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Pharmacy Technician Legislation Updates

Pharmacy Technician Legislation and ASHP Policy Updates from ASHP Summer Meeting

I am currently at the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) annual summer meeting. I am here as a state delegate for my state ASHP affiliate. It has been great to here and participate in the ASHP policy process and hear what is going on across the country regarding pharmacy technician legislation.

The first big thing I want to focus on is the ASHP policy statements. ASHP will be actively working with state and federal legislation to get all states to license their pharmacy technicians. As part of this, they are recommending that ASHP approved training programs and national certification through the PTCB be part of the licensing process. No discussion on externship/practical experience, but if you are a reader of this blog, you know my stance on externship (just in case you are not, it is the holy grail for getting a job – providing you do a great work during your externship).

What does this mean for you? Get in now. Many states only require national certification or less, when the rest of the states do go to licensing their technicians, current pharmacy technicians will likely be grandfathered in (you want this). However, you will need to compete against these newer pharmacy technicians as they complete training, so make sure you have some solid training and PTCB national certification so you can be competitive (you will have the experience advantage at this point, but you want the credentials as well, I look at this when I hire).

As for legislation, we heard from California that tech-check-tech took 10 years, but they have it approved. I have also met some pharmacy technicians at the conference. I think it is great that we have pharmacy technicians stepping up their involvement and are participating at a higher level. I have recommended it in relation to beefing up your resume, but let me state it again. Participating in your state ASHP or APhA affiliate organizations is a great way to network and meet pharmacy leaders, and it also engages you in the profession and your desire to do more and be better. We have many pharmacists participating in pharmacy organizations, but not enough pharmacy technicians. In other words, it is wide open, so take advantage.

Another reason to get involved is to protect the pharmacy technician career field. I am doing what I can, but I am a pharmacist. We need help from the pharmacy technician workforce, we need your perspective. I realize I may be putting the cart before the horse and that many of you reading are just looking into getting into the career field, but I don’t know when I’ll get a chance to tell you later. So once again, get into the profession and become active in protecting and advancing it. It will make your job/career more satisfying and even if you change careers later, the experience you gain and relationships you build will serve you well. I’ll see you on the front line my friends.