To all my colleagues out there, I want to start by validating you. I have heard far too many horrible stories of employers telling us that we are low-risk, that we are not healthcare professionals, and that we don't need protection to do our jobs, in spite of OSHA publications indicating otherwise. I just want to start by saying, YOU MATTER.
Thank you for doing what you do every day. Clerks and technicians, thank you for showing up and helping your communities with scarcely a personal greeting, much less a thank you. Pharmacists, thank you for staying vigilant and protecting your communities from inappropriate medication use and prescribing. Thank you ALL for making sure your communities have the vital medications they need to keep them OUT of other healthcare facilities for the foreseeable future.
With that being said, I know there have been a large number of states issuing emergency rules with regard to the practice of pharmacy, and I hope to provide a resource indexing those soon.
However, I want to draw your attention to a first-of-its kind rule coming out of North Carolina today, which I hope other states will follow suit on immediately.
So, PICs of North Carolina, your employers may not recognize your power, your intelligence, and your rightful desire to protect your staff and your community, but your Board of Pharmacy has clearly stated that any person who interferes with your attempts to carry out the duties assigned to you through the pharmacy's permit could be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including revocation of the pharmacy's permit to conduct the practice of pharmacy.
If you are not in North Carolina, please forward this example to your Board of Pharmacy and to your professional associations. If you are uncomfortable contacting the Board due to conflicts of interest and regulatory capture, your professional association may be able to do so on your behalf. You can also request that your friends, family, and neighbors contact the Board of Pharmacy as concerned citizens. After all, the Board is there to protect the public. Not allowing the PIC to take safety precautions is a danger to the public.
Please share this information with all your colleagues working in North Carolina and elsewhere, in hopes that all pharmacists may be empowered to practice according to their professional judgement at ALL times, but especially during a global emergency that requires us all to do our part according to our training and abilities.
Trust yourself. Trust your training. Protect your communities.