NILES, Ohio (WYTV) – The Eastern Ohio Pharmacist Association held its annual meeting Sunday. The discussion focused on addressing issues pharmacists are dealing with regarding opiates.
The EOPA — which is made up of six counties, including Columbiana, Mahoning and Trumbull — says pharmacists need some help.
“Some of these pharmacies fill 700, 800 prescriptions a day,” Ray Carlson of RC Compounding said.
Sunday, the group took action by passing a resolution asking the state board of pharmacies for relief in filling prescriptions.
The group wants the board to consider allowing two technicians to sign off on a prescription. Right now, only a pharmacist has to.
The change would allow pharmacists more time to interact with patients.
“With the number of prescriptions being filled today, in some retail pharmacies, that’s very difficult to do,” Carlson said.
Carlson says only 5-10 percent of pharmacies are complying with rules regarding patient profiling and counseling — meaning sitting down with patients and talking to them about what they are taking and how they feel.
“The laws and rules suggest there really needs to be some level of human interaction happening so the pharmacist can make these determinations,” Carlson said.
Ohio Pharmacists Association Executive Director Ernest Boyd was at Sunday’s meeting.
He has seen the resolution.
“We are fine with technicians to make sure we can get the time to talk to the patient,” Boyd said. “But when it comes to checking each other and releasing it to the public, we still have some concern.”
Boyd says, ultimately, a pharmacist’s most important role is to get the right drug to the right person at the right time.
The next step for the EOPA’s officers is to take it to the state pharmacy board to consider.
The state board meets next month.