There sometimes is a bit of confusion when people are discussing the role of a Pharmacist in Charge (or PIC) and defining their responsibilities or job description. The issue arises because most people (including pharmacists themselves) sometimes use all of the following terms interchangeably:
– Pharmacist in Charge
– Prescription Department Manager (PDM)
– Pharmacy Manager
– Pharmacist Manager
The distinction can be even more unclear because each sate has their own laws and regulations, and the definition and wording can vary between them.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that all fifty states require that the pharmacist who signs the application for the pharmacy’s permit (and the renewal of the pharmacy’s permit) shall be designated as the Pharmacist-in-Charge (PIC) for that facility. In all 50 states the pharmacy’s license is issued in the name of the PIC and is not assignable or transferable. In other words, the “Pharmacist-in-Charge” equates to the person who, being licensed as a pharmacist in the state that the pharmacy operation is physically located in, signs the application for the pharmacy permit and to whom the permit is issued to and then tied to. This designated pharmacist then assumes full legal responsibility for the entire operation of the pharmacy in a manner that legally complies with all the applicable state and federal laws and regulations.
Additionally, it is important to note that every state requires that the PIC be licensed to practice pharmacy in their state and that the pharmacist shall not be the PIC at more than one community pharmacy or institutional pharmacy in that state at the same time.
Pharmacist in Charge (PIC) versus Prescription Department Manager (PDM)
Most of the confusion arises when discussing retail pharmacy businesses. All states require that each retail community pharmacy have a designated Prescription Department Manager (PDM). This is true for both single location independent retail community pharmacies, as well as larger multi-location chain stores. The PDM (also sometimes referred to as the Pharmacy Manager or Pharmacist Manager) in a retail setting is ultimately the one responsible for all of the personnel and their activities in the designated pharmacy area. What is important to consider in this discussion is that the Pharmacist In Charge (PIC) and the Prescription Department Manager (PDM) may actually be two different individuals. In many instances, however, the PDM and the PIC are the same pharmacist for the retail pharmacy. This is especially true for the smaller, single location independent retail pharmacy operations. Yet as they expand, each location needs a designated Pharmacist In Charge (PIC) to which each separate individual pharmacy’s permit is attached to.
State Board Rules Regarding a PIC Change
Sometimes it is necessary that a pharmacy change the pharmacist in charge. The current PIC leaves, is terminated or has a licensure issue can mean that the pharmacy owner must find a replacement. In such instances, it is important to know that almost every State Board of Pharmacy adheres to the following rules regarding a change in a pharmacy’s PIC:
– If the PIC’s license becomes inactivated or is voided for any reason (inclusive of suspension, revocation, surrender or restrictions placed by the state on the designated PIC), then a brand new pharmacy permit is required and the application must be made by another pharmacist that is licensed to practice in that state within ten (10) days.
– If the PIC is fired (or decides they no longer want to be the PIC of the pharmacy operation), it;s required that they notify the State Board of Pharmacy in writing and return the pharmacy’s permit. The owner of the pharmacy then has ten (10) days to designate a new PIC at their place of business and must then submit a new application for obtaining a new permit.
– A permit will not be issued or renewed unless the PIC is licensed in the state that the pharmacy is physically located in.
– An inventory of all controlled substances at the pharmacy must be performed and submitted to the Board whenever there is a change. If the previous PIC did not perform the required controlled substance inventory, then it is the responsibility of the new PIC to perform one and submit it to the State Board of Pharmacy.
HCC Can Help Get You the Right PIC
Whether your are an existing pharmacy owner who needs a PIC, or a brand new pharmacy startup in need of a Pharmacist in Charge in order to apply for a permit, Healthcare Consultants Pharmacy Staffing can help you. In business since 1989, HCC can find you the best qualified pharmacist to meet your needs. With over 28 years of experience in pharmacy staffing and pharmacist recruitment, HCC is known nationally for being able to match the right candidate to the right job in all fifty states.
Additionally, HCC offers our clients Interim Pharmacy Management Services. This not only allows your pharmacy to operate while you search for just the right PIC, but allows our experienced staff the chance to review your pharmacy business regarding both performance and efficiency. We also offer non-resident licensing services for all fifty states.
If you are currently looking for a PIC available for your pharmacy operation, call us now at (800) 642-1652 or Contact Us Online and an HCC staffing consultant will contact you back asap to discuss your needs.