WASHINGTON, March 1, 2024The Pharmacy Guild, a national union of pharmacy professionals, applauded the Ohio Board of Pharmacy for imposing landmark penalties for critical understaffing against CVS, the nation’s largest pharmacy retailer.

“This is a milestone in the worker-led movement to protect our patients from dangerous mistakes that can happen when pharmacies are understaffed,” said Dr. Maurice Shaw, a former CVS employee and co-founder of The Pharmacy Guild. “While this is an important step forward, we are taking the movement to the next level by calling for regulatory and legislative action for safe staffing throughout the country.”

The historic settlement with 22 Ohio CVS stores levies $1.5 million in fines and includes a host of other controls to address understaffing, including:

  • Appointing a licensed pharmacist as compliance liaison
  • Compliance with the board’s proposed minimum standards rules
  • Requirement that CVS acknowledge virtual verification is not authorized

The Board’s action comes on the heels of a wave of pharmacy professional activism to protest unsafe staffing levels in the second half of 2023. CVS employees walked off the job in Kansas City in September of last year, which was followed by national walkouts dubbed “Pharmageddon” in October. Following these actions, pharmacy professionals launched The Pharmacy Guild in November to lead organizing efforts to improve industry safety.

“Pharmacists, technicians, interns and other pharmacy staff from coast to coast are joining together with the Pharmacy Guild,” said Dr. Shane Jerominski, another co-founder of The Pharmacy Guild who has previously worked at CVS. “Together, we can create lasting change that ensures safe staffing levels for our patients and a dignified working environment for all pharmacy professionals.”

The Pharmacy Guild is the premiere voice for pharmacy professionals across the United States. Pharmacy professionals are actively organizing with the Pharmacy Guild in every region of the country, fighting for a voice to be the advocates our patients deserve. We are committed to achieving the highest quality possible patient care outcomes, and ensuring patient care is never put behind corporate profits. The Pharmacy Guild is a project of IAM Healthcare, and affiliated with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers. Learn more at PharmacyGuild.org