Alternate careers for pharmacists in the UK

It is clear that the profession we love so much is undertaken some drastic changes. Locum rates keep dropping yet the work-load keeps increasing. Tesco’s have recently announced they are slashing their locum rates.  Many may feel that they are losing the luster that drove them into pharmacy.  Well do not be dismayed there are opportunities outside of pharmacy if you are willing to take it.

Pharmaceutical industry

The industry employs many people from various scientific background including pharmacy.  Pharmacist can enjoy the opportunity of working within a multidisciplinary role and the potential to work within different departments. Furthermore, career progression is much more than within community pharmacy. We have selected roles outside of research of which pharmacist are suitable:

  1. Medical information/ affairs
  2. Regulatory affairs
  3. Drug Safety
  4. Quality assurance
  5. Medical/scientific writing
  6. Market access
  7. Therapeutic area specialist
  8. Medical scientist/Medical Science Liaisons
  9. Health economics role
  10. Marketing roles i.e. brand manger

If you are interested in learning about roles in the pharmaceutical industry then read blog : “how to find the right life sciences career guest blog”

Consulting industry

With the NHS transforming drastically, consulting agencies are seeking to expand their capabilities. A pharmacist has sufficient background within healthcare/life science and should be a useful asset within this industry


Fancy, helping people achieve their dream look? Well, if you are into beauty, then working in the aesthetics industry might just be for you. Pharmacist all around the countries have been providing a botox service and more.


Some pharmacists may find that their broad knowledge of science is particularly useful in teaching. Teaching has its perks particularly for a pharmacist who is parent. Holidays are aligned with the kids holidays.



If you are willing and have the zest for healthcare there are a few pharmacists who are studying further. A PHD in a particular field could help you break-out of pharmacy. Also their new career paths such as Physician associates which are also being pursued by pharmacists.

Practice pharmacists

This is a fast-growing industry due to the fact that the government is keen on pharmacists working within a practice setting. It offers  attractive working hours usually 9-5 pm and some roles do not require you to work weekends. So you can enjoy more time with family and friends.


Believe it or not, there are several roles within the government of which pharmacist are suitable candidates. NHS England various pharmacist working in different roles. The MHRA is also another area of which pharmacist are specializing, their knowledge medicines help them cover roles ensuring the SAFETY, QUALITY and EFFICACY of the drugs we have on market.


It is important to be proud of the transferable skills you will have gained include:

  • communication skills; from speaking to numerous patients and your pharmacy team
  • empathy; from caring for your patients and the team
  • problem-solving; from  scenarios such as issues with a prescription when you have to call the GP
  • coping with pressure; dealing with huge number of scripts, services and lack of staffing
  • professional integrity; in-spite of pressure you do not yield to cutting corners
  • team working; working with the pharmacy team every day to keep patients safe
  • decision-making; should the patient take the medication or not?

Whatever decision you take try and be optimistic. Be hopeful and you shall surely find what you are looking for.



Yours sincerely,

The branch manager






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