SB 617: Pharmacy technicians: supervision

AFSCME opposed SB 617, authored by Senator Steve Glazer, which would have allowed employers to staff pharmacies with a ratio of three pharmacist technicians for every one pharmacist. This bill would only enhance the problems that pharmacists face in the workplace, as they would be forced to devote their efforts toward monitoring pharmacist technicians, rather than caring for patients. As a result, the responsibilities that pharmacists hold in providing patient consultation and care would become subordinate to the growing responsibility of limiting errors made by pharmacist technicians.

Pharmacists play the most critical role in a pharmacy in providing quality care to patients. Their expertise in providing patient consultation should be prioritized over their role in supervising additional technicians – or else the hiring of more pharmacists is required. AFSCME believes that a productive workplace is one in which labor is not being encumbered by a workload that affects a worker’s ability to be productive. This bill would have tripled the supervisorial duties of pharmacists, effectuating their replacement by technicians and hurting patients as a result.

SB 617 was held on the Senate Appropriations suspense file.