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Massachusetts Stimulates Dialogue on Pharmacy Work Force

Katherine M. Bennett

The Massachusetts Board of Pharmacy hopes to spark discussion on the need for mid-level pharmacist assistants to share prescription processing responsibilities with licensed pharmacists.

The board submitted a draft resolution at a regional meeting of the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) requesting the formation of a task force to study the viability of this approach. The resolution noted that patients would be better served if pharmacists were able to devote more time to patient care activities and also pointed to the rise in medication errors and shortages of licensed pharmacists as evidence of the need for this addition to the pharmacy workforce. The resolution will be considered at NABP's annual meeting in May. Paul L. Jeffrey, Pharm.D., legislative chair for the Massachusetts Society of Health-System Pharmacists, serves on the task force investigating this issue.