Ohio fines 1 CVS store $250K for understaffing

Ohio's Board of Pharmacy handed a CVS pharmacy a $250,000 fine and probation for at least three years following a 2021 investigation that found understaffing, a broken air conditioning unit, unsafe storage for medications and other issues. 

The pharmacy, located in Canton, Ohio, was staffed with one pharmacist, one registered technician and one care concierge during a September 2021 visit by pharmacy board investigators, and staff told investigators seven employees had left around the same time. 

Investigators noted 10 cars in the location's drive-thru because there were not enough workers for counter service. They also recorded unsafe temperatures for cold chain management, the pharmacy feeling "very hot" and defective phones. In October 2021, the pharmacy was more than a month behind in filling prescriptions. 

On Feb. 6, 2023, the State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy ordered CVS — on top of the fine and probation — to ensure sufficient staffing levels, develop a process for staffing concerns to be raised without retaliation, and fill prescriptions within three days of receiving them.

The board's "decision regarding one of our pharmacies stems from inspections conducted back in 2021, during the height of the pandemic," a CVS spokesperson told Becker's. "We've made great strides to improve the conditions there in the years since, including putting a strong pharmacy team in place that continues to provide high-quality care to patients."

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