Survey Shows Broad Support Among Americans for Pharmacy Technician Certification

73% of Americans Believe Law Requires Certification for Pharmacy Techs, 91%

Support Standards in Every State

Dec 05, 2007, 00:00 ET from Pharmacy Technician Certification Board

    LAS VEGAS, Dec. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- A survey released today by the
 Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) shows that Americans have
 strong misperceptions about the required qualifications of the people
 helping pharmacists prepare prescriptions in pharmacies. The poll results,
 released today at the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists' (ASHP)
 Midyear Clinical Meeting, show that the vast majority of Americans believe
 that all pharmacy technicians are required to be trained and certified,
 when in reality, these regulations vary from state to state.
     "This data shows without a doubt that American consumers -- in fact,
 91% of those surveyed -- support strong regulations across the country to
 protect patient safety by requiring that pharmacy technicians be trained
 and certified," said Melissa Murer Corrigan, RPh, Executive Director and
 CEO of PTCB. "Consumers recognize how important it is to have a standard
 that they can rely on at their pharmacy, in hospitals, and everywhere that
 medication is dispensed."
     The survey, which was administered by Opinion Research Corporation on
 behalf of PTCB, showed that consumers have high expectations for
 qualifications of the people who help pharmacists prepare prescriptions. In
 fact, 45% of those surveyed incorrectly thought that people without formal
 training were not allowed to help pharmacists prepare prescriptions, and a
 majority, 58% thought that only licensed pharmacists are involved in
 dispensing drug prescriptions.
     Pharmacy technicians assist pharmacists in dispensing medications. The
 pharmacy technician is accountable to the supervising pharmacist who is
 legally responsible through state licensure for the care and safety of
 patients served by the pharmacy.
     "This study shows that consumers expect their state lawmakers to
 protect them by passing and enforcing strong regulations that require a
 standard of competence for pharmacy technicians," said Gay Dodson, R.Ph.,
 Executive Director, Texas State Board of Pharmacy. "In Texas, the
 Legislature and State Board of Pharmacy were the first to require
 certification of pharmacy technicians as a pre-requisite to registration.
 This is an important first step for consumer protection and patient
     In fact, most respondents in the poll assumed that requirements are
 already in place across the country. Only 13% of respondents correctly
 recognized that there are no nationwide requirements for the training and
 certification of pharmacy technicians.
     "It is time to live up to what consumers expect," said Douglas J.
 Scheckelhoff, R.Ph., M.S., FASHP, Vice President, Professional Development,
 ASHP. "We know patients deserve a high standard of safety when it comes to
 how their prescription medications are dispensed." "Now we know it is what
 they expect, as well."
     About the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB)
     PTCB was established in January 1995 and is governed by five pharmacy
 organizations -- the American Pharmacists Association (APhA), the American
 Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP), the Illinois Council of
 Health-System Pharmacists (ICHP), the Michigan Pharmacists Association
 (MPA) and the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP). Since
 PTCB's inception, PTCB has certified over 288,000 pharmacy technicians
 through the examination and transfer process PTCB's certification program
 is the only pharmacy technician certification program accredited by the
 National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA). The goal of the PTCB
 national certification program is to enable pharmacy technicians to work
 more effectively with pharmacists to offer safe and effective patient care
 and service.

SOURCE Pharmacy Technician Certification Board