Poll results are always helpful. Here at URPhA we also find poll results interesting and exciting.
United Pharmacy Association –URPhA– understands that without a National Board of Pharmacy, each state has been left to try to address, or not, the policies and working conditions of national large chains, whose stores span the country. In one state, our home state of Ohio, the Ohio BOP is currently using polls to address these issues by creating a Pharmacist Workload Advisory Committee. The committee is meeting to formulate a plan to create and enforce existing regulations/legislation regarding improving workload and workplace conditions, such as understaffing and meeting excessive metrics, which can make the job dangerous. We have an URPhA Director on the committee in Ohio.
Polls are useful. Polls and surveys conducted by URPhA are used to gather voices of pharmacy professionals nationwide. This is why it is important to engage in all pharmacy polls, surveys, questionnaires, and feedback when you have the chance.
Second and Third Quarter polling results are lumped together in one report this time, because until we see more responses to our polls by pharmacy professionals, the
number of responses we have been able to gather through the last 6 months isn’t high enough to adequately represent the national picture. Our polls so far, with lack of funds to advertise nationally, give a beneficial spot-check of pharmacy workers’ perspectives nationally, but not every state has been represented.
Please help Pharmacy by getting colleagues engaged in taking our polls at least once a month. Share polls. Find us on Facebook and share polls that way, or on Twitter.
The BIG QUESTION
DO YOU REGRET YOUR DECISION TO GO INTO PHARMACY?
- 34.62% said Yes.
- 23.08% said No.
- 1.92% said Not Sure.
- 40.38% said Sometimes.
Metrics, MTMs and the Pressure to Prescribe
One of the biggest complaints that comes up for pharmacy staff is the issue of corporate management pressuring pharmacy professionals to focus on meeting an excessive number of metrics that take away from the focus on workflow and patient care.
DO YOU FEEL YOU ARE REQUIRED TO MEET EN EXCESSIVE NUMBER OF METRICS AT YOUR PHARMACY?
- 83.87% said Yes.
- 12.9% said No.
- 3.23% said Not sure.
DO YOU FEEL YOU ARE REQUIRED TO TAKE AN EXCESSIVE NUMBER OF MODULES AT YOUR PHARMACY?
- 61.29% said Yes.
- 22.58% said No.
- 16.13% said Not Sure.
IN YOUR PHARMACY HAVE YOU NOTICED A DECREASE IN PATIENT/PRESCRIPTION QUALITY OF SERVICE AND ATTENTION TO DETAIL AND AN INCREASE IN ERROR OF SOME FORM DUE TO THE DISTRACTION OF EXCESSIVE METRICS OR MODULES?
- 70.97% said Yes.
- 12.9% said No.
- 16.13% said Not sure.
DUE TO INCREASED WORKLOAD AND DECREASED LABOR DOLLARS HAS YOUR INCIDENCE OF MISS FILLED PRESCRIPTIONS GONE UP?
- 55.32% said Yes, a little.
- 22.34% said Yes, noticeably.
- 5.32% said Yes, a LOT.
- 12.77% said No everything has stayed the same.
- 1.06% said No, we have LESS misfills when we are busy and have less staff.
- 3.19% said No, we have not had an increase in business and decrease in labor hours where I work.
IF YOU CONDUCT MTMS AS PART OF A PROGRAM THROUGH YOUR JOB, DO YOU DIRECTLY BILL THE INSURANCE COMPANY AND DIRECTLY RECEIVE REIMBURSEMENT FOR YOUR SERVICES?
- 0% said Yes
- 29.17% said No, the company I work for bills the insurance, the company gets reimbursed.
- 66.67% said No, a third party (online platform) bills the insurance, and the company I work for gets reimbursed.
- 4.17% said I do get reimbursed for each MTM I complete, the company I work for does the billing on my behalf.
- 0% selected – I feel that MTMs created by third parties/companies truly benefit the patients I serve in my community, & I feel they were created with the patient in mind.
- 12.64% selected – I feel that MTMs would be very beneficial to the health and wellbeing of my patients if I was identifying issues that needed my intervention after reviewing the patient’s profile and selecting my own appropriate billable services.
- 17.24% selected – I feel that MTM platforms developed by third parties/companies are created to save money for insurance companies and PBMs.
- 2.3% selected – I feel that MTM platforms developed by third parties/companies make my job easier.
- 11.49% selected – I feel that I already do MTMs in the course of my work and I should be able to bill the insurance for direct reimbursement when such services take place.
- 21.84% selected – I have witnessed MTMs becoming a metric, upon which a pharmacist/pharmacy is graded by an insurance company PBM.
- 18.39% selected – I have witnessed MTMs becoming a metric, upon which a pharmacist/pharmacy is graded by the company they work for.
- 16.09% selected – I feel some MTMs created by third parties/companies pressure me to render services I don’t agree with.
HAVE YOU BEEN ASKED TO COMPLETE MTMS AT YOUR JOB WHERE THE PLATFORM IS HIGHLY FOCUSED ON STATINS?
- 56.67% said Yes
- 13.33% said No
- 16.67% said Not Sure
- 13.33% said I see a moderate level of statin focus, it’s enough to be noticable.
Are Workplace Conditions Supporting Quality Patient Care, Safe Workflow and Practice, and Support for Pharmacy Professionals?
DO YOU THINK THAT CLOSING THE PHARMACY DOWN FOR A LUNCH BREAK INCREASES PRODUCTIVITY AND SAFETY IN THE LONG RUN?
- 67.31% said Yes
- 17.31% said No
- 15.38% said Not Sure
IS AUTOMATIC REFILL A GOOD IDEA? (SELECT UP TO 2)
- 3.66% said Yes, it keeps the patient compliant.
- 3.66% said Yes, it makes my job easier.
- 23.17% said Yes, but only when the patient confirms they still take the medication.
- 29.27% said Yes, but not for all patients. It is only right for some patients.
- 7.32% said No, it causes waste when a patient picks up everything they have refills for, even when they don’t need the medication.
- 13.41% said No, it does not ensure compliance. Patients should call in their refills each time.
- 15.85% said No, there are too many return to stock items.
- 3.66% said Not sure.
DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOUR EMPLOYER IS ACTIVELY WORKING AGAINST YOU WHEN IT COMES TO DOING YOUR JOB?
- 48.08% said Yes, often.
- 32.69% said Yes, sometimes.
- 1.92% said Not sure.
- 17.31% said No.
HOW MANY EXTRA HOURS PER WEEK DO YOU WORK OVER YOUR SCHEDULED SHIFTS DUE TO INADEQUATE STAFFING?
- 11.76% said None.
- 29.41% said Between 1 and 3.
- 28.24% said Between 3 and 5.
- 30.59% said Between 6 and 8.
DO YOU THINK AGE DISCRIMINATION IS PREVALENT IN PHARMACY?
- 72.92% said Yes.
- 10.42% said No.
- 16.67% said Not Sure.
DO YOU THINK AGE DISCRIMINATION IS MORE PREVALENT IN PHARMACY THAN IT IS IN MOST OTHER PROFESSIONS?
- 20.83% said Yes.
- 33.33% said No.
- 45.83% said Not Sure.
Who is Supporting Pharmacy Professionals?
DO YOU THINK PHARMACISTS/PHARMACY TECHNICIANS/INTERNS ARE MOSTLY SUPPORTIVE OF ONE ANOTHER IN A WORK CAPACITY?
- 85.42% said Yes.
- 3.13% said No.
- 3.13% said Not Sure.
- 8.33% said Once in a while, but rarely.
HOW OFTEN DO YOU WITNESS PHARMACISTS/PHARMACY TECHS/INTERNS BEING SUPPORTIVE OF ONE ANOTHER IN A WORK CAPACITY?
- 57.29% said Very often.
- 27.08% said Somewhat often.
- 4.17% said About half the time.
- 9.38% said Not very often.
- 1.04% said Not Sure.
- 1.04% said Almost never.
DO YOU FEEL APPRECIATED BY YOUR SUPERVISOR AND CO-WORKERS?
- 33.33% said Yes to both.
- 10.26% said Yes to feeling appreciated by supervisor, no to feeling appreciated by coworkers.
- 48.72% said No to feeling appreciated by supervisor, yes to feeling appreciated by coworkers.
- 5.13% said No to both.
- 2.56% said Not sure.
How Are We Doing When it Comes to the Pandemic? (ongoing)
HOW DO YOU FEEL YOUR COMPANY HANDLED/IS HANDLING COVID VACCINE DISTRIBUTION AND ADMINISTRATION?
- 3.13 % The company I work for does not distribute or administer the COVID vaccine .
- 12.5% said Very well.
- 32.29% said Pretty good, all things considered.
- 18.75% said Neither good nor bad.
- 23.96% said Pretty badly.
- 9.38% said Very badly.
HOW MUCH, IF AT ALL, DID THE INTRODUCTION OF THE COVID VACCINE AFFECT THE STRESS LEVEL AT THE PHARMACY YOU WORK IN?
- 10.42% said There was NO CHANGE in the stress level where I work.
- 2.08% said It was LESS STRESSFUL at work once the COVID vaccines came out.
- 87.50% said It was MORE STRESSFUL at work once the COVID vaccines came out.
Are you currently experiencing an uptick in COVID in the county where you work or live? (poll ran from 8/18/21 to 9/18/21)
- 97.37% said Yes.
- 0.88% said No.
- 1.75% said Not sure.
HAVE YOU SEEN OR HEARD OF ANY PATIENT WHO GOT COVID AFTER RECEIVING THE VACCINE?
- 48.25% said Yes.
- 23.68% said Yes, but less than 5 cases.
- 21.93% said No.
- 6.14% said Not sure.
ARE YOU CONFIDENT THE VACCINE YOU RECEIVED IS EFFECTIVE IN PREVENTING COVID?
- 41.23% said Absolutely
- 37.72% said Somewhat confident.
- 8.77% said Unsure.
- 7.89% said Not that confident.
- 4.39% said Not at all confident.
Are Insurance Companies Influencing Prescribing, Diagnosing and Patient’s Choice on Which Providers and Pharmacies they can use?
HAVE YOU EXPERIENCED AN INSURANCE COMPANY/PBM TELLING A PATIENT THEY CAN GET THEIR PRESCRIPTIONS CHEAPER OR FREE AT THEIR “PREFERRED PHARMACY”?
- 77.33% said Yes, regularly.
- 18% said Yes, but rarely.
- 4% said No.
- 0.67% said Not Sure.
HAVE YOU WITNESSED CASES OF INSURANCE COMPANIES/PBMS REACHING OUT TO COUNSEL PATIENTS ABOUT THEIR MEDICATIONS, ENCOURAGE REFILLS, OR TO RECOMMEND A PATIENT GO ON A MEDICATION SUCH AS A STATIN?
- 48% said Yes, it has become a regular practice for insurance companies to become involved in patient care.
- 2% said Yes, once.
- 27.33% said Yes, more than once.
- 18% said No, I have not seen this or experienced it from my own insurance.
- 4.67% said Not Sure.
Legislation? Regulation? Issues beyond your BOP.
WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE A LAW IMPLEMENTED WHEREBY EACH PHARMACY IS REQUIRED TO HAVE AT LEAST 50% OWNERSHIP BY A LOCAL PHARMACIST?
- 33.33% said Yes.
- 8.89% said No.
- 57.78% said Not sure.
DO YOU FEEL THAT INDUSTRY GIANTS, CONGLOMERATES, ARE OPERATING IN A WAY THAT THEY EASILY PUSH OUT LOCAL, INDEPENDENTLY OWNED PHARMACIES?
- 95.56% said Yes.
- 4.44% said Not sure.
- 0% said No.
DO YOU THINK TECHNICIANS SHOULD HAVE TO ATTEND A COMMUNITY COLLEGE OR HIGHER LEVEL ACADEMIC PROGRAM TO BECOME CERTIFIED?
- 35% said Yes.
- 57.5% said No.
- 7.5% said Not Sure.
DO YOU THINK TUITION FOR PHARMACY SCHOOL IS TOO HIGH AT MOST UNIVERSITIES?
- 87.50% said Yes.
- 7.50% said No.
- 5% said Not Sure.
DO YOU THINK COLLEGE TUITION RATES SHOULD BE REGULATED BY LAW?
- 47.50% said Yes.
- 20% said No.
- 32.50% said Not Sure.
WHICH STATEMENT BEST DESCRIBES YOUR FEELINGS ABOUT CBD. (CHOOSE UP TO 2)
- 44.83% said CBD products should be available over the counter as a supplement, approved nationally, with a proper FDA warning label stating not for use in children, pregnant women, and to ask a health care provider before using in the case of any serious health conditions or prescription drugs.
- 37.93% said CBD use should not be scrutinized by any employer.
- 3.45% said CBD should be prescription only, and not available without a prescription.
- 12.07% said CBD should be lumped in with THC and sold only where medical marijuana and/or recreational marijuana have been legalized.
- 0% said CBD should be illegal in every state.
- 1.72% said CBD use should be a fireable offense by employers.
- 8.33% said THC products should be available over the counter as a supplement, approved nationally, with a proper FDA warning label stating not for use in children, pregnant women, and to ask a health care provider before using in the case of any serious health conditions or prescription drugs.
- 5.56% said THC use should not be scrutinized by any employer.
- 11.11% said THC should be prescription only, and not available without a prescription.
- 36.11% said THC should be sold only where medical marijuana and/or recreational marijuana have been legalized.
- 5.56% said THC should be illegal in every state.
- 2.78% said THC use should be a fireable offense by employers.
- 30.56% said Recreational marijuana use (THC and CBD) should be legalized in every state.
DO YOU BELIEVE “UNIVERSAL HEALTHCARE” (SINGLE PAYER) IS A GOOD IDEA?
- 45.63% said Yes.
- 33.98% said No.
- 20.39% said Not Sure.
DO YOU BELIEVE THE HEALTHCARE SYSTEM IN THE UNITED STATES NEEDS AN OVERHAUL AND WHY?
- 93.20% said Yes.
- 4.85% said Not sure.
- 1.94% said No.
WOULD YOU RATHER SEE MORE LOCAL, INDEPENDENT PHARMACIES IN YOUR AREA THAN BIG BOX CHAIN PHARMACIES?
- 54.39% said Yes, I would rather WORK AT a local pharmacy.
- 38.60% said Yes, I would rather USE A local pharmacy.
- 1.75% said No, I would rather WORK AT a recognized chain pharmacy.
- 0% said No, I would rather USE A recognized chain pharmacy.
- 5.26% said I really don’t care either way.
- 13.16% said I don’t usually think about that when I shop.
- 57.89% said Yes, I look for and support local when and where I can.
- 26.32% said Yes, I think it’s important but I do not seek out local when I shop.
- 0% said No, I don’t feel it’s important to support local businesses when I shop.
- 2.63% said Unsure.
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY ARE THE TOP TWO CONS OF WORKING IN RETAIL PHARMACY?
- 9.38% said Dealing with customers.
- 4.17% said Dealing with insurance claims.
- 0% said Dealing with doctor’s offices.
- 7.29% said Being treated like a clerk.
- 7.29% said Being underpaid (technician).
- 0% said Being underpaid (pharmacist).
- 6.25% said Not having time to take a break.
- 34.38% said Being understaffed.
- 2.08% said Working on inadequate system (pharmacy software).
- 21.88% said Corporate culture is toxic.
- 0% said Retaliation by company for complaints.
- 2.08% said Working a drive thru.
- 5.21% said Other bad working conditions.
- 8.42% said Dealing with customers.
- 1.05% said Dealing with insurance claims.
- 1.05% said Dealing with doctor’s offices.
- 7.37% said Being treated like a Pharmacy Professional.
- 1.05% said Being paid well (technician).
- 26.32% said Being paid well (pharmacist).
- 0% said Having time to take breaks.
- 1.05% said Being well staffed.
- 2.11% said Working on up-to-date system (pharmacy software).
- 1.05% said Corporate culture is positive.
- 2.11% said Treated with respect by upper management.
- 0% said Working a drive thru.
- 8.42% said Great benefits.
- 17.89% said No other positive, lots more cons.
- 17.89% said Helping patients with medical and otc concerns.
- 4.21% said No benefit.
DO YOU FEEL THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SHOULD BREAK UP CONGLOMERATES?
- 75.68% said Yes.
- 16.22% said Yes, but only in cases where they have violated antitrust laws.
- 0% said No, it is fine that one national parent company owns the pharmacies (retail and mail order), the insurance, the PBM, and the doctor (minute clinic).
- 0% said No, they employ so many of us and can handle high volume.
- 8.11% said Not sure.
- 9.17% said Regulate drug company pricing on drugs and equipment.
- 12.08% said Regulate the insurance industry including PBMs.
- 5.42% said Have a regulated, standard fee for service for every service, supply, medication or piece of medical equipment.
- 7.08% said Ban rebates for drugs and equipment that go to the insurance companies.
- 8.33% said Ban all rebates, except for those passed along to the consumer/patient.
- 9.17% said Ban prescription drug commercials.
- 5% said Allow open, fair trade to purchase medications, supplies and equipment from other countries whose prices are lower.
- 8.75% said Ban drug reps from giving incentives to doctors.
- 8.33% said Ban drug reps from giving incentives to any shareholder in the healthcare industry.
- 9.17% said Break up conglomerates.
- 7.92% said Implement Universal Healthcare so that receiving healthcare services becomes a social service like receiving help from the fire department when your house is on fire.
- 2.08% said Have every aspect privatized, including Medicare and Medicaid.
- 4.17% said Have every healthcare facility be a not-for-profit, or nonprofit, organization.
- 3.33% said Eliminate insurance altogether and have people pay reasonable prices out of pocket for healthcare needs.
WHAT CAREER WOULD YOU PICK IF YOU WEREN’T IN PHARMACY?
- 2.56% said Comedy
- 7.69% said Attorney at Law
- 7.69% said Psychologist
- 7.69% said Medical Doctor
- 7.69% said Nurse Practitioner
- 12.82% said Teaching
- 2.56% said Journalist
- 5.13% said Dentist
- 15.38% said Optometrist
- 5.13% said Something where I create or design stuff
- 5.13% said Biologist
- 2.56% said Social worker
- 5.13% said Archeologist or Historian
- 5.13% said Investigator of medical fraud.
- 2.56% said Cosmology
- 2.56% said Bartender
- 2.56% said Accountant
- 56.41% said End corporate fascism in the workplace by putting the licensed pharmacists in charge of their practice, and ending timing, scoring and rating pharmacy workers based on company metrics.
- 5.13% said Regulate the corporations more than or just as much as the licensed pharmacy workers who work for them.
- 17.95% said Implement Universal Healthcare, so that equal reimbursements for services are given to all pharmacies, and their workers will receive fair wages and benefits.
- 7.69% said End PBMs and go back to straight insurance reimbursement based on the fee for service structure.
- 7.69% said End lobbying in Washington by Big Business and for-profit healthcare groups.
- 5.13 % said State Boards of Pharmacy must fully investigate and respond to any complaint submitted by a licensed pharmacy professional on a company regarding unethical company policy or behavior in the workplace.