North Carolinapharmacists will nolonger beallowed to work >12hours at a stretch, and all pharmacistswill be required to take at least a30-minute break after working for 6hours under new pharmacy boardrules upheld by the state's supremecourt.
The high court decision ended 8years of litigation over the power ofNorth Carolina's board of pharmacyto establish working hour restrictionsfor the state's pharmacists. Lowercourts had ruled that setting limits onpharmacy work hours was not "integral" to the board's mission of ensuringsafe dispensing practices.
State pharmacy regulators hadargued successfully that "pharmacistfatigue and hunger can clearly contributeto dispensing errors." In a separatefriend-of-the-court brief, theAmerican Pharmacists Associationnoted that preventing "overtiredpharmacists from making seriousmedication errors" is indeed animportant part of the board's mission.