As the most accessible healthcare providers, community pharmacists play an important role in the healthcare system and the lives of their patients. This American Pharmacists Month, we’re celebrating their contributions by highlighting a few pharmacists making a difference in their communities.
Read the other Q&As in this series with:
Name: Bruce Schreiber
Pharmacy: C.O. Bigelow in New York, N.Y.
Q. How long have you been a pharmacist, and at your current pharmacy?
A. I have been a pharmacist for 29 years and 16 years at C.O. Bigelow.
Q. Why did you choose this career path?
A. I was a pre-med major my freshman year of college, but I realized pretty quickly that I was not going to pursue that path. I wanted to stay in the science field since I enjoyed both science and math. I had taken some type of pharmacology class as an elective and, at some point in my sophomore year, I said, ok, I will become a pharmacist. I had no idea what it entailed as I never worked in one or had any family members who owned a store. I actually transferred into the business school and pursued a degree in marketing. Upon graduating with the marketing degree, I then went on to study pharmacy and get my degree at a different university. While in pharmacy school, I began to work in an independent retail store and had my first experiences. Although I thought the combination of both degrees would help me work for a pharmaceutical company, I ultimately chose the retail path and haven’t looked back.
“Pharmacies able to leverage technology and pharmacists able to utilize their pharmacy school education will have the upper hand.”
Q. What is your favorite part of your job?
A. I’d say the people, both customers and staff. I love the daily interactions with both.
Q. What are some industry trends you're keeping an eye on?
A. DIR fees, compliance packaging, opioid utilization, and USP 800 are the major trends I’ve been following.
Q. What do you think the future holds for the industry?
A. The pharmacies that are able to leverage technology and pharmacists who are able to utilize their pharmacy school education will have the upper hand. Pharmacist to patient interactions are now even more important in today’s landscape as drug therapies become more complex and our patient population is living longer. Look no further than Amazon’s purchase of PillPak. Compliance packaging for patients hand in hand with medication synchronization will become the norm and the way pharmacists dispense now will become old fashioned.