"Air traffic controllers get a 30 minute break, so why can't your local pharmacist?" said Cameron McNamee, director of policy and communications for the Ohio Board of Pharmacy.

A question the Board looked to answer with some new rules that took effect Wednesday. Chief among them - a mandatory half-hour break for pharmacists.
Until now, some chains like CVS and Giant Eagle didn't allow those breaks.

"We were particularly concerned about how the pressures on the pharmacy community, especially as COVID was coming on board, was stressing out our pharmacists," McNamee said.

The staffing problems got so bad at CVS pharmacies that the chain got fined.
It led to Ohio surveying pharmacists, inspecting pharmacies, and then forming a work group to lay out some new rules.

"This is a great start. I mean, this is a good stepping stone forward," says Jeff Covelli, pharmacist with local pharmacy group The Hometown Pharmacy. "Enforcement of these rules is going to be important."

Covelli explained that lots of independent pharmacies have had to close.
He blames that on not only pharmacists being overworked, but also insurance companies short-changing pharmacies themselves.

"Essentially when a pharmacy is underpaid for the prescription or the service they provide, it makes it hard for them to keep their doors open, much less meet their expenses," he said. 

The new rules also include a mandate for pharmacies to form a policy to request extra staff and report staffing concerns.