I asked Kxxxx Hxxxx if there has been any resolution to his complaint to the North Carolina Board of Pharmacy. He previously asked me to keep him anonymous and not mention the name of the drug store chain. I do not think that applies because he is not pursuing a wrongful discharge suit, but until he tells me to use his name, I won’t.
What good is the NC 12 hour maximum law if XXX pharmacists work 14 hours? What good is the law that makes the pharmacist the “law” in the pharmacy? What good is the NC law that mandates that the pharmacist perform her/his duties in a manner that protects the public?
Letter (To The Editor) Drug Topics, November 2011
From: David Work, Executive Director Emeritus, North Carolina Board of Pharmacy
David Stanley made some good points in his column about CVS in North Carolina. I was Executive Director when the 12 hour rule was adopted and applied. This was a direct result of a dispensing error made at an Eckerd drugstore by a pharmacist working a 16 hour with no meal break and/or scheduled bathroom break. Eckerd claimed that she “volunteered” for this shift. We also implemented a polcy, based on a Rule, which limits the number of prescriptions per day per pharmacist. I believe it would be in the interest of public safety for other states to take similar actions.
All very nice, Mister Work, but, since you left, the NCBOP seems to be the three monkeys. The Kxxxx complaint is 250 days old with nothing resolved.
The guy to ask is: Jay Campbell, Executive Director NCBOP firstname.lastname@example.org
Kxxxx Hxxxx was getting Rxs out at a rate of one every 80 seconds. His experienced technician was sick. He could not safely continue. He closed the drive-through. The non-pharmacist store manager usurped Kxxxx Hxxxx’s legal authority and opened the drive-through. K closed the pharmacy and was fired. Kxxxx and his wife have triplets. They are toddlers. For a period, the stress of not having an income was over the top.
I do not know if any pressure brought onto the NCBOP would help – I would have thought the massive email campaign you engineered would have been enough to spur them to quick action, but apparently not. I suppose it is possible they are orchestrating a massive investigation – but I find it unlikely. Time permitting I will call them again to inquire this week or next week. I will let you know what I find out.
Davey, a student who understands that he has at least 50 years ahead of him with his feet on the floor, asked what he can do to help Kxxx. All of you can communicate your outrage to the Executive Director of the NCBOP. This is the letter I mailed last July. Please do not copy it verbatim, but you can use the information. This is an OUTRAGE. We need to hold the feet of the NCBOP to the fire. The question is: “Has CVS bought the board”. I am an idealist and I believe that we MUST DEMAND that all state boards live up to the mandated purpose to protect the public.
July 11, 2011
North Carolina Board of Pharmacy
6015 Farrington Road, #201
Chapel Hill, NC 27517-8154
This letter is a request that the board review the circumstances of the firing of Kxxxx (North Carolina licensed pharmacist) by CVS. We request that the board give consideration to the facts and intercede on Mister Hxxxs’ behalf. Mister Hxxxs was a trusted and competent pharmacist in charge for CVS. When he made a decision in an effort to assure patient safety, Mister Hxxxs’ authority to close the drive-through was illegally usurped by a non-pharmacist. At this point, Mister Hxxxs realized that the situation in the pharmacy was dangerous and untenable and he asserted his responsibility to make sure that patient safety came first and he closed the pharmacy. The board will recognize that this was his legal responsibility. He had no other viable choice.
Mister Hxxxs reports that at hour seven of a fourteen hour shift, he had already reviewed and verified over 300 prescriptions. His intention was to counsel appropriately where the law required. That is one prescription every 84 seconds, with inadequate help. There was no uninterrupted break for nourishment or even a bathroom break. Clearly, Kxxxx was compromised. It is to his credit that he took action as North Carolina Pharmacy Law requires before a patient was harmed.
The Board of Pharmacy is mandated to regulate the practice of pharmacy in a manner that protects the public from harm or potential harm. CVS consistently operates in a manner that not only disregards North Carolina Pharmacy Law, they flaunt the law.
I specifically point to: -21 NCAC 46.1804(b) and -21 NCAC 46.141(b). The non-pharmacist store manager has absolutely no authority within the pharmacy. Mister Hxxxs determined that the conditions obviated his providing safe and effective delivery of prescriptions and made complying with counseling legal requirements impossible.
CVS is well known as a Goliath company that bends and breaks the rules. It seems that this is the corporate culture. The Federal pseudoephedrine sale recording requirement is a case in point. CVS agreed to pay a $77 million fine for neglecting to abide by the law. CVS flaunts the law at every turn. The executives in Rhode Island seem to be invested in only one thing, the bottom line and they will do anything, legal or illegal to get what they want.
It is a sad commentary that such a big player in the retail pharmacy universe gains a competitive advantage by cheating.
In the case of Kxxx, CVS broke the law. It cannot be any more clear. They cheated and they are probably cheating all over North Carolina. In this one case, they must be held accountable.
I urge the North Carolina State Board of Pharmacy to waste no time in taking effective measures that will give Kxxxx and his wife some relief as well as assuring, by example, the citizens of the State of North Carolina that disregarding the law, by any drug store company, large or small, will be punished.
Come on, you guys. Step up. Your professional life depends on it and I am not overstating. The is no “Other guy” as in “Let the other guy do it.” If the NCBOP rules against CVS, the dam will be broken all over the country. Jay Pee