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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11/21/23  12:50 pm
Commenter: Al Roberts - Remington Drug Company

Workplace Condition Regulations

I would like to first praise and congratulate our BOP and staff for taking action on this very important issue. The pharmacist and his/her team are the last eyes and hands on the prescription before it is received by the patient. This is a tremendous responsibility by itself. To add additional responsibilities, not related to patient care, such as answering phones, running the cash register/POS terminal, and financial metrics sacrifices much needed attention to the care of the patient, which is a priority for a pharmacist. A pharmacist and their team are the last line of defense against a medication error possibly related to strength, dosing, allergies, drug-drug interactions, duplication of therapy, and the list goes on. While many people believe they can multi-task, studies show the number of tasks one person can handle, almost simultaneously without an error, are limited. The current workplace conditions many pharmacists and technicians endure are unsafe, toxic, and a ticking bomb just waiting for the next mistake or catastrophe to take place------and it is not their fault. The big corporate entities are sacrificing patient safety in the name of profits. Recently much has been made of the shortening of hours for pharmacists and technicians. That sounds good to the public but all it is doing is condense the time it takes to handle the same amount of work. It is a band-aid and not a long lasting, workable solution.

The regulations are a great first step and again congratulations to our BOP for taking this big step, but it is only what should be a first step with more to follow. There needs to be enforcement when the rules are not followed. There needs to be protection for those person(s) reporting the violations. The penalty needs to be substantial, as in six figures and/or closing the pharmacy until compliance is confirmed. Once determined a violation has taken place, the guilty party must be required to pay the fine or come into compliance within a set period of time. They would not be able to litigate or appeal the decision.

In closing, I wish to again state my support for this move by our BOP. We owe our pharmacists and their team a safe and enjoyable workspace. We owe our patients the feeling of safety when they pick up their prescriptions and interact with their pharmacy team.

CommentID: 220688