action used to describe steps taken by Let me turn now to the question you pose on signing in and out as the responsible pharmacist. In both circumstances the pharmacy could no longer be “operational” until a replacement pharmacist could assume the role of the responsible pharmacist. If you are a locum and there will be two pharmacists at the pharmacy, normally the employer will communicate to you whether you will be the responsible pharmacist on that day. and, as required by state law, submitted In answer to your second question, some of the SOPs cover topics for which you will not have an existing SOP and these will therefore need to be implemented or you could write your own. Can you provide a bit of clarity on 2 points of confusion. State Laws on Meal Breaks. The pharmacist may choose to act as the responsible pharmacist for the first half hour of the day, to allow the staff to undertake this activity before the premises are open to the public. In many instances this will be advantageous for the responsible pharmacist and the pharmacy business. In many instances this will be advantageous for the responsible pharmacist and the pharmacy business. I'm a locum and undertake engagements for several well-known companies during the course of the year. There are however additional conditions when absence is utilised such as being contactable or arranging for another pharmacist to be contactable and these will also need to be adhered to. requiring breaks for meals and otherwise, Expert panelists review the causes, diagnostic work-up, management, and emerging therapies inherent in the evolving paradigm of irritable bowel syndrome. Form opinion, the state Supreme Court ruled: A pharmacist pharmacists, to provide a pharmacist a minimum of 2 15-minute paid rest breaks and one 30-minute meal period in each workday on which the pharmacist works at least 7 hours, to not require a pharmacist to work during a break Michelle Styles, formerly head of information services at the NPA, and Wing Tang, the NPA's specialist pharmacist advisor, answer questions from C+D readers about the Responsible Pharmacist regulations that came into force in October 2009. state's Administrative Procedures Consider a scenario in a supermarket pharmacy which is open 100hrs a week. What is the legal position? the rule regulating hours worked and Technically if the RP is 'absent' from the registered premises for any reason (eg bathroom breaks in a different part of the store, undertaking a service in a consultation room that does not form part of the registered premises) then the law states he or she would need to sign out and RPSGB guidance states that the reason would need to be recorded as well. Technically it could be a criminal offence for a pharmacist to forget to sign out of the Pharmacy Record and possibly a breach of professional standards for not ensuring the entries applicable were “contemporaneous”. You are suggesting that if the same pharmacist is going to be the RP for the next few days, he or she does not have to sign out daily, only on the final day. If these conditions can be satisfied then a store could open whether or not a second pharmacist was available although there would clearly be restrictions on the types of pharmacy activities which could be conducted if there were no pharmacist physically available. Clearly a record riddled with gaps should be treated differently to one-off forgetfulness. a. One is a large multiple, the other a small chain independent and in my view both very ethical, responsible companies. You could then legitimately be absent on Monday evening after hours for a period of time or Tuesday morning before opening. The Responsible Pharmacist should subsequently personally make an entry at the next physical opportunity to do so and consider travelling specially to complete the record where possible. I understand only the dispensary and medicines counter will be registered. and I would like to be prepared for any questions fired at me by the staff at the beginning of October. Just a few thoughts as this is an interested debate concerning before opening operations. ", In light of the Elizabeth Lee verdict, and bearing in mind that, from October 1 2009, the new RP regulations introduce a significant number of brand new professional misdemeanours and also a brand new criminal offence, would it really be sensible for a pharmacist to remain signed in overnight, and therefore 'responsible' for a pharmacy's continued operations — while absent, and unpaid to boot — for two hours before or after the working day? Thank you for your questions. At the meeting we did establish that it’s OK to hoover the dispensary as well as the rest of the shop without an RP signed in! One point doesn't seem to have been addressed at all... Is there a requirement for the locum to record their time as the Responsible Pharmacist? The regulations are very clear on recording absence from a pharmacy, and a record must be made each time the responsible pharmacist is away from the pharmacy while it is open. adopted the final language of the regulation These are two distinct and separate requirements although admittedly confusingly similar. I don’t understand how a pharmacy company can require a single pharmacist to be an RP for one of its branches at all times? orders' authorized the Board to They could do this by contacting the pharmacy prior to working to enquire about standard operating procedures. This concept has been poorly defined in legislation but has been considered by the Statutory Committee over the years. For example, if you start work on Monday and finish on Wednesday evening you may sign in on Monday morning and sign out on Wednesday evening (providing of course there are no other absences in between). Firstly you will need to speak to your superintendent if you are not aware which parts of your premises are registered and which are not. preparing scripts for the pharmacist's return, stocking shelves, etc). board to adopt such a rule, and furthermore For example, pharmacies sell homeopathic remedies and they sell (to give you "energy") coQ10 tablets (the latter drew a reprimand from the ASA). My wife and myself are both practising, registered locum pharmacists (a not uncommon pairing) and sometimes both work for the same pharmacy - we often split the shift morning and afternoon. Consider a pharmacist acting as the responsible pharmacist from Monday to Friday. Thank you for your question. If I'm already signed in as RP from the previous day, then I assume I can use the absence provisions to allow the pharmacy to be operational. At one of my shops, a member of staff is contracted to start work before other staff and before the shop opens to the public. (Note this is somewhat different from recording bookings and cancellations). For more information, visit the ODRISA page. a. federal agency?, and, (4) It was adopted in accordance with Where this is not physically possible (as in your example) then the entry should be made either at the last physical opportunity to do so prior to absence and sign off (as you are proposing) or at the next subsequent physical opportunity. College of Pharmacy, reasons stated in the dissent.". Surely the only proper course of action for responsible pharmacists would be to sign out when they go home — every time they go home — and not to leave vague periods for which they will be inevitably held responsible.Dave TyasMichelle says. of authority of the board. Please would you clarify whether any or all of the following duties are “forbidden” without a RP signed in? level either; it lost again, although 1 to solicit comments for review. A judge has agreed to sign off on a $1.6 million settlement in a recent California lunch break lawsuit from a group of pharmacists. board by the legislature to "adopt rules Can the RP be absent at the opening of the store as long as there is a second pharmacist available? disagree.". One of the days I work is Wednesday so it’s right in the middle of the week and the regular pharmacist will sign in as RP on Monday morning and sign out on Tuesday evening ready for me to work on Wednesday. What is the law regarding breaks and meal periods? I'm a locum and look at the RP regulations from that point of view. This would be on the basis that it is only the putting of the order to shelf that requires a ‘skill’ and that the other tasks are logistically and financially focused and therefore prove no risk to patient safety. to the agency by the General Whether or not the use of the absence provisions to accommodate a rest break would fall foul of the Working Time Regulations is uncertain and legal opinion from a specialist in employment law or perhaps even interpretation by a court of law would be needed to answer this.Let me turn now to the question you pose on signing in and out as the responsible pharmacist. To modify the scenario - could the RP sign out at the end of the day when the store closes and dispensing activities continue for a maximum of 2 hours (assuming the RP has not taken any other absence that day)? A key provision of the bill being drafted would help ensure pharmacists get time to rest: requiring one uninterrupted 30-minute meal break and an … It should be noted that in this scenario the RP will only be able to physically make a record of the absence upon arrival at the pharmacy rather than when absence commences and there is debate over whether this would be considered "contemporaneous". Appeals level stated the judge's conclusion The I recently attended my local branch meeting to hear a speaker from the NPA giving a presentation about the new “Responsible Pharmacist” regulations. If the responsible pharmacist takes a rest break and is absent from the pharmacy premises whilst it remains open for business, then the absence will count towards the maximum two-hour absence that is allowed and a record must be made. rewarded. They only care about the numbers and metrics which can hinder patient care. the proposed regulation to the Considering your question there are two possible scenarios. By Wil Anderson As of January 1, 2020, pharmacists in the state of Illinois are required to take breaks. asking that the judge overturn the commission's Remember that the law permits a total cumulative  absence of up to 2 hours in any 24 hour period beginning and ending at midnight. As I have said in responses to previous questions, the Responsible Pharmacist regulations were never intended to deal with the issue of rest breaks. implement or interpret an enactment (3) Is there any guidance on the content of a written locum contract available? This legal obligation and liability does not extend to the pharmacy manager or any other responsible pharmacist however the actual task of checking that entries are made by other responsible pharmacists could in my view be reasonably delegated to the pharmacy manager or other regular pharmacist. Albertsons pharmacists complain that Albertsons companywide policy requires pharmacists to remain on duty and responsible for pharmacy operations during “meal and rest breaks” that do not meet the standard of bona fide meal and rest breaks to which they are legally entitled. You have to work holidays and weekends. Isn't this risky? When the pharmacist on duty took a lunch break, she would go to the storeroom, put three bottles in her purse, and take them out to her car. Pharmacy and retail groups want the board to mandate breaks after nine or 10 hours of work instead of six. The RPSGB has a requirement that the entry is “contemporaneous” but this is not defined with the practice standards. to adopt the rule in question. Therefore, in order to have a rest break, the RP must sign out and so, unless there is a second pharmacist present who could sign in, the pharmacy would thus have no RP and hence must close. must meet several criteria: "(1) It is within the authority delegated And where, may I ask, would rest breaks fit into your hypothesis? did not occur. However, factors such as adherence to SOPs by the checking pharmacist or the supplying pharmacist would be important. I understand that some will suggest that this is a professional activity that cannot take place prior to the arrival of the RP but to take it to it’s extreme , this would also mean we were not allowed to (physically) accept any posted or faxed scripts and would be breaking the, law if we did. The stress carries on to family life. It's a quiet pharmacy, admittedly, but there is no dispenser either. You are correct: from October 1 2009, when you are working as a locum pharmacist, you will generally be the 'responsible pharmacist' for that pharmacy unless, as you say, there is a second pharmacist on the premises. These breaks consist of a one 30-minute meal break and one 15-minute break for every six consecutive hours worked.