Sacramento, CA – Today, the Senate Business, Professions and Economic Development Committee supported pharmacists in protecting public health by strengthening staffing standards in retail pharmacies by passing SB 1442 (Weiner). The bill prevents retailers from short-staffing pharmacies, ensuring pharmacists have the support they need to protect patients from dangerous drug interactions and safely dispensing prescriptions.
“Retail pharmacies are putting patients at risk; no pharmacist can safely do the job working alone,” said Jean Drexler, RPh, member of UFCW Local 324. “Our patients trust us with their lives, so our professional advice needs to be 100% accurate. By requiring adequate support staff in pharmacies, SB 1442 will ensure pharmacists can focus on our patients’ health.”
“Californians are relying on pharmacists to play an increasingly important public health role by preventing harmful drug interactions, catching potential abuse of addictive opioids, and offering a range of health services from vaccines to tobacco cessation,” said Andrea Zinder, Secretary-Treasurer, UFCW Local 324. “But retail stores frequently short staff their pharmacies, requiring licensed pharmacists to divide their attention between filling prescriptions and doing tasks like staffing cash registers. I applaud the Senate Business and Professions Committee’s commitment to public health with their vote on SB 1442.”
“It’s common for pharmacists to work 12-hour shifts with no support staffing at all, making it increasingly difficult to keep up with walk-in demand, meet the new public mandates we are required to do and focus on our most fundamental job – ensuring our patients receive the right dose of medication,” said Seung Oh, Pharmacy Manager, member of UFCW Local 135. “Short-staffing poses an imminent threat to the safety of patients throughout San Diego and California. SB 1442 ensures pharmacists have the staffing support necessary to do our most important job -– keeping patients safe.”
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