ASHP InterSections ASHP InterSections

September 1, 2008

Helping Technicians Fulfill a Stronger Role

            Safe, effective medication use is predicated on ensuring that everyone on the pharmacy team works at the same level of excellence. In addition to pharmacists, that includes pharmacy technicians, who are the backbone of much of what we do. We need technicians to take on even more if we hope to step out of the pharmacy and onto the patient-care floors.

            Unfortunately, pharmacy technicians are one of only a few positions in healthcare for which there is no standardized training. Yet in order for technicians to play an even greater role as part of the pharmacy team, pharmacists must insist on appropriate technician education, training, and certification.

            ASHP’s position is that all pharmacy technicians should complete ASHP-accredited training programs, be certified by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board, and be registered by state boards of pharmacy.

            Getting that done won’t happen overnight. And it can only happen with the help of our members.

            So, we are asking all of our state affiliates to partner with us on a new Pharmacy Technician Initiative. Under the program, each affiliate will work with us to assess existing regulations, existing state-based training programs, and other local factors. In turn, we will help develop a legislative action plan for each affiliate and offer support via the new Pharmacy Technician Initiative resource center on ASHP’s Web site.

            As of publication time, affiliates from the states of California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Mississippi, New York, South Carolina, and Wyoming have agreed to join with us.

            Stay tuned as we move this exciting effort forward—we’re eager to work with the leaders of each affiliate as we improve the abilities of our pharmacy technician workforce.

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