Recently, a former CVS pharmacist filed a civil lawsuit against his former employer, CVS Caremark Corp. His lawsuit, filed at a U.S. District Court in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, claimed that he was wrongfully discharged because he voiced his concerns about staff cutbacks and how it was placing extra pressure on pharmacists, which was contributing to prescribing errors.
Plaintiff, Joseph Zorek, 61, of Harrisburg, worked as a pharmacy manger at a 14-hour CVS in Harrisburg until 2012. According to the suit, Zorek alleges that CVS cutback pharmacy technician hours by 20 percent, which led to “a greater number of mistakes in filling and labeling prescriptions.” Even though their staffing cutbacks, he and his staff were “berated…for not meeting the prescription sales metrics,” according to allegations Zorek made in his lawsuit.
This lawsuit is interesting, however, because previous complaints of this nature have been filed with state boards of pharmacy, but this one was filed in federal court. Joseph Zorek has also filed another lawsuit against CVS in Pennsylvania state court. In the suit filed in state court, Zorek is alleging that CVS attempted to relocate him and harassed him after he spoke out about the staffing shortages and his concerns.
According to CVS Caremark spokesman Michael DeAngelis, CVS is denying allegations in the lawsuit and is planning to defend this case.
As more pharmacies put pressure on their employees to increase prescription output due to a slump in revenue, more pharmacy errors may occur, and the number of employees who complain about their work environments may be on the rise.