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Some Call Push To Bolster Drug Safety At Pharmacies 'Unrealistic'

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Pharmacist groups have told the Chicago City Council that a measure to resolve safety problems at some drug stores would do more harm than good for their businesses.

The ordinance slowly moving through the City Council would require pharmacies in Chicago to limit the hours that pharmacists work, restrict how many prescriptions they fill per hour, and require that they get break and meal time.

But Ben Calcaterra, President of the Illinois Pharmacist Association, says the limits are unrealistic. He says he'd have to reduce his staff hours, but hire more pharmacists to do the same work and not help customers as much.


"As a owner, manager, what I would be facing if this ordinance goes into affect is reducing the wages of my pharmacists by a very large degree because what we would then have to do is hire more pharmacists to do the same amount of work that we're currently doing," Calcaterra said.

The ordinance, and some state legislation, are in response to a Chicago Tribune investigation that shows several pharmacies failed to flag dangerous drug interactions and other problems because of high workloads.

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