The compounding pharmacy sector in the Northeast is experiencing considerable growth and has opened up career and employment opportunities. In total, there are 523 establishments in the region and Bahia is the northeastern state with the highest concentration of pharmacies, with 164 units. The area is known for making workers, including counter attendants, specialize and become even more qualified. In 2021, more than 3,500 professionals were hired in the country, with Bahia being the leader in hiring in the last five years, with 56.4% growth in the number of jobs.
From 2016 to 2021, the Northeast recorded an increase of almost 40% in the number of compounding pharmacies, closing 2021 with 321 stores, according to data from the 2022 Sector Panorama of the National Association of Magistral Pharmacists (Anfarmag). Since then, this number of units has reached 523 in 2023, an increase of 63% compared to 2021. In Bahia, the majority of them are in Salvador, Feira de Santana and Vitória da Conquista, the three most populous cities in the state .
Regional president of Anfarmag, responsible for Bahia and Sergipe, Rosalvo Lima explains that the health market in general has been directed towards the North and Northeast, which, naturally, generates the need for a support chain for the health care structure.
Although growth is a crucial factor in generating opportunities, the sector’s emphasis is on the qualification of professionals, rather than just the number of jobs available. Compounding pharmacies have the potential to provide a significant difference in the careers of professionals who choose to work in this segment. This is due to the fact that pharmaceutical compounding activities require specialization.
However, the shortage of professionals is a challenge, as many qualified professionals in the pharmaceutical field are also sought after by large industries in Bahia. Despite this, there are many opportunities in the masterful segment, as the manipulation sector is known, and there are great chances for professional development.
The segment is essential for the personalization of medicines and other products, such as cosmetics and dietary supplements. In some cases, such as children, the elderly and bedridden or intubated patients, there are specificities that are not found in industrialized products, whether due to the dosage or pharmaceutical form, for example.
In these cases, in order to provide individualized care, it is necessary to develop individualized formulations, and compounding pharmacies can offer medicines in formats that facilitate patients’ adherence to treatments, such as different dosage forms, combinations to improve palatability and others.
A non-profit entity, the National Association of Magistral Pharmacists represents the magistral sector, focused on the preparation (handling) of medicines and health products in compounding pharmacies in a personalized way, meeting the specific needs of each patient. The association’s work is focused on the defense, promotion and development of the teaching sector. Currently, Anfarmag has regional offices and is made up of more than 8,000 associates, including companies and professionals who work in the segment, distributed throughout the national territory.
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