When I was thinking about taking a pharmacy technician course, I asked a technician at my local pharmacy. She said she took your course and passed the exam. She loved your class and learned everything she needed to know. My concern was the math, but she said with you that would be “no problem.” She was right! I passed the exam and I already have a job and love it! Please keep teaching!

Registration to be Required for Pharmacy Technicians
by Mary Anna Marshall
Richmond Times-Dispatch
October 20, 2002

Pharmacy technicians will be required to be registered according to legislation passed in 2001. Final regulations governing the registration of pharmacy technicians are currently under review. As provided in the legislation, pharmacy technicians will have to be PTCB certified or enrolled in a Virginia Board of Pharmacy approved training program and pass an exam to be eligible for registration.

Certification requires that pharmacy technicians pass the National Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination (PTCB) a voluntary, national exam, after which they can use the designation of CPhT. Since the PTCB’s inception in 1995, over 122,000 pharmacy technicians have been certified through the examination and transfer process. To maintain the certification, technicians will also be required to complete 20 hours of continuing education every two years.

With the registration requirement, pharmacy technicians will be able to take on new responsibilities, if directed by the pharmacist. Among activities the registered technicians will be able to perform are the entry of medical histories and prescription information into the computer system, the preparation of prescriptions, inventory, stocking, unloading dispensing devices, and taking refill authorizations from prescribers so long as there is no change from the original.

Certification will expand the training and duties of pharmacy technicians, but the technicians will continue to work under the directions of the pharmacists. Their expanded duties will allow pharmacists more time with their patients and a greater ability to use their clinical training to create programs for patients. This should also help ensure that medication mistakes are rare.

The new legislation will have a positive impact on the consumer’s experience when they visit a pharmacy. Consumers can trust that the care they are receiving from pharmacists and pharmacy technicians is being closely monitored by the Board of Pharmacy.

-Mary Anna Marshall is a certified pharmacy technician and the Director of the Virginia Institute for Pharmacy Technicians.


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