharmacist that works in drug stores and retail pharmacy locations. Pharmacists must be licensed in the state where they work. To become licensed, pharmacists must earn a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree from an accredited pharmacy program and then pass the North American Pharmacist Licensure Exam (NAPLEX). In order to be accepted to a Pharm.D. program, candidates must first complete a minimum of two years of postsecondary education–but most applicants complete three or more years. Other prerequistes may include completing courses in biology, chemistry, and physics, and taking the Pharmacy College Admissions Test (PCAT). About seventy percent of pharmacy schools require the PCAT. There are approximately 100 colleges and schools of pharmacy in the United States that are fully accredited by the Accreditation Council of Pharmacy Education (ACPE) to award the Pharm.D. degree.
Most upper-level pharmacy and Pharm.D. programs will include courses in clinical pharmacokinetics, drug metabolism, biostatistics, medical and research ethics, biopharmaceutics, pharmacodynamics, clinical sampling, research design, neuropharmacology, chemotherapy, drug delivery systems, clinical pharmacy management, pharmacotherapy, and therapeutic pharmacy. Below you can explore a directory of the colleges, universities, and schools of pharmacy providing accredited Pharm.D. and pharmacy programs.