What does a corporation do to keep from being sued when a RPH refuses to break the law/practice act?  They demote you to a floater… give you no guarantee of full time hours that you previously had and typically have you staff stores 1-2 hr drive each way and work 12-14 hr days.

Hoping the RPH will get fed up and very fatigued and quit.. of course.. a RPH working under such condition is a med error waiting to happen… but what the hell..  one or two pts gets harmed.. the cost to settle will probably will be less than settling a wrongful discharge suit from such a Pharmacist.. and besides.. if the RPH makes a mistake.. they have violated company’s P&P of not breaking any laws – mis-filling is technically violation of the practice act.. so then the corporate can fire him/her without any legal recourse.

Of course, only the most egregious errors (brain dead or pt death) will ever get to being seen publically because they are all settled with a gift card or check and a confidentially agreement and filed away in the corporate archives. That is how justice works – corporate style…

I got word today that is what has happened to a  “Senior Pharmacist” on the east side of the country.. It would seem that the metrics got backed up because this pharmacist refused to verify/fill Rxs during a recent nationwide computer downtime… because the RPH was not able to have access to the pts’ medical history and not able to perform any DUR.. as require by law.

I have been told that this particular pharmacy chain routinely has nationwide computer outages lasting from a few hours to as many as 12+ hrs.  It has also been stated that the chain’s RPH’s have received verbal instructions from “upstairs” ….. that you keep filling Rxs – during the computer down time – or it is your job.

It was also reported that another Senior Pharmacist was “fired” from a Big Box store.. because he failed to report a HIPAA violation within 48 hrs as required by corporate P&P.. however the RPH won unemployment.. because he proved that he had reported the HIPAA violation within 48 hrs of him being made aware of the violation. At last report.. he decided to retire…

One Response

  1. I am wondering if it would be possible in these situations to put the phone on ‘speaker’ and let others in the pharmacy listen to what corporate is telling the pharmacy manager? I expect that recording the conversation would be inadmissible in court. But, I am wondering if it could be a powerful tool within the company when disputes arose with corporate? If having recorded the orders to keep filling rx’s, despite the system being down, that recording could be played to the ethics division.

    It is truly a sad fact that we pharmacists have no organization. It is sad that we don’t have any mechanism to assert any authority within these chains. The only recourse that we have are lawsuits, and this seems to be confined mostly to pharmacists that have been fired, and then to older pharmacists that are near retirement. You would think that pharmacists would be eager to join online pharmacy groups, share their experiences, and seek ways to work together for the betterment of pharmacy.

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