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State Needs More Druggists

California´s pharmacy schools are producing only half the number of pharmacists needed across the state. And that´s translated into higher salaries both for those just entering the job market and established druggists. Oakland pharmacist Roger Taylor recently turned down a position with a Los Angeles chain pharmacy that boasted a six-figure salary, a 25-thousand dollar signing bonus and a Mercedes Benz in favor of the more personal atmosphere he says independently owned pharmacies maintain.

It´s a similar scene across the country. Drug stores, hospitals, clinics and other health agencies say roughly seven-thousand positions sit open at any given time. It´s forced some stores to cut back hours. Experts say new drug stores, longer hours and increased use of prescription drugs all are fueling the demand.