CPhA to launch employee pharmacist ombudsman program

January 11, 2011

The California Pharmacists Association is preparing to launch what may be the first employee pharmacist ombudsman program sponsored by a state association.

The California Pharmacists Association (CPhA) is preparing to launch what may be the first employee pharmacist ombudsman program sponsored by a state association. CPhA’s Employee Pharmacist Resource Program (EPRP) will be rolled out at its annual meeting in February.

“Employee pharmacists are growing in number,” said CPhA CEO Jon Roth. “CPhA has struggled for years to create value for these pharmacists. This program will help them be better practitioners and create a value proposition that would encourage them to join CPhA.”

CPhA has already hired a long-time pharmacist and mediator to serve as a part-time mentor and go-between for employee pharmacists, Roth continued. The EPRP is essentially an ombudsman to help employee pharmacists deal with workplace concerns such as lack of breaks, prescription quotas, or pressures to avoid counseling.

The association recently updated its Guidelines for Employee Pharmacists to clarify the kinds of issues EPRP might address. The CPhA board also approved $50,000 for a 1-year pilot project. Revised practice guidelines and the EPRP were both proposed by CPhA’s Academy of Employee Pharmacists.

“Employee pharmacists need a neutral, trusted place to deal with their concerns about workplace and safety issues,” said Mike Negrete, CEO, Pharmacy Foundation of California. “Employers can also use a neutral, professional stakeholder to deal with issues proactively before they bubble into public problems that get taken to the Board of Pharmacy and into the media spotlight.”