New Chicago Restrictions Protect Pharmacy Staff and Consumers
Chicago Restrictions Help Pharmacy Staff

In a win for pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and patients, the Chicago City Council Finance Committee approved legislation that would limit pharmacists to filling a maximum of 10 prescriptions per hour. The measure was approved by the committee back in October of 2017 and also guarantees pharmacists meal and bathroom breaks.

The proposal, sponsored by 14th Ward alderman Edward Burke, came as a reaction to a 2016 Chicago Tribune article reporting that more than half of the 255 pharmacies investigated in the Chicago area and surrounding states frequently failed to inform Tribune reporters of the potentially harmful drug combinations if taken together when selling them.

It’s common for some pharmacists to work long days, up to 12 hours, and according to the Chicago Tribune story, “they worry about losing focus during busy shifts and potentially putting their customers in jeopardy.” The measure also requires that pharmacies post a list of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians who have been working for longer than eight hours to provide an extra layer of protection against pharmacist fatigue.

In a move to further protect consumers from unwittingly taking potentially fatal pairings of prescription drugs, Illinois governor Bruce Rauner was a key proponent of an approved measure that requires pharmacists to speak with patients at pharmacy windows when dispensing new or updated prescriptions. Investigators found that it was not uncommon for pharmacy technicians to ask patients when filling prescriptions and simply inquire whether or not they had questions for the pharmacist on duty regarding the prescriptions.

The Tribune story also suggests that the actions taken by the committee and Gov. Rauner could set the table for further government action of retail pharmacies across the country.

Pharmacy Staff Pay Also on the Rise in Step with Rest of Healthcare

On top of regulations designed to protect pharmacy staff and consumers, pharmacists and pharmacy technicians are seeing increases in their respective salaries. According to a news release from Cision, both pharmacists and pharmacy technicians saw 2 percent increases in their median salaries. These increases, along with others across the robust healthcare industry, are undoubtedly the result of the current and future demand for healthcare services and the resulting economic boom.

Pharmacy technicians in Illinois also tend to earn more than the national median for the occupation, with a median salary of $31,210, according to the Occupational Information Network (O*NET). It’s also worth noting that hospital pharmacy practice tends to be more lucrative for pharmacy technicians relative to other employment settings. The pharmacy technician profession will not be without its own share of evolutions and obstacles to be faced in the near future.

Launching a successful career working in a pharmacy is not as far-fetched as one might think it is. Many pharmacy technicians enter the field straight out of high school.

Launch Your Pharmacy Technician Career at Coyne College

Are you looking for a program in Chicago to help your pharmacy technician dreams take wing? Look no further than the pharmacy technician program at Coyne College.

Coyne College is one of Chicago’s top skilled trade education institutions and is proud to offer its Pharmacy Technician program to students like you who are interested in the profession. In Coyne’s comprehensive program, you will learn the finer points of working as a pharmacy technician and how to adapt to the ever-changing landscape of the American healthcare system. You can complete Coyne’s program in as few as 48 weeks. In less than one year’s time, you can be ready to start your new career as a certified pharmacy technician.

Coyne has experienced instructors who will teach you what you need to know before you enter the field and begin assisting pharmacists. As a student in the program, you will receive extensive instruction on relevant topics such as:

  • Medical terminology
  • Anatomy and pathophysiology
  • Laws, ethics and principles of pharmacy practice
  • Billing, records and inventory management

Coyne College offers its Pharmacy Technician program during the day and at night in an effort to make continuing your education possible regardless of your other commitments. The Pharmacy Technician program is offered at the Coyne College campus, located in the heart of the Chicago Loop at the intersection of State and Madison.

With more than 110 years of experience in helping students realize their dreams, Coyne College has a well-developed network of resources that can help students gain employment following the completion of their studies.

Coyne College offers an array of career services and job placement help for its students, including mock interviews, externships and resume help. These resources can help students secure entry-level employment after completing the program.

Now is a great time to get into the pharmaceuticals industry and be part of bettering the health of the world’s population. Write yourself a prescription for a career as a pharmacy technician and get started today by visiting