There are plenty of movies and films featuring doctors, nurses, forensic scientists, naturalists, paramedics, judges, lawyers, policemen and more. As a pharmacist, have you ever wondered if there are any films or movies dedicated to your profession? Here are 4 films about pharmacists, and each of the films has an interesting depiction and portrayal of the profession.

Better Living through Chemistry (2014)

Sam Rockwell plays Doug Varney, a full-time community pharmacist in a small town. He is diligent and earnest, often working late into the night to complete his prescription fills and sending them to patients’ houses. He is seen as the cure for all the problems by his patients in his community, but not his own difficulties in life.

His insensible needs are fulfilled when he met a trophy-wife customer, played by Michelle Monaghan, on one of his late-night medications delivery trips. This woman lures him onto a joyride involving drugs and crime. While this show is a typical Hollywood comedy, fun and entertaining, it also reveals the true danger a community pharmacist faces fulfilling their calling to the best of their ability.

Cake (2014)

In this recent movie, Jennifer Aniston plays Claire, a married woman who lost her son in an accident that left her partially disabled by chronic pain. She is seen in the film to repeatedly visit a community pharmacist where she fills her prescription for controlled medications. Whenever the pharmacist attempts to talks her out of the situation that she is in, she reveals more of her life story.

This film documents the journey of a chronic pain sufferer, and how grief – the root of the pain – can be detrimentally debilitating, and some of the helplessness that the pharmacist sometimes feels when faced with such patients.

The Pharmacist (2010)

The Pharmacist is a Canadian comedy-drama film, staged and filmed in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. It tells the story of a pharmacist who suffers from narcolepsy and is an illegal narcotic dealer. After meeting his soul mate, Alice, he turns over a new leaf and resorts to doing good, rejecting further illegal drug dealing activities. This show won good accolades and the Audience Choice Award when it debuted at the 2010 Edmonton International Film Festival.

Don't shoot the Pharmacist (2008)

Ben Bailey plays Zack Wright, the retail pharmacist who is trying to make sense of his life in Brooklyn, New York. He practices in a small retail pharmacy, Goodyear Pharmacy, with a pharmacy technician who happens to be his best friend as well. As both of them lament over their carefree days in Las Vegas as a roulette dealer, the days pass by quickly with no sense of achievement.

This peace is broken when Phil, a manic OCD druggist played by Jayson Simba, stormed into the pharmacy on a night and lifted his gun to threaten for controlled drugs. This film depicts the real life situation some retail pharmacist may face in the United States and how witty Zack manage to get himself out of the trouble and saving his best friend.

These films have portrayed pharmacists in many roles with a variety of personalities. Interestingly, a study on the portrayal of pharmacists in the media from the 1970s to the present day found that the profession is usually depicted negatively, either as victims or villains. The observation certainly contradicts with real life pharmacists, who were perceived as one of the most trustworthy professions. However, the same study also noted that the roles of pharmacists in media have increased over time, reaching 66 portrayals in the summer of 2013. Thus, real life pharmacists can perhaps anticipate a more varied and exciting portrayal of the profession in the future. MIMS

Read more:
5 books that all pharmacists and aspiring pharmacists should read
Doctors in movies: The good, the jaded and the tired
5 memorable nurses from the movies

Sources:
http://www.pharmacytimes.com/publications/career/2013/pharmacycareers_fall2013/how-does-the-media-portray-pharmacists-hero-villain-or-most-accessible-health-care-provider
http://www.pharmacytimes.com/news/what-negative-media-portrayals-say-about-pharmacists
http://www.pharmacytimes.com/news/pharmacists-remain-among-most-trusted-professions