Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Health Professions
Board of Pharmacy
Regulations Governing the Practice of Pharmacy [18 VAC 110 ‑ 20]
Action Pharmacy working conditions
Stage Emergency/NOIRA
Comment Period Ended on 11/22/2023
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10/31/23  2:26 pm
Commenter: Anonymous


I entered the pharmacy profession with a genuine desire to assist my rural community and enjoyed the retail environment and patient interactions. Unfortunately, what I once cherished about pharmacy is fading into the background, overshadowed by quotas, tasks, timers, and scores. In our work, pharmacists are pulled in multiple directions simultaneously, and our pharmacies, despite their complexity, are often understaffed. It's puzzling that places like fast food restaurants and coffee shops have more support staff than our pharmacies, and yet, our technicians are often underpaid despite their essential roles. Staffing should be consistent year-round to retain talent, and the workload, expectations, and corporate pressures are leading to exhaustion and low morale among pharmacy staff.

We are often reprimanded for not meeting corporate goals, but it's becoming increasingly unsafe for pharmacists to work alone due to the numerous distractions and multitasking involved in the job. Additionally, we need more technician hours and pharmacist overlap, with staffing decisions based on factors beyond prescription counts. Many salaried employees are working unpaid hours to handle the unending workload, impacting our mental health and work-life balance. Lunch breaks should be uninterrupted, with all pharmacists, whether full-time or part-time, receiving paid breaks.

We need assistance and support from the Board to ensure we're not at risk of making preventable errors, as well as to create a fair and safe work environment. We are committed to practicing in the best interest of the public, but to do so, we require clear, enforceable laws that prevent companies from evading their responsibilities. I'm encouraged by the steps being taken to provide the necessary support for pharmacists to fulfill their oath and continue serving our communities safely.

CommentID: 220556