Illinois to propose pharmacists to get breaks, fewer duties

CHICAGO (AP) — An Illinois task force that examined the safety of pharmacy practices in the state is recommending that pharmacists take breaks and take more time when dispensing medications.

State officials created the task force after a 2016 Chicago Tribune investigation found that 52% of 255 Chicago-area pharmacies failed to warn customers about combinations of drugs that could cause harm or death.

Task force chairman Philip Burgess told the Tribune that the panel examined why pharmacists didn’t catch dangerous drug interactions. He says the recommendations focused on easing the stress of heavy workloads and extra distractions such as the need to reach company quotas for giving immunizations to customers.

Current Illinois law doesn’t require pharmacists to take breaks.

The recommendations are being drafted into a bill that could be considered when the Legislature resumes Monday.