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I see a lot of young people working at my local CVS pharmacy, which concerns me. Is it legal for them to be working in a pharmacy?

 

A:

Some states allow high school-aged students to work part-time in a pharmacy. Depending on state law, some high schoolers can get a job as early as 16 or 18 years of age. These students typically receive clerk positions and work as a cashier ringing up people’s orders and checking them out.

There are many schools that have job training programs that work with pharmacy chains like Walgreens and CVS. Some students have part-time paid positions; others are interns who shadow pharmacists for no pay in order to learn more about the job. Interns shadow pharmacists to gain knowledge about medicine, dispensing, drug interactions, insurance and patient counseling.

Therefore, if you see a high school student working at your local CVS pharmacy, he or she may be an intern or a cashier. However, some pharmacies hire teenagers and train them to become pharmacy technicians. Because more and more drug store chains are relying on pharmacy technicians to fill prescriptions – in order to cut costs – teenagers may be the ones dispensing your medicine at such a young age.

While pharmacies typically have double and even triple-check processes in place, pharmacists may not always catch mistakes that young pharmacy technicians have made. Sadly, these pharmacy errors can be serious. Such was the case with a high school-aged pharmacy technician at a Walgreens in Lakeland, Florida. The teenage technician dispensed 10 times the dose of Coumadin, a blood thinner, than what a doctor prescribed due to a typing error.

If you have suffered the results of a medication mistake, call Kennedy Hodges, L.L.P. at 888-526-7616 for a complimentary consultation with a skilled pharmacy error attorney.


David W. Hodges
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