W 25: Industry-Based Pharmacists and Moonlighting: Remaining Current in Clinical Practice
Joseph Patrick Fulginiti
Post-Doctoral Fellow, Clinical Development and Medical Affairs
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey United States
To identify the rate, extent, practice setting, and reasons why licensed industry-based pharmacists moonlight (work a part-time pharmacy job) in addition to their current industry role.
A voluntary web-based anonymous survey created through Qualtrics was distributed via email to pharmacists with a current or past affiliation with the pharmaceutical industry. This adaptive survey had a maximum of 20 questions. Question types were multiple choice, fill in the blank, and Likert scale.
108 pharmacists started the web-based survey with 101 (93.5%) completing it. Results indicated that more than half of the respondents (n=55) either currently or previously held an additional part-time pharmacist job along with their industry role. Overall survey respondents represented a variety of pharmaceutical industry departments. The majority work in departments such as R&D/Clinical Development, Field Medical (Medical Science Liaison), Marketing, Medical Information, and Regulatory Affairs. Nearly all of the survey respondents shared that they hold an active pharmacist license despite their industry employer not requiring licensure. Twenty-three percent of individuals with active pharmacy licenses hold licensure in multiple states.
Of those industry pharmacists that reported moonlighting, respondents predominantly worked in either a hospital, chain, or independent pharmacy. The average days per month worked was 3.53 (range: 0.00 to 10.00) and average hours worked per month was 22.33 (range: 0.00 to 60.00). The top four reasons for working a part-time pharmacist job included financial, keeping current, utilizing license, and patient interaction.
Out of the 55 respondents that currently or previously moonlighted, sixty-seven percent (n=37) reported that working in their alternate practice setting helps/helped them in their industry pharmacist role. Alternatively, 64% (n=35) indicated that being an industry pharmacist helps/helped them in their selected practice. Positive open-ended feedback on moonlighting included: higher appreciation for the job, incorporating a variety of different skills between roles, a better understanding of clinical data, ability to listen to patient concerns, gaining of competitive intelligence, and a broadening of perspective. However, other respondents listed the following unfavorable reasons: potential bias, very different environments, and no direct relation between them.
Pharmacists as a whole take on second jobs separate from their main source of income (moonlighting) at a greater rate than the average workforce. There is limited information in the literature about industry-based pharmacists remaining active in the practice of pharmacy. Results show that a significant number of industry-based pharmacists are licensed and many either practice in an alternative practice setting or have in the past.
This study also gained the perspective of pharmacists on how one role influences the other. Data supports that pharmacists that moonlight see multiple benefits in keeping up with active licensure and having multiple roles.