If you are a PIC, should you be concerned?

When our practice acts were first written the PIC and the permit holder were one and the same. If the PIC was found “at fault” and liable for something that happened, the permit holder was “along for the ride”. Today, in the majority of the situations, that is not the same, since the majority of permit holders are public corporations and the PIC is just an employee.
One state – Indiana – has taken the term PIC/Pharmacist in Charge out of the practice act .. it has been replaced by “Qualifying pharmacist” means the pharmacist who will qualify the pharmacy by being responsible to the board for the legal operations of the pharmacy under the permit.

Is “Qualifying Pharmacist” (QP) a euphemism for “the buck stops here”.. so that corporation management can “dump” any liability on the PIC when something goes wrong. Does this mean that the QP is responsible for any/all laws regarding the RX dept’s operation… including Labor laws, OSHA and others ?

If a med error occurs and it is determined that under-staffing was a contributing factor, corporate gives you a “tech budget” .. because you set schedules within that budget, and you had techs scheduled at the “wrong times” in regards to volume on a particular day/week… are you the responsible party for under-staffing?

What if, the entire staff start providing patients with complaint forms for the state board of pharmacy to file complaints with the board over med-errors – especially yours. What if your fellow colleagues start filing complaints of allowing, suggesting, encouraging “short cuts” in the Rx dept that place patient’s health and safety at risk and/or cause a increase in med errors.

Sure it is management that has sent down these edicts, but it is you – the QP – that has to implement and be legally responsible for the collateral damage of these changes.

As the Pharmacist surplus grows, it is not as easy for a Pharmacist to just “jump ship” and besides does the grass appear to be greener on the other side of the fence, but could it be greener because there are more “cow patties” over there?

Is there a point where the staff Pharmacists look at their options… to take on the corporate management and all their attorneys or go after the PIC via the state board?

Hey Mr/Ms QP… is that extra few bucks a hour and the larger share of the bonus – if there is one – going to be worth being put in the “cross-hairs”?
Is corporate management going to support you… giving you paid time off and pay for attorney(s) to help you defend yourself with the state board?

It case you haven’t noticed… Pharmacists and techs are being backed into a corner… physically, mentally, emotionally exhausted…at some point… they will have no choice but to go into survival mode… attacking anything that is perceived as a threat… the QP .. might be the easiest target.

I know.. the threats from “upstairs” are over-whelming… about keeping your job… how about the possible reality from the state board.. of your LICENSE being suspended, revoke or substantial fines imposed on you.

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