Sacramento, CA – Pharmacists with the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) today applauded the Assembly Appropriations Committee’s support of SB 1442 (Wiener), legislation that will protect the public health by strengthening staffing standards in retail pharmacies. UFCW pharmacists sponsored SB 1442 because dangerously low staffing of retail pharmacies hinders these health professionals from focusing on their core responsibility – keeping patients safe.
“Working with patients’ prescriptions requires my total focus, but company management puts me in a stressful and potentially dangerous situation where I must spend hours on end working alone. During that time I have to fill my patient’s prescription requests, call prescribing physicians, check for drug interactions, counsel patients, and answer phones and staff the cash register,” said Seung Oh, a pharmacist and member of UFCW Local 135. “SB 1442’s staffing standards mean pharmacists have the support necessary to do our most important job – keeping patients safe.”
“As California grapples with a serious shortage of primary care providers, highly trained pharmacists are a crucial support for patients, administering life-saving vaccines, spotting the first signs of opioid addiction, and delivering contraception, hormone therapy and tobacco cessation products,” said Andrea Zinder, Secretary-Treasurer, UFCW Local 324. “California’s pharmacists have willingly expanded their public service to help fill access gaps, but when retail stores short staff their pharmacies, they compromise pharmacists’ public health role. Sadly, it’s the pharmacists and patients put in harms’ way when professional judgment is compromised, and pharmacists’ licenses are on the line. I applaud the Assembly Appropriations Committee’s commitment to protecting public health with their vote on SB 1442.”
SB 1442 is supported by the California State Board of Pharmacy, the agency responsible for protecting the health and safety of Californians through pharmacy regulation, the California Labor Federation, and SEIU California. SB 1442 now goes to the Assembly Floor.
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 15, 2018
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