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Change in State Law Could Impact Ohio State Pharmacy Board

David W. Hodges
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Partner at Kennedy Hodges LLP practicing pharmacy error, medical malpractice and personal injury law

All state pharmacy boards are supposed to inspect pharmacies, make sure pharmacies and pharmacists are complying with state regulations, review pharmacy error complaints, enforce complex rules, and hold disciplinary hearings to suspend or revoke pharmacists’ licenses. The board is in place to help protect the public and make pharmacies and pharmacists follow regulations; however, many have been concerned that there is a lack of oversight and pharmacy board members don’t care about holding their pharmacies accountable. This is because most pharmacy boards are made up of pharmacists that work at CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid, or other major retail chains.

On the other hand, many feel that when pharmacy boards are not made up of pharmacists that they will not know about complex medicine issues or even understand the practice of pharmacy. This is why there is major concern being raised over the changes taking place to the Ohio State Board of Pharmacy.

Recently, the director of Ohio’s pharmacy board announced he was stepping down, and there is concern that he might be replaced by someone without a pharmacy license. This may happen as a result of a bill that Ohio Governor John Kasich signed into law in June, eliminating requirements that the pharmacy director has to be a pharmacist.

When current Executive Director Kyle Parker steps down from the Ohio State Board of Pharmacy in September, many fear that someone who isn’t a licensed pharmacist and doesn’t have experience in the field of pharmacy will take his place as director. “The bottom line is that somebody who is not a pharmacist doesn’t understand the practice of pharmacy,” said Robert Weber, the administrator for pharmacy services at Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center.

Many feel that someone who isn’t a licensed pharmacist might not be equipped to handle complex medicine problems and issues that require specific knowledge. “To us, as pharmacists, we strongly believe (the director) needs to be a pharmacist,” said Ernie Boyd, Ohio Pharmacy Association spokesman.

What do you think? Should an inexperienced person in pharmacy-related matters take a leadership position on the pharmacy board? Let us know what you think and feel free to share this article with others on Facebook.