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Home » Bill Addressing Understaffing, Medication Errors In Pharmacies Now Headed To Governor’s Desk

Bill Addressing Understaffing, Medication Errors In Pharmacies Now Headed To Governor’s Desk

by CLAYCORD.com
14 comments

A bill seeking to address understaffing and medication errors in chain pharmacies in California is now headed to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s desk.

State lawmakers have recently passed Assembly Bill 1286 or the Stop Dangerous Pharmacies Act after months of negotiations with chain pharmacies, labor groups and regulators, bill proponent Assemblymember Matt Haney, D-San Francisco, announced.

AB 1286 creates first-in-the-nation regulations to crack down on understaffed chain pharmacies making medication errors, Haney’s office said. They added that if the bill is signed into law, California will become “a national leader in pharmacy safety.”

“Shockingly, there’s no centralized reporting mechanism for medication errors,” Haney said in a statement Friday. “There should be transparency, and the Board of Pharmacy should have the authority to respond to protect patients. That’s not happening right now.”

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The proposed law requires corporate chain pharmacies to report all medication errors as well as provide baseline pharmacy staffing rules to ensure that California pharmacists are receiving the support they need as they fill prescriptions, and give injections.

AB 1286 gives licensed pharmacy staff more autonomy over staffing and working conditions so they can provide better patient care and services for Californians.

It also provides pathways for temporary pharmacy closure in the rare and dangerous situation where a pharmacist feels the work environment has been compromised, is life threatening to patients, and that store management has not worked to abate the issue.

California pharmacies are reportedly making almost 5 million medication errors a year, but the state Board of Pharmacy can only estimate that number because currently, pharmacies are not required to report medication errors, Haney’s office said.

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While the direct causes of each medication error are currently unknown, nearly 91 percent of pharmacists in a recent survey conducted by the California Board of Pharmacy report that staffing was not high enough to provide adequate patient care.

Meanwhile, over 83 percent of pharmacists reported that they did not have sufficient time to provide appropriate consultations to patients to make sure they understand how to safely take their medications.

Medication errors can have serious repercussions for patients leading to severe illness, permanent disability, and death, Haney’s office said.

Decisions about staffing and safety are usually made by the management of a chain store rather than the pharmacist who has undertaken years of education to safely provide sometimes dangerous medications, they added.

14 comments


94519 September 19, 2023 - 10:53 AM - 10:53 AM

About time. Walgreens is the worst; they contract with the state to provide services, and arbitrary closings of locations, NO UPDATING phone tree when the Pharmacy hours change. Pharmacy managers are no help.
Providers wait as long as patients to try and place prescription orders for patients. Concord Avenue and Antioch Deer Valley location are known violators of contract agreements. There are no consequences or fines for not.

Ricardoh September 19, 2023 - 11:33 AM - 11:33 AM

Just guessing but it may be because individuals do not show up for work in this sick society. I sort of doubt Walgreens would close a pharmacy for no reason.

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domo September 19, 2023 - 1:15 PM - 1:15 PM

…agree 94519 ….Walgreen’s in Encina at YVR & Oak Grove has got to be the worst…. they’re horrible – Brian was the only pharmacist I would trust touching anything of mine … but left there – all in the pharmacy needs to go to Customer Service 101

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Jojo The Circus Clown September 19, 2023 - 11:03 AM - 11:03 AM

Hospitals are a death trap … check the data …

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Dawg September 19, 2023 - 12:42 PM - 12:42 PM

Pharmacies are currently understaffed because they have been overwhelmed by the influx of new Spanish-speaking clients ever since Newsom gave free health care to illegals. In 1986, California voters passed Prop 63, making English the official language of California. That law has been totally ignored by the state, and now a lot of businesses, including pharmacies, are being forced to hire employees who speak Spanish.

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Oh, please September 19, 2023 - 8:42 PM - 8:42 PM

This is literally why most places are understaffed.

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Jeff (the other one) September 19, 2023 - 12:56 PM - 12:56 PM

I wonder how much of all of these staffing issues, not just pharmacies, but hospitals, etc., is the result or, or ramifications from, little o-care, and all the other regulations constantly being heaped upon this once free citizenry (want freedom, enter the country illegally).

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nytemuvr September 19, 2023 - 7:24 PM - 7:24 PM

@JEFF (THE OTHER ONE)….I had the recent “pleasure” of watching up close the people working in hospitals….doctors, nurses and just general staff. It’s a sad state of affairs, besides having to take 2 days to decontaminate myself and everything I brought home from my incarceration I don’t think half the staff can tie their own shoes let alone understand the meaning of the words “basic hygiene” and anything related to “sanitary procedures”. It would be nice to have some workers that speak and understand basic English too….done venting.
PS….I’m was sure that TraumaRx was involved somewhere during my days there multiple times.

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WC---Creeker September 19, 2023 - 1:39 PM - 1:39 PM

Labor using one of their puppet politicians to get staffing (Labor Positions) increased?

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Larry September 19, 2023 - 2:54 PM - 2:54 PM

More pharmacies are going to close in Calunicornia. First CA allows unchecked shoplifting, then they sue them into near bankruptcy, now more government interference. I cannot wait to leave this cesspool of state.

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Badge1104 September 19, 2023 - 4:24 PM - 4:24 PM

For once I think they may have come up with a good new law. I hear how bad Walgreens is but CVS and Rite Aid also have pharmacists who are absolutely buried in work. I spoke to a nice one who’ was working so hard and she admitted to me that she had been working 13 hours that day. I right away thought of how many mistakes could possibly be made by an overly tired pharmacist while the line is long and people are impatiently waiting. Thank goodness I am Kaiser. they are tops!

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Oh, please September 19, 2023 - 8:47 PM - 8:47 PM

Want to fix understaffing? Stop giving illegals and degenerates free health care.

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PESFG September 19, 2023 - 10:27 PM - 10:27 PM

I just don’t understand what is the point of having us go to a “Pharmacy” to pick up our prescriptions when we could easily get it from the doctor’s office or the hospital.
Perhaps it would help curb the amount of people who auto prescribe and get hooked on medication.
We should follow the pharmacy model other countries have. In other countries, mostly European, a Pharmacy’s emphasis is on health care and wellness, it isn’t about buying alcohol, cigarettes, junk food, lotto tickets, and whatever else it is opposite of healthy.

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Silver Belle September 22, 2023 - 3:30 PM - 3:30 PM

So what good will this new law do for already understaffed pharmacies? A new reporting requirement means more paperwork for the pharmacists who are likely working longer hours already. Establishing baseline staffing rules is a paper exercise that means little when there are not enough people to fill the positions.
This is pretty much all for show, in my opinion, and won’t do much to solve the current problems.


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