The Pharmacist Moms Group is comprised of 32,000+ women pharmacists in the United States, the largest in the country. The group works to advocate for women in the pharmacy profession. As founder of Pharmacist Moms, I support the views expressed in the recent New York Times article written by Ellen Gabler and stand behind it.
We strongly feel that patient safety may be compromised due to the overly stressful working conditions at chain pharmacies. Pharmacists work in difficult and demanding conditions and are often unable to voice concerns over patient safety. In an effort to support full transparency, we are asking chain pharmacies to publish all of their metrics for calculating pharmacist and technician hours and ultimately error rates. We also encourage pharmacies to publish how many prescriptions are filled each month and how much staff they have so that patients can make an informed decision as to which pharmacies provide adequate staffing to suit their needs.
In addition, the larger issue that must be explored is the fees pharmacies are paying PBMs. The PBMs are ultimately putting patients at risk. Pharmacists need to be paid when they render a service rather than for dispensing medication.
Pharmacist Moms has reached out to CVS and other chain pharmacies on multiple occasions over the past year, simply asking them to provide a stool for all pregnant pharmacists, who often work 12-hour shifts (standing and without a break), and we have not yet received any response.* Many other pharmacy chains do not provide a place for pregnant women to sit or for nursing women to breastfeed and have yet to respond to the needs of our 32,000+ women pharmacists.
In 2020, this is simply unacceptable.
*exception HyVee Pharmacy