The Community Pharmacy Technician’s Role in the Changing Pharmacy Practice Space
Purpose: The practice of pharmacy and role of pharmacists has evolved over the decades but markedly since the introduction of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010. The ACA allowed patients to have increased access to community pharmacy services, such as medication therapy management, leading to an increase in the clinical services provided by pharmacists. This expansion of pharmacist’s roles has led to pharmacists to feel an increase in workload which negatively impacts the time spent with patients. One way for this shift to occur without continuing to increase the pharmacist’s workload is by using technicians as pharmacist extenders to take on more technical tasks.
Summary: The role of pharmacy technicians has been slow to expand from fear of public safety due to the lack of required education and training. Today, state requirements to practice as a pharmacy technician have become stricter with state requiring licensing, registration or certification. This increase in requirements as led to the expansion of pharmacy technician duties. Studies show that pharmacy technicians are able to perform technician accuracy checking, provide immunization and perform Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA)-waived screenings. In addition to these duties, pharmacy technicians are being utilized in more novel ways such as collecting medication information in primary care and telepharmacy settings.
Conclusion: In order for pharmacy to continue to grow as a profession, pharmacists need to use pharmacy technicians as extenders. As pharmacy technicians begin to take on more of the technical duties, pharmacists are able to increase the time spent with patients.
Article Type: Commentary
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