WASHINGTON, DC – Today, APhA issued the following release regarding recent news that some pharmacies are moving to cut pharmacy operating hours.
APhA appreciates the attention given to recent moves by some pharmacies to cut pharmacy operating hours. Like other health care professionals, pharmacy teams across the country have been stressed and stretched delivering patient care that they are educated and trained to provide, while being inadequately staffed or supported in some cases. Appropriate staffing and workplace conditions are essential for pharmacy teams to safely deliver quality patient care.
Time will tell how reduced operating hours will impact patients and pharmacy teams. For patients, reducing pharmacy operating hours will impact windows of time when they can pick-up prescriptions, get vaccines, and receive other pharmacist services. For pharmacists, because prescribers must continue to write prescriptions, the workload remains unchanged while pharmacy personnel will now have less time to do the work. Many pharmacists already work after closing to keep up with prescription volume. It is essential that appropriate pharmacy staffing is addressed, and pharmacy personnel well-being is recognized by employers and the public as an essential component for safe and effective patient care.
“Some are blaming reduced hours on a pharmacist shortage. It is incorrect to say that there is a shortage of pharmacists or pharmacy technicians. More accurately, there is a shortage of pharmacists and technicians willing to work under the current conditions. Pharmacy is a rewarding profession and pharmacists are experts in medication use. We need to stop conflating and blaming the current conditions on pharmacist or technician shortages, when it’s due to short-staffing and health care system faults, said Ilisa BG Bernstein, PharmD, JD, FAPhA, interim executive vice president and CEO of APhA.
“APhA has been on the frontlines of this issue and is driving the urgent and critical change that is needed in the current pharmacy workplace model,” she said. “For pharmacy teams, APhA offers resources and tools to support pharmacy personnel and provide data to improve pharmacy team well-being across the country. APhA and NASPA’s PWWR tool is first of its kind; it allows pharmacists and pharmacy personnel to anonymously and confidentially share positive and negative workplace and well-being issues as we work to make necessary changes.”