A new pharmacy in Portland is bringing a ‘no drugs, no pay’ philosophy to pharmacy workers
A new Portland pharmacy is opening in the city to bring a “no drugs and no pay” philosophy to the workers.
The pharmacy in the Portland Town Center is taking a no-drug policy to keep staff on-site, but says it is not a drug-free environment.
The concept was inspired by a similar model in Denver, where the Denver Health and Wellness Clinic, a drug and health-care provider, opened in 2012.
“We have a strong focus on ensuring that our employees are safe,” said Dr. Sarah Houghton, CEO of The Pharmacy.
“If someone comes in with an infection, they are not going to be given antibiotics or pain medication.”
Patients, however, will be given medical marijuana.
The pharmacist says the program is being piloted by staff in the Town Center pharmacy, which will be a community-based, community-owned pharmacy with a no drug policy.
“It is a community effort,” said Houghtons co-founder and CEO Karen Lehnert.
“The goal is to have this pharmacy run by the community rather than a big chain.”
A “no-drug” model has been widely embraced in Denver since it was implemented there, and has since spread to other cities.
There are also no-pay programs in other areas of the U.S., including Boston and Chicago, where there are no employers to pay for drug testing.
“Drug testing is not mandatory for workers, and it doesn’t affect pay,” said Jeff Schoenberg, director of policy for the Drug Policy Alliance, which advocates against drug testing and criminalization.
“But the idea of having a no pay policy for employees, when there are millions of people who need jobs in Portland, is really a no brainer.”
Houghston said The Pharmacist will have two locations in the downtown area, as well as a third in the nearby Town Center area.
The location is set to open this spring, and there are plans to add a fourth location in the future.
Houghons staff will be paid an hourly rate of $14.50.
Humbleton said ThePharmacy.com will have no prescription medication and no alcohol on-hand.
There will be no prescription pads and a no alcohol product on-staff.
Staff will not be allowed to take prescription drugs in the shop, which Houghson said is because of the drug testing policy.
The Pharmacists is one of several businesses opening their doors to drug testing this spring in Portland.
The Portland Public Library, which is the first of its kind in the U: States, will begin offering drug testing in January, as will the Portland City Council’s Drug and Alcohol Treatment Services Board.
The University of Oregon, which has a drug testing program in the health-education program at the College of Human Ecology, will start testing its employees in May.
There’s also an expanded drug-testing program in Portland at the Portland Health and Human Services Department.
Drug testing in the workplace has been controversial in the United States, but the practice is gaining traction as more and more people are taking drug tests.
In the United Kingdom, a pilot program called MADD was implemented in 2010, and in New Zealand, where drug testing is optional, it’s been expanded to cover all employees.
The program is not the only way to reduce the number of drug-related workplace deaths.
In Colorado, the state legislature passed a bill in 2015 that will allow employers to require drug testing of workers on the job, but it won’t take effect until 2020.
Oregon’s drug-screening law was approved in 2013, and its first pilot program began last summer.
The Oregon Health Authority recently approved a pilot of a similar program for employees in the state’s largest city.
“This is an opportunity to create a safer environment and to help people make better decisions about what they’re taking,” said Mike Schulman, who was director of the Oregon Health Care System from 2012 to 2016.
The pilot program will be in Portland until April 30.