It is strange how things unfold

Back in March, Jim Plagakis ( ) and I where exchanging emails… Jim is the driving force behind The Pharmacy Alliance ( and I  had been the National Public Relations Director for about six months…  For those of you who don’t know about The Pharmacy Alliance.. it is a group of Pharmacists and techs that are concerned about patient safety and the risk of med errors from fatigued Rx dept staff… being under staffed and working 12-14 hrs… often without any breaks

Jim said to me… why don’t you do something with Facebook about our mission statement. After some though about it…  the Facebook page was born..  PROFIT$ OVER PATIENT $AFETY

What was created as a tongue in cheek moment.. has turned into a compilation of way too many things that put the health of the members of our society at risk.

My original target was corporate chain pharmacy and I don’t think that I have to expound on what they do.. and how they do it… I figured that I would find a published article every week or two to post… but generally I find one or two posts A DAY worth posting.

I didn’t foresee this mess with the likes of NECC… but 28 deaths later… two other states have kicked into gear and have suspended/revoked other compounding pharmacy’s  licenses other BOP’s seem to be awakening to this problem and contemplating action… others may be working behind the scene or in a catatonic state and doing nothing. we cannot expect a lot of transparency of what is going on…

IMO.. Pharmacy could be at a major tipping point.. especially in regards to med errors and harming/killing patients.

Decades ago, NARD/NCPA coined a phrase “get into politics or get out of pharmacy”… the legislatures are going to be asking some pointed questions to the various state BOP’s.. unless you communicate with your elected officials… they may not know the right questions to ask… unless those of us on the front line… educate them on what is wrong in our work environment.

We let the shortage of RPH’s a decade+ ago.. come and go… and we just took those sign on bonuses and above average pay increases… and smiled all the way to the bank…instead of forcing work environment change. How is that working for you today?

The majority of the BOP’s are top heavy with corporate execs… if you let them give the legislatures a “song and dance” about how they are going to change things.. when they know it is going to be business as usually when all the smoke clears… It will be you and your patients who pay the consequences or become collateral damage.

3 Responses

  1. I have seen the newest generation of pharmacists go from excited and motivated to crushed and defeated within a few weeks of starting practice. We have lots of work to do

  2. Keep the great posts coming, pharmacist Steve! I try to read all your posts. What do you need me to do to get involved?

    • Prod your colleagues to be active/vocal.. especially with state level legislators. This is not about you or me.. it is about our profession. Prod them to read the handful of blogs that are from us mature/senior RPH’s. Cut and paste into a email… a blog posting .. that is especially on topic and send it to them..We have seen what pharmacy can be and it saddens us to see where it is going.. Be informed and know that you are not alone and that there are rules/laws that protect you from being abused by your customers, Front End Manager or the corporation itself. If someone from the media comes into your store,,, get their email address… feed them stories that show up on one of the blogs or on Facebook that they might not have seen. Document ever questionable thing that you are told to do.. copy emails/memos and take them home.. If one of your colleagues from your company gets in trouble because of failing to meet some misguided metric.. start talking to your media friends… provide (leak) them with the documentation you have.
      Find out if your BOP will allow anonymous complaints… if not .group together and hire an attorney to file the complaint for you.. you can hide behind attorney/client protection.
      We have to educate ourselves about the laws that protect us as employees… I believe it can be done via a common blog. Individually and collectively we are highly educated bunch…when it comes to the labor laws that protect us … The depth of our knowledge is about the thickness of a Kleenex… and your employer is very happy that you are that way…makes their job of pushing you around and/or getting you to do something unethical or illegal that much easier.
      I am retired, pharmacy has been very good to me and my family. I have no loyalty to anyone in the corporate pharmacy world,,,but ,,, would like to leave the profession to the next generation… in as good or better shape than it was handed to me ..If the bulk of RPH’s are perfectly happy being physically./mentally ran into the ground and then discarded.. so be it.
      I saw a quote once… Pharmacists/techs are like rubber bands.. you keep stretching them until they break and then you get a new one. At this point in my life… I can only give advice.

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