#PizzaIsNotWorking campaign calls for greater support for overworked pharmacists

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Oklahoma City pharmacist Bled Tanoe, PharmD, recently started the #PizzaIsNotWorking social media campaign to draw awareness to the reality that free pizza and other ad-hoc rewards are not a viable solution to the burnout sweeping the pharmacy industry.

Dr. Tanoe told local CBS affiliate KOTV-DT Aug. 30 that she and other pharmacists desperately need pharmacies' parent companies to make major changes to the way they support pharmacists and pharmacy technicians.

"One of their biggest fears is I am going to make a mistake and it is going to cost someone's life. Someone is going to make a mistake and it will cost someone's life or their family's life," she said.

Pharmacists who have joined the movement say that the added responsibilities that came with the pandemic, such as administering COVID-19 vaccines and tests, have exacerbated the problem. Many pharmacists have shared stories of quitting their jobs or wanting to enter early retirement as a result of the stress.

"There are people who have been in the profession for 20-40 years who love being pharmacists who say, 'I can't do this anymore.' And when people who have been in the industry that long say that they can't do it anymore you know it is very severe," Dr. Tanoe said. 

The "​​Pharmacy Staff for COVID-19 Support" Facebook group Dr. Tanoe started as part of the campaign has about 44,600 members as of Aug. 30.

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