Pharmacist

At a Glance

Years in School (after high school graduation):

6-7

Hourly Wage:

$54.64-$80.04 (Mean $66.78)

One-page Description (PDF):

Pharmacist

Professional Activities

Pharmacists play a vital role in the health care system through the medicine and information they provide. While responsibilities vary among the different areas of pharmacy practice, the bottom line is that pharmacists help patients get well.

Pharmacist responsibilities include a range of care for patients, from dispensing medications to monitoring patient health and progress to maximize their response to the medication. Pharmacists also educate consumers and patients on the use of prescriptions and over-the-counter medications, and advise physicians, nurses, and other health professionals on drug decisions. Pharmacists provide expertise about the composition of drugs, including their chemical, biological, and physical properties and their manufacture and use. They ensure drug purity and strength, and make sure that drugs do not interact in a harmful way. Pharmacists are drug experts ultimately concerned about their patients’ health and wellness.

In Alaska, pharmacists work in hospitals, nursing homes, private and chain drug stores, and with the Indian Health Service.

Educational Requirements

  • Graduation from high school with coursework in chemistry, mathematics and biology.
  • Prerequisite coursework (generally 60 to 120 credits) of accredited college work prior to entering pharmacy school.
  • PCAT (Pharmacy College Admissions Test) required for most university programs.
  • Graduation from a four-year pharmacy school awarding the doctor of pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree. Generally, the first 3 years consist of classroom work and labs while the 4th year consists of internships in various pharmacy settings.
  • Though not a requirement, many students go on to do residencies after graduation. Residencies are available in both community and hospital settings. Many hospitals require a residency in order to be hired.
  • Must pass two exams: NAPLEX (North American Pharmacist Licensure Exam-a knowledge exam) and MPJE (Multistate Pharmacy Jurisprudence Exam - a law exam)
  • Alaska requires a license to practice as a pharmacist.
  • Pharmacists are required to obtain 30 hours of continuing education every 2 years to maintain their license.

Academic Programs

Idaho State University Partnership
UAA is now home to the UAA/ISU Doctor of Pharmacy program, a partnership with the Idaho State University College of Pharmacy.  Fifteen students are admitted to the program each year, with preference given to Alaska residents. All pre-pharmacy course work can be obtained at UA.

Students attend class on UAA campus, earning a Doctor of Pharmacy degree (PharmD) without leaving the state.  The on-site faculty and staff use state of the art technology to deliver a synchronous learning experience with live instruction between three equivalent campuses.  Clinical rotations are completed in Alaska with affiliated partners and ISU clinical faculty.  Additionally, Anchorage students have live interaction with students and faculty at Meridian and Pocatello, Idaho sites.  This includes full participation in student organizations and community outreach programs, for which ISU is so well recognized.

More information can be found at:  http://pharmacy.isu.edu  OR http://pharmacy.isu.edu/live/alaska/ISU-AK_Joint_Pharmacy_Program.html

Creighton University Partnership

UAA has an initiative with Creighton University which offers a distance pathway. Creighton reserves up to 5 seats per year for qualified University of Alaska students/residents. All prerequisite coursework can be completed at UA. More information can be found at: http://spahp.creighton.edu/admission/pharmacy/pharmd-distance-alaska-online

Contacts

State Contacts:

For licensing information, contact:
State of Alaska
Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development
Division of Corporations, Business, and Professional Licensing: Board of Pharmacy
PO Box 110806
Juneau, AK 99811-0806
Phone: (907) 465-2589
Email: donna.bellino@alaska.gov
Website: https://www.commerce.alaska.gov/web/cbpl/ProfessionalLicensing/BoardofPharmacy.aspx

Alaska Pharmacists Association
203 W. 15th Ave. #100
Anchorage, Alaska 99501
Phone: (907) 563-8880
Email: akphrmcy@alaska.net
Website: http://www.alaskapharmacy.org

National Contacts:

American Pharmacists Association (APhA)
2215 Constitution Avenue NW
Washington D.C. 20037
Phone: (202) 628-4410
Toll Free: (800) 237-2742
Email: http://www.pharmacist.com/contact-us
Website: http://www.pharmacist.com/

Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT)
Phone: (800) 622-3231
Email: http://www.pcatweb.info/contact.php
Website: http://www.pcatweb.info/

Pharmacy College Admission Service (PharmCAS)
Phone:  (617) 612-2050
Email:  info@pharmcas.org
Website:  http://www.pharmcas.org/

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