Objective. The aims were to determine Australian registered pharmacists' current employment status, practice profile and professional satisfaction.
Method. A questionnaire was mailed to all registered pharmacists (n≤7764) on the Pharmacy Boards of Victoria and South Australia's registers; 19 were returned undeliverable. Quantitative data were entered and analysed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences Version 17. Qualitative data were subjected to a thematic analysis.
Results. 1627 (21%) pharmacists responded: 259 (16%) were registered as pharmacists but no longer worked in the pharmacy profession. A total of 1366 respondents reported still working as pharmacists. Of the 1366, 912 (67%) indicated that they spend most of their time in a clinical area; 233 (17%) spend most of their time in 'non-clinical pharmacist work (i.e. dispensing as technical supply)'; 216 (16%) worked in other non-clinical roles and; 1053 (77%) were professionally satisfied.
Conclusion. Measuring the pharmacist workforce based on registration data significantly overestimates the available clinical pharmacist workforce: 708 (44%) respondents were no longer working in the profession, were not mainly involved in clinical practice or were working in non-clinical roles. A significant re-professionalisation program is needed if pharmacists' unique knowledge and skills are to contribute to better healthcare delivery.