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Compliance and Changing Pharmacy Technician Roles

February 5, 2020

As the demand for prescription drugs continues to increase, so does the demand for pharmaceutical services. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs for pharmacy technicians are expected to grow 7% between 2018 and 2028 — faster than the average of all occupations in the United States.

In the last 50 years, the roles for pharmacists and their teams have changed dramatically without signs of slowing down. Here is what to expect from a certified pharmacy technician, the state certification and registration requirements, and why maintaining compliance with regulations is more important than ever.

The Expanding Role of a Pharmacy Technician

Pharmacy technicians are on the front lines of medication safety and patient interaction at the pharmacy level. They are a critical part of a pharmacy team and while their scope may vary based on state law, they perform a number of tasks that directly impact patients including:

  • Receiving new prescriptions and refill requests
  • Verifying dispensed medication
  • Labeling bottles
  • Preparing insurance claims
  • Stocking shelves

Digital transformation has changed medicine dramatically in recent years, pharmacies included. The role of a pharmacist team is much more patient-centric and collaborative. The ability to share patient information and data within a clinical care team has made pharmacists and pharmacy staff a more integral, day-to-day part in every patient’s health care journey.

Additionally, pharmacists have played a key role in vaccination management and medication management. According to a report by Pharmacy Workforce Center, in 2014 “60% of pharmacists provided medication therapy management and 53% performed immunizations versus 13% and 15%, respectively, in 2004.” Pharmacy technicians, as a part of the team, are seeing their roles expand to meet this demand. They have taken on patient intake, billing and reimbursement, and supervisory and leadership roles.

As medications and health care concerns continue to increase for an aging baby boomer population, pharmacy technicians will see their careers change along with it.

State Certification Requirements for Pharmacy Technicians

Certification requirements for pharmacy technicians vary from state to state. Some states have no requirements for technicians and don’t even require registration with the State Board of Pharmacy, while others have stringent certification, education, and experience requirements.

Here is a breakdown of the requirements by state, according to the Pharmacy Technicians Certification Board, for certification, registration with the State Board of Pharmacy, and license or registration:

Alabama: No certification or board registration, must be licensed or registered

Alaska: No certification or board registration, must be licensed or registered

Arizona: Must be certified, board registration, and licensed or registered

Arkansas: No certification or board registration, must be licensed or registered

California: No certification or board registration, must be licensed or registered

Colorado: Must be certified, no board registration, must be licensed or registered

Connecticut: No certification or board registration, must be licensed or registered

Delaware: No certification, board registration, or license or registration

District of Columbia: No certification or board registration, must be licensed or registered

Florida: No certification or board registration, must be licensed or registered

Georgia: No certification or board registration, must be licensed or registered

Guam: No certification or board registration, must be licensed or registered

Hawaii: No certification, board registration, or license or registration

Idaho: Must be certified, no board registration, must be licensed or registered

Illinois: Must be certified, no board registration, must be licensed or registered

Indiana: No certification or board registration, must be licensed or registered

Iowa: Must be certified, board registration, and licensed or registered

Kansas: Must be certified, no board registration, must be licensed or registered

Kentucky: No certification or board registration, must be licensed or registered

Louisiana: Must be certified, no board registration, must be licensed or registered

Maine: No certification or board registration, must be licensed or registered

Maryland: No certification or board registration, must be licensed or registered

Massachusetts: No certification, must register with the board, and licensed or registered

Michigan: No certification, must register with the board, and licensed or registered

Minnesota: No certification or board registration, must be licensed or registered

Mississippi: Must be certified, no board registration, must be licensed or registered

Missouri: No certification or board registration, must be licensed or registered

Montana: Must be certified, board registration, and licensed or registered

Nebraska: No certification or board registration, must be licensed or registered

Nevada: Must be certified, no board registration, must be licensed or registered

New Hampshire: No certification or board registration, must be licensed or registered

New Jersey: No certification or board registration, must be licensed or registered

New Mexico: Must be certified, no board registration, must be licensed or registered

New York: No certification, board registration, or license or registration

North Carolina: Must be certified, no board registration, must be licensed or registered

North Dakota: Must be certified, board registration, and licensed or registered

Ohio: No certification or board registration, must be licensed or registered

Oklahoma: No certification or board registration, must be licensed or registered

Oregon: Must be certified, board registration, and licensed or registered

Pennsylvania: No certification, board registration, or license or registration

Puerto Rico: Must be certified, no board registration, or license or registration

Rhode Island: No certification, must have board registration, license, and registration

South Carolina: No certification or board registration, must be licensed or registered

South Dakota: Must be certified, no board registration, must be licensed or registered

Tennessee: No certification or board registration, must be licensed or registered

Texas: Must be certified, board registration, and licensed or registered

Utah: Must be certified, board registration, and licensed or registered

Vermont: Must be certified, no board registration, must be licensed or registered

Virginia: Must be certified, no board registration, must be licensed or registered

Washington: Must be certified, board registration, and licensed or registered

West Virginia: No certification or board registration, must be licensed or registered

Wisconsin: No certification, board registration, or license or registration

Wyoming: Must be certified, board registration, and licensed or registered

For national health care systems or providers that cross state lines, keeping up with certification, registration, and licensing requirements is even more critical to staying compliant. State and local lawmakers are constantly making changes to these requirements, making it even more difficult to keep up and remain in compliance.

How Verisys Helps with Pharmacy Technician Compliance

Many states have implemented stricter policies for pharmacy technicians, partly in an effort to avoid opioid and medication theft, but also to ensure that technicians have the proper training and patient safety procedures in mind.

Verisys offers background check services including criminal records and the only National Abuse Registry to state boards; as well as screening, certification and license verification, and monitoring of pharmacy staff to pharmacies and drug store chains. Thoroughly screening all technicians mitigates the risk to the pharmacy and contributes to the safety of all patients.

As roles change for members of pharmacy teams, ensuring that everyone is compliant, trained, and focused on patient safety and wellness is more important than ever. Reduce your organization’s risk of fines and penalties associated with improper distribution of prescribed medications results by screening and verifying each pharmacy technician by Verisys on an ongoing basis.

Juliette Willard Written by Juliette Willard
Healthcare Communications Specialist
Being creative is my passion! Writer. Painter. Problem Solver. Optimist.
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