Unsafe Pharmacy Conditions Put Patient Safety at Risk and Spark “Great Resignation” Among Pharmacy Technicians

New survey shows that a significant percentage of pharmacy technicians are leaving their roles due to poor working conditions that are creating concerns for patient safety

HOUSTON, May 3, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Under staffing, increased expectations, and new COVID-19 era responsibilities are creating extreme burnout among pharmacy technicians, who are citing concerns about its impact on patient safety, according to a recent survey conducted by the National Pharmacy Technician Association (NPTA).

The survey of 1386 pharmacy technicians found that poor working conditions have driven 36% of respondents to plan to leave their jobs within the next three to twelve months. This is in addition to the record-setting 25.7% growth in job transition for pharmacy technicians observed from 2019 to 2021.  

91.4% of participants report experiencing burnout caused by unmanageable workloads caused by understaffing and increased responsibilities, unrealistic expectations, low wages, and even productivity quotas.  On top of these demands, 44% of participants said their employers also do not provide legally-required breaks.

Still, 91.6% reported that they have a passion for their work. That passion, coupled with concerns about the impacts of burnout, led 56% of respondents to report that these conditions are negatively affecting patient safety. Burnout in pharmacies can result in serious or even fatal medication errors.

"As the largest organization of pharmacy technicians, our number one priority has always been ensuring the quality and safety of patient care," said Mike Johnston, CEO of NPTA. "We all have a responsibility to ensure pharmacies make significant changes to these working conditions, not only for the benefit of their employees, but also to protect their patients."

To support these advocacy efforts to improve patient safety, NPTA has partnered with the Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) to invite pharmacy technicians to participate in a new, anonymous survey requesting specific accounts of how these working conditions are negatively impacting patient safety. Results from this survey will be shared with regulators, legislators, employers, and industry organizations to provide the data needed to bring about change. Submissions can be made at www.pharmacytechnician.org/safety

About the National Pharmacy Technician Association
The National Pharmacy Technician Association (NPTA), founded in 1999, is the largest professional trade association for pharmacy technicians in the world. The association represents over 80,000 individuals practicing in a diverse variety of practice settings, including community pharmacy, health-system pharmacy, federal pharmacy services, purchasing and education, among others. NPTA is committed to advancing the pharmacy technician career through education, advocacy and support. Visit pharmacytechnican.org to learn more.

About the Institute for Safe Medication Practices
The Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) is the nation’s first 501c(3) nonprofit organization devoted entirely to preventing medication errors. ISMP’s advocacy work alone has resulted in numerous necessary changes in clinical practice, public policy, and drug labeling and packaging. In 2020, ISMP formally affiliated with ECRI to create one of the largest healthcare quality and safety entities that is a federally certified patient safety organization. Visit ismp.org to learn more.

Media contact:
Edgar Galvan



SOURCE National Pharmacy Technician Association