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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11/20/23  9:28 pm
Commenter: Anonymous

The State of Retail Pharmacy

I have been a pharmacy technician for almost a decade. Over my time, working conditions in retail pharmacy have deteriorated substantially. It is extremely concerning how many tasks need to be completed daily with so little employees. The amount of time that patients have to wait for medications to be filled is way too long. Not to mention that many locations do not have the staff to even answer the phone and the increase risk for errors in this environment. We have told corporate of our struggles for YEARS. They simply do not listen and will not unless their profits are at risk or laws force them to act. It used to be unheard of for a pharmacy to close unless it was for a holiday, now it is a regular occurrence. Patients should not have to suffer like this or worry their pharmacy is going to make an error causing lasting harm.

Allegedly “there’s a shortage of pharmacists and technicians.” That is not accurate.  The truth is that there is a shortage of pharmacists and technicians who are willing to work in such toxic conditions. We struggle to hire technicians, as large companies have refused to allow sufficient staffing hours to provide a viable career path for them. Technicians are nearly always relegated to part-time status, preventing them from being eligible for basic benefits like healthcare insurance. Their wages are not sufficient for the responsibilities that they shoulder, and they are not provided with adequate options to grow professionally within the field. As the backbone of the pharmacy, we must institute regulations that allow us to retain talent or there will be an actual shortage.

Please help us help all those in need of pharmacy services by putting these changes in place and empowering the pharmacists to appropriately staff pharmacies.  Additionally, please consider instituting staffing minimums that will protect patient safety and prohibit large corporations from finding loopholes that will continue to put our patients  at risk.

CommentID: 220665