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Shortage of staff: pharmacies are struggling to recruit pharmacists and salespeople


Yasmina Kattou, edited by Solène Leroux

In France, there is a shortage of 15,000 pharmacy salespeople and pharmacists. A lack of staff which has worsened with the health crisis. In the Ardennes, Fabrice Camaïoni has been trying to recruit a pharmacy salesman and a pharmacist for more than a year. According to the pharmacist, since the start of the crisis, young people have been more observant of working conditions.

Pharmacies are understaffed. In some pharmacies, we don’t even have time to do antigen tests to detect Covid-19. In France, there is a shortage of 15,000 pharmacy salespeople, but also pharmacists. A lack of staff which has worsened with the health crisis. In the Ardennes, Fabrice Camaïoni has been trying to recruit a pharmacy salesman and a pharmacist for more than a year. But then, no one applied. According to the pharmacist, since the start of the crisis, young people have been more observant of working conditions.

He has “very few candidates”, and “faced with a demand [de personnel] which is important, we have a little [davantage] requests in terms of salaries, in terms of working hours for example”. The pharmacist has “no hope of finding someone”. It’s been “27 years since I’ve been there, I’ve never experienced this “, he assures.

1,350 euros at the start of a salesperson’s career

After two years of study, a pharmacy salesperson earns approximately 1,350 euros net at the start of his career. A salary at minimum wage, for a heavier workload since the start of the Covid, which accentuates the lack of staff. “The increase in the missions of pharmacists, screening, vaccination which are very time-consuming, which take time”, describes Philippe Besset, president of the Federation of Pharmaceutical Unions of France. “Obviously, when you increase the workload, you have to increase the teams.”

The pharmacist hopes that Social Security will authorize an increase in prices in pharmacies, to allow an increase in wages and attract more candidates.



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