In 1989, a collection of national pharmacy organizations with interest in pharmacy workforce and issues combined as an Executive Board to initiate the Pharmacy Manpower Project, Inc. (PMP). The initial purpose of the PMP was to examine and report on the supply of pharmacists in the United States. The purpose was expanded to the related issue of the changing demand for pharmacists as they assumed patient care roles within the changing profession of pharmacy.
During the 1996-97 academic year, Katherine Knapp spent several months at AACP as a resident scholar on pharmacy workforce issues. Professor Knapp’s interest in the pharmacy workforce continued and in 2000, she initiated the Pharmacy Aggregate Demand Index (ADI), with support from the Pharmacy Manpower Project. The ADI began as a monthly investigation to collect and disseminate data on the demand for pharmacists in the United States.
The ADI was intended to provide insight about the supply/demand balance for pharmacists on an ongoing basis. The ADI was based upon information provided by a confidential panel of pharmacist employers that were surveyed each month to report ratings on a scale from 1 to 5 whether they perceived difficulty in filling open positions or whether demand was less than supply. The panel was intended to represent the major geographic and practice sectors of pharmacy practice in the United States.
In 2011 the PMP name was changed to Pharmacy Workforce Center to align with the National Center for Health Workforce Analysis and the National Health Workforce Commission. The Mission of the PWC is to serve the pharmacy profession and the public by actively researching, analyzing, and monitoring the size, demography and activities of the pharmacy workforce. Consistent with that mission, PWC has funded the ADI continuously since its inception.
With Professor Knapp’s retirement in 2014 from her academic appointment, she also sought to transition from the lead investigator for the ADI. In the summer of 2015, PWC selected David Kreling as the new Principal Investigator for the ADI, and encouraged him to evaluate the ADI for future enhancements. With input from panelists, colleagues in the Midwest Pharmacy Workforce Consortium, and others, the process for collecting and reporting ADI information was reassessed, and revised methods to better reflect current pharmacy practice workforce needs were approved by the PWC Board in May 2016. The Board also determined that a new name or labeling, Pharmacist Demand Indicator (PDI) would be useful for distinguishing the changed methods and information to be available. Transition to the Pharmacist Demand Indicator (PDI) began in September 2016.
With gratitude for the originating and diligent, ongoing efforts of Kathy Knapp and the continuous support of PMP and the PWC, the PDI will provide insights on the demand for pharmacists in the workforce.