New York Times Article Highlights Retail Pharmacists’ Struggles, Pressing Need for Effective & Enforceable State Standards

| February 3, 2020

A recent New York Times report shines a light on the dangers of overworking pharmacists:

“In letters to state regulatory boards and in interviews with The New York Times, many pharmacists at companies like CVS, Rite Aid and Walgreens described understaffed and chaotic workplaces where they said it had become difficult to perform their jobs safely, putting the public at risk of medication errors.

They struggle to fill prescriptions, give flu shots, tend the drive-through, answer phones, work the register, counsel patients and call doctors and insurance companies, they said — all the while racing to meet corporate performance metrics that they characterized as unreasonable and unsafe in an industry squeezed to do more with less…

Regulating the chains — five rank among the nation’s 100 largest companies — has proved difficult for state pharmacy boards… the industry presence can stifle complaints…. pharmacists said they feared retaliation, knowing they could easily be replaced…

The specifics and severity of errors are nearly impossible to tally. Aside from lax reporting requirements, many mistakes never become public because companies settle with victims or their families, often requiring a confidentiality agreement…

…CVS is the largest chain and among the most aggressive in imposing performance metrics, pharmacists said… dozens of pharmacists described the emphasis on metrics as burdensome, and said they faced backlash for failing to meet the goals or suggesting they were unrealistic or unsafe.”

Read the New York Times full report by clicking here.

“This New York Times article highlights what our Union has been arguing for years—pushing pharmacists to do more and more work beyond their professional duties, the filling of prescriptions and counseling of patients, is unhealthy for our members and dangerous for the public at large,” said John Coli, Jr., Secretary-Treasurer of Local 727.  “This Union will not stop pushing for safe work standards for our pharmacist members.  Whether it’s at the bargaining table or the state level, this fight is not over.”

Category: Current Events, PHARMACY

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