Pharmacy lobbyists on Tuesday expressed opposition to a Chicago City Council proposal that would set limits on the hours and workloads of pharmacists, saying the changes would be costly and cumbersome. Garth Reynolds, executive director of the Illinois Pharmacists Association, told the Finance Committee chaired by Alderman Edward Burke, sponsor of the measure, that while consumer safety is paramount for pharmacists, they face challenges under the current "economic environment" to balance a "sustainable practice and quality patient care." Under the proposal, pharmacies in Chicago would be required to limit the hours pharmacists work, restrict how many prescriptions they could fill per hour, require they get meal and break time, and provide whistleblower protection when they flag problems. Reynolds testified he was concerned that the proposal would be difficult and costly to implement, points reflected by representatives for pharmacies that ranged from major chains to small independents to those that operate in hospitals. Pharmacy lobbyists also have called Burke's proposal unconstitutional, arguing that their industry can be regulated only by the state. But Burke, citing Chicago's inroads on such workplace issues as minimum wage and paid sick leave, said the city has good legal argument to implement the ordinance.