Status Quo vs Evolution …

Our work environment  – or as some call it – the practice of pharmacy has evolved… the practice act, which we operate under… and those that oversee it seem to prefer the status quo..  the status quo is based on rules/regulations that were mostly promulgated in the early 20th century.

Most BOP members are appointed by the state’s Governor. When I was a “young buck” nearly all of the BOP members in Indiana were independent Pharmacists… today… of a seven member BOP… One is a “consumer representative” … who is an attorney and one independent Pharmacist… who .. if I remember correctly… Father was also on the BOP years ago. The other five members have direct ties to corporate pharmacy in the state. One of the BOP members is on their FOURTH – four year term…

It would appear from a report about a WAGS PIC going to his BOP expressing concerns about tech staff reducing and how it was going to effect patient safety.. it was reported that the BOP told the PIC that it was his responsibility to make sure that the Rx dept operated legally/safely and he need to take whatever amount of time necessary… to which it is reported… WAGS response to this PIC was that he had the option to resign or be fired…

So apparently, as a PIC and/or RPH… you are legally responsible for the safe operation – at least to the BOP – but don’t go to your BOP to try to get help to things rectified. It took a couple of dozen “bodies” before the MA BOP acted to the mess with NECC… and the body count is now > 50 dead and >700 sick.

About one year ago.. I made a posting about what I perceived as a soon to be “civil war”… what I saw was the pharmacy staff filing complaints with the BOP about the less than safe operation of a Rx dept.

What appears to be happening is that the upper management of the chains are “stroking” the egos of the techs and encouraging them to be “snitches” on the RPH staff.

From what I have seen… “evolution” is viewed by the BOP’s as allowing more techs per RPH… KY already has UNLIMITED, IN & FL has moved to 1:6, Oregon or Wash is or has gone UNLIMITED.

Of course, the argument is that this will allow the RPH more time to counsel the patient… has anyone in retail seen this come true?

Personally, I think that the chains are setting the BOP’s up to reduce the BOP’s functions and oversight until they are – at some point – considered no longer relevant.

The states and DEA agreed on some very strict rules about controls being transferred between pharmacies… but.. the chains got an exemption.. since all of their Rxs are on a central server… so they are now able to be treated like ONE BIG PHARMACY when it comes to transferring controls between their stores.

We know that the corporate pharmacies are shifting order entry from location to location to “balance out” work load between the locations… of course, they know that they have to stay within state lines in order for this to be legal and/or the staff involved is licensed in a particular state..

As fearful as RPH’s are of their jobs… do we think that anyone is going to say anything… when the corporations start “balancing out” work load across state lines and/or without any concern about state specific licensing… after all.. the Federal government allows RPH’s to work in any Federal job.. in any state.. as long as the RPH has a valid license in a single state.

In case you haven’t notice..the FDA is getting very cozy with the state BOP”s over this compounding issue.. after the NECC mess.

What is going to happen … after corporate pharmacy has done – illegally behind the scene – having orders inputted and/or approved for years… When they go to the FDA.. and have “the meeting”… when they convince the FDA that – when it comes to the corporate pharmacy industry – that they need to be licensed by the FDA… eliminate the state licensing and they have proven .. that they are “honest enough” to be basically self-regulating… with some FDA oversight…

Of course, in the “bureaucratic world”… “power” is based on the size of your budget and the number of employees under the dept… We could see a power grab by the FDA…

And these Governors and state BOP’s will quickly discover that all of these corporate shills that the Governors have appointed to these BOP… have intentionally or unintentionally laid the ground work for national Pharmacy and Pharmacists licenses under the FDA…  When you thrown in the unkown(s) of Obamacare and ACO’s… the past lack of evolution in the practice act may turn into a quantum leap.

And as the charter ( Dr Sam Beckett )in the TV show QUANTUM LEAP … when he “leaped” to a “new life” …usually uttered… a dismayed “Oh, boy!”


4 Responses

  1. I know in PA, they are either passing or in the process of passing “real-time” tracking of medications dispensed so that law enforcement can be alerted instantaneously of suspect purchases, e.g. Sudafed. If I understand your article correctly, maybe, big pharma wants little pharma out of business so that they can make tracking filled prescriptions easier. This in turn would line up with Obamacare wanting to know every stat, bm, test, etc. per individual. But maybe I’m interpreting this wrong.

    • The “power grab” will be between the FDA and the corporate/chain pharmacies. As far as NPLEX (PSE tracking) and the state’s PMP (controlled drugs tracking).. IMO.. they are both a MAJOR JOKE.. do a web search of “how to make fake ID’s” and you will find pages of entities willing to sell you supplies and instructions of how to do it.
      Here is just one guy that GOT CAUGHT
      76 counts of forged/stolen/fake ID, 76 counts of forged Rxs and 40 odd counts of INSURANCE FRAUD..
      The only thing that these databases are collecting in real time is the pharmacies that are selling/filling large quantities of PSE or controlled meds… and maybe… which doc’s Rx pads have been stolen or forged.. With multiple fake ID’s… the real doc/pharmacy shopper will never “stand out” on these databases …
      We are spending millions and millions keeping these databases up and running and the only people who will be caught is those that are too stupid or lazy to get fake ID’s
      On paper – or in theory – these databases sound great… in reality … it is more “feel good” laws/processes/procedures… in reality… they are a financial black hole… in which the bureaucrats throw money into…

  2. Must be Oregon then… I heard that it was one.. just could not remember which one.. since I am not licensed in either and they are 2000+ miles away from me… not high on my places to pay a lot of attention to…
    Thanks for the clarification Gene !

  3. washington state has not changed tech ratios nor have we heard they plan on doing so , but the pharmacy managers and pharmacists are concerned with the consolidation of the chains hold on their profession…..

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