• Many countries worldwide experience a shortage of pharmacists and distribution imbalances within countries.
• There is a need for comprehensive pharmacy workforce development modelled on local needs and circumstances.
• To support growth in the establishment of pharmacy practice and its aspiration for increased patient focused care, workforce needs and other trends (increasing number of prescriptions, increasing trend of part-time work, etc) will need to be factored into workforce and pharmaceutical service development plans.
Reports of shortages of the health workforce had surfaced in the 1970s but it was not until the following decade, and in particular the publishing of The World Health Report in 2006 that health workforce issues gained sufficient momentum to merit widespread investigation and international action to bring about changes. This report was a major driving force for expansion of the international health workforce in order to meet the health related Millennium Development Goals.
Pharmacists represent the third largest healthcare professional group in the world after nurses and doctors. The Global Health Workforce Alliance was established to accelerate progress towards these goals by identifying and implementing solutions to the shortages.