The Health Care Costs of Pharmacists and Technician Shortages

A recent news report reveals information regarding the pharmacist and technician shortage and its impact on access to healthcare. For example, in the state of South Dakota, pharmacies have been randomly reducing hours and closing the pharmacy, which has led to patients being unable to get the prescriptions they need. These pharmacy issues are happening across the country. The stress from the pandemic on the healthcare industry can be attributed to the pharmacy technician shortage and impending pharmacist shortage. Some pharmacists have no choice but to work through their lunch hour despite the pharmacy being closed to patients.

Additionally, there may be underserved areas of a state where there are only a couple of pharmacies or even one pharmacy in the entire county. For patients who depend on their local pharmacy for their medications, this can be a difficult predicament to be in if the local pharmacy can no longer remain open. In addition to pharmacists playing a pivotal role in helping patients, pharmacy technicians are essential. Technicians not only help pharmacists with administrative tasks but also assist with locating, dispensing, packing, and labeling prescriptions. In some cases, pharmacists may be paid to cover a technician shift due to the shortage. Some workers in the field believe that increasing the pay of technicians, who are now expected to do a wide array of tasks, may help with creating more interest in the position.

Pharmacy schools have also seen a drop in enrollment, which may stem from the pandemic playing a role. In addition, the pandemic causes a number of early retirements in the field. Pharmacists were essential employees, still needed even during the height of the pandemic. There’s been a decline in the number of applications that pharmacy locations are receiving, whereas, in the past, one opening would garner many interested applicants. As a result, some stores have offered sign-on bonuses for pharmacists to help recruit.

What Is the Patient Impact on Pharmacist Shortages?

When pharmacists have to work longer hours, skip lunch breaks, and take on technician shifts, it can lead to more pharmacy errors, including distribution of the wrong medication for patients. When patients are given the wrong medication, it can lead to serious illness or even death. Patients may have to bring medical malpractice suits against pharmacies, which can result in lots of expenses.

Are You Looking for a Medical Malpractice Attorney in Maryland?

Are you in need of a medical malpractice attorney in Maryland? Are you considering bringing a lawsuit for an incident that occurred in Prince George’s County, Baltimore County, Charles County, or Montgomery County, Maryland? If so, connect with the dedicated medical malpractice attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen today. At Lebowitz & Mzhen, our attorneys work fiercely to advocate for clients and work tirelessly to stay up to date on relevant laws so that we can offer you the most informed advice possible. If you have suffered adverse consequences because of a healthcare provider’s carelessness, give our office a call today. We charge no fees unless you win. For a confidential consultation, contact us at 800-654-1949. You can also fill out our form online to get started.

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