COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The director of Ohio's pharmacy board is leaving his post in September, and a new change in state law could impact the qualifications of his replacement.
Kyle Parker will step down as executive director of the Ohio State Board of Pharmacy on Sept. 1, according the Dayton Daily News (http://bit.ly/1qpheRr ).
It wasn't immediately clear why he was departing, though he said in an August newsletter that it was time for "a new chapter." Officials at the agency, which enforces laws governing the legal distribution of drugs and regulates Ohio's pharmacists, told the newspaper Parker did not want to be interviewed.
The General Assembly approved a wide-ranging budget bill this June that eliminated the requirement that the pharmacy board's director be a pharmacist. The provision is set to take effect in mid-September.
Ernie Boyd, a spokesman for the Ohio Pharmacy Association, said the group believes the director needs to be a pharmacist.
"We feel that it's a pretty important public position that requires a pretty specific knowledge base," Boyd said, adding that he was not aware of any issues that would lead to Parker's departure.
The nine-member pharmacy board appoints the director, and the governor appoints the board members.
Gov. John Kasich's spokesman said he supported getting rid of the pharmacist requirement for the director because the position doesn't pay enough to attract top pharmacists, but it does to attract top administrators.
The newspaper reports Parker makes $128,900 annually while figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show pharmacists make an average of $116,670.
Asked about the pharmacy board post at a campaign stop in Beavercreek, Kasich called the position "vital" because of concerns including opiate addiction.
"You want your best people on it," the Republican governor said Tuesday.
The lawmaker who proposed the requirement change said it brings the board in line with other similar panels.
"The director of the dental board is a lawyer and the director of the optical dispensers board is a nurse," said state Rep. Anne Gonzales, a Westerville Republican. "I offered the amendment on the floor of the House because I believed this was a common-sense change to the law that is already being practiced in other boards."
Information from: Dayton Daily News, http://www.daytondailynews.com