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Number of pharmacists in the U.S. 2001-2019

Trends clearly indicate that the number of pharmacists in the United States is steadily growing. In the given period, the number has increased from about 224 thousand in 2001 to over 311 thousand in 2019. The demand for pharmacists is obvious. Additionally, recent data suggests that the total number of retail prescriptions filled annually in the U.S. is also on the rise.

Pharmacists in the U.S.

Pharmacists have a multifaceted role in health care in the United States. They are responsible for not only dispensing medication to patients, but are also providing immunizations, screening and giving advice on lifestyle. Among various workplace settings a majority of pharmacists work in chain and independent pharmacies. A recent survey indicates that the weighted average salary of pharmacists in the U.S. is around 123 thousand U.S. dollars.

Pharmacies in the U.S.

There are many leading retail or chain pharmacies in the U.S. including Walgreens, CVS and Walmart. Among the top U.S. pharmacies in 2019, CVS Health Corporation was the leading pharmacy based on prescription revenue alone. It is expected that CVS Caremark (a subsidiary of CVS Health Corporation) will fill a large percentage of all retail prescriptions in the U.S. in the coming years. With the acquisition of Express Scripts at year-end 2018, Cigna became a new top 3 pharmacy in the United States.

Number of pharmacists in the U.S. from 2001 to 2019

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Release date

July 2020


United States

Survey time period

2001 to 2019

Supplementary notes

Estimates do not include self-employed, owners and partners in unincorporated firms, household workers, or unpaid family workers and were rounded to the nearest 10. All values are as of May of each year.

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