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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11/12/23  1:31 pm

The Final Solution: Full Spectrum Dominance

The Final Solution: Full Spectrum Dominance 

The theoretical practice of pharmacy is concerned with the art of dispensing medication. Over the past decades, the profession has transformed into what it is now: for all intents and purposes, an algorithmic, mechanical way-of-thinking built on the expansion of two corporations fighting for complete control. I think one will maybe overtake the other at some point or there might be a merger/nationalization thereof. It’s difficult to pinpoint the specifics, but an astute observer can see the arc of retail trajectory. I speak of this not as a relic of the past, but as someone who has had about 1/2 decade of experience (which is essentially nothing). But the writing has been on the wall over the past few years: more and more freedoms and choices we have to operate effectively are taken from us and we are given no real choice or discussion in the matter. 

Everyone has the same complaints. They have had the same complaints for so long, that you have to wonder whether the company is operating out of incompetence or by design. I find it hard to believe that if we were really a valuable asset in the true sense, our complaints would have been fixed long ago. Since RPHs are *usually* hard working individuals, they have pushed themselves out of motivation to survive under these unfair working conditions as they keep inching the Overton window incrementally to make new hires think these are our corporate-cultural norms/expectations. 

I really think that the only way to elicit change would be for a national one day walk-out. Even if it was 50% of the stores, it would be enough to usurp power back and negotiate/unionize (although unionization can be corrupted as well - I can promise you these two corporations will go to extremes to not allow that to ever happen—cf. the attempts by Amazon workers in Alabama, Bezos and his cohorts squashed that with ease—and the media forgot). And to those who say they don’t support them because they can harm patient health, but at the same time state ad nauseam that the conditions they operate under are dangerous to the patients. 

There’s just so many things that need to be changed. But they don’t want to because they are beholden to shareholders and Wall-Street. I don’t follow the stock market, but I am fairly informed enough to know that these companies keep posting profits quarterly. Why does there always have to be more and more extracted out of everything? Is not just operating in stasis or some type of financial equilibrium where everything is functional and people surviving not enough?

I honestly think this is by design to purge all higher paid RPHS and to usher in a new era of practice aided by AI and perhaps utilizing blockchain technology as well (cf. Jack Dorsey and the development of new social media NOSTR if you want to research this for the upcoming Web 3.0 that is underway by around 2030).

Anyways, I know this will probably not change anything. I don’t know if anyone has articulated any of these views, I flipped through a few posts and they all have the same complaints. But I am shocked at the amount of anonymity because people are so afraid of some type of retributive payback at work — has anyone even said or realized…do I want to work a job where I am so afraid of even voicing an opinion? Not even a negative opinion, no character assassination, but just a list of grievances or a vision forward. Sadly, there will not be any change because of this - just replace the old with the new. I’ve seen so many great RPHs leave over my time that had the emotional intelligence and ability to talk to people that is devoid in so many of the younger generations. 

Ultimately, I left the profession for now, at least, because I see no path forward. I just see damage control and attempts at giving the illusion that we can maybe throw a few extra hours, remove some prompts, and try to make you feel like a new day is coming. But then I feel that it will revert back to the same after people’s short term memory is faded in a few months, half a year, etc (and people’s short-term memory is becoming very, very short these days).

I noticed in what I read that a lot have created this massive narrative where you expound in excruciating details about all these autistic fixations, but you cannot see the larger picture and think: why would some of the world’s largest corporations be operating in a state of chaos; why is this being introduced and utilized; and so on and so forth. The only thing I can conclude is that it is by design and to mentally exhaust and psychologically break the will of most, so there will be a mass exodus of people and the final solution will be the implementation of a new modality that will severely reduce their need to have as few pharmacists as possible. If you create the problem, control the problem, then offer a solution to replace an old paradigm that they have been wanting to eliminate for along time (us). 

Having said all of this, I don’t want to have a pessimistic view on the future. Almost all of the people I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the years have been hard working, good people. I hope things change, but I do not plan on working in pharmacy because of what two corporations have been able to leverage over the years. Good luck to all. 


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