Sacramento, CA – After hearing from member pharmacists with the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Western States Council, the California Board of Pharmacy adopted regulations that reinforce standards set out by SB 1442 (Wiener), the No Pharmacist Left Alone Law. The nation-leading, pro-patient regulation, drafted in response to a petition by UFCW, will help protect patients by requiring stores to make a designated, qualified staff member available to help pharmacists within five minutes of the pharmacists’ request.
“It was heartbreaking to hear from pharmacist after pharmacist who testified that chronic understaffing in large retail chains often left pharmacists to work alone, compromising patient safety,” said Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco). “I knew that California must do better, and I am proud the Board of Pharmacy listened and took action to protect patients by strengthening enforcement of SB 1442, which set a higher, and very clear staffing standard so pharmacists, health professionals, could focus on their core responsibility – keeping patients safe.”
“Our highly trained pharmacists are crucial to assuring access to health care for many Californians,” said Andrea Zinder, president, UFCW Western States Council and UFCW Local 324. “During this public health crisis they have stood out, going above and beyond their normal duties to ensure their public health role is not compromised by short staffing. We applaud the Board of Pharmacy, their legal staff, the Department of Consumer Affairs, Senator Scott Wiener, Governor Gavin Newsom and his staff, and our many pharmacist members whose powerful witness and testimony, grass roots advocacy, and tireless dedication to their patients inspired the bill and fueled the drive to implement it.”
SB 1442 was signed into law in 2018 in response to chronic understaffing of retail pharmacies that often led pharmacists to work alone for hours on end, compromising patient safety. In a time of public health crisis, retail stores continue to demand pharmacists perform multiple tasks, from dispensing medication to patients, to ringing up prescriptions and other store items, to clean the pharmacy bathrooms and taking out the trash.
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 16, 2020
Contact: Jenna Thompson, 949.246.1620, [email protected]