The Expanding Role of Pharmacy Technicians

Evolving compliance from obligation to opportunity

The Expanding Role of Pharmacy Technicians

As pharmacies continue to provide more first-line-of-defense care to patients, pharmacists’ scope of practice continues to expand. As a result, the role of pharmacy technicians has begun to expand.

Legislators recognize the significant role pharmacy technicians can play in providing patient care. As such, states are increasingly introducing and enacting new legislation to expand the technicians’ scope of duties and responsibilities.

In some states, technicians can now provide clinical services such as administering vaccines and CLIA-waived tests. Tasks like contacting prescribers for more prescription information are increasingly done by pharmacy technicians. 



This digest outlines some of the key legislative changes observed over the last 12 months that expand the practice of pharmacy technicians. It provides leaders in the pharmacy sector the information needed to utilize pharmacy technicians to meet patient care demands, allow pharmacists to enhance their practice further, and increase access to patient care.

What trends are we seeing?

Across all the states, technician roles are expanding. 

Passed bills & regulations

Below are the most significant bills and regulations passed by different states. Some of the regulations below are temporary. However, as observed in some states, they may eventually become permanent.  

Alabama

Temporary Regulation 680-X-2-.03 ER effective on 1/20/2021.

  • Authorized pharmacy technicians to administer FDA authorized/licensed Covid-19 vaccines to persons aged three years or over under the supervision of a pharmacist.

Arkansas

Bill HB 1135 was effective on 7/29/2021.

  • Permits pharmacy technicians to administer vaccines and immunizations to persons three years of age or older under the supervision of a pharmacist.

Colorado

Regulation 3-719-1-5.01, 17.00.10, 19.00.00 effective on 3/17/2021.

Temporary regulation E 3-719-1-19.00 effective on 11/19/2020.

  • Authorize pharmacy technicians to administer vaccines and immunizations under a pharmacist delegation/per authorization of a physician

Regulation SB21-094  to take effect on 9/1/2021.

  • Allows pharmacy technicians to document the medical history, replenish an automated dispensing device, and register with the PDMP with access on behalf of a supervising pharmacist.

District of Colombia

Temporary regulation E 17-6516  effective 4/1/2021.

  • Expand pharmacy technicians’ authority to participate in Covid-19 testing in patients 18 or older under the supervision of pharmacists.

Temporary regulation E 17-6516 was effective on 11/03/2020.

  • Broadened the scope of technical functions a pharmacist can delegate to a pharmacy technician, providing professional oversight. Before the passing of this regulation, a pharmacist could only delegate the dispensing function and was required to be physically present.

Florida

Regulation 64B16-27.4001 was effective on 11/03/2020.

  • Specifies that the supervising pharmacist, in consultation with the Prescription Department Manager or Consultant Pharmacist of Record, shall determine appropriate methods of supervising pharmacy technicians and that no person may interfere with such.

Iowa

Bill HF 514 was effective on 7/1/2021.

  • Broadened the scope of technical functions pharmacists can delegate to pharmacy technicians provided they give professional oversight. Before passing this regulation, pharmacists could only delegate the dispensing function and were required to be physically present.

Regulation ARC 5542C (Formerly ARC 5373C) was effective on 5/12/2021.

  • The regulation requires pharmacy technicians to be registered before commencing employment from July 1, 2021. Prior, the regulations required any person to complete the appropriate application for registration within 30 days of accepting employment as a pharmacy technician.

Kentucky

Bill HB 219 was effective on 6/28/2021.

  • Provides that a pharmacist licensed in Kentucky, or an intern or technician certified or registered in Kentucky, working under the supervision of a pharmacist, may access the electronic database from inside or outside of a pharmacy that is not open to the public for walk-in dispensing, to perform order entry, verification or review, if:
    • The pharmacy has established means to protect confidentiality and health information; 
    • No part of the database is removed or duplicated, downloaded;
    • The pharmacy is located within Kentucky; and
    • The personnel who access the electronic database live within 100 miles of the pharmacy.

Temporary rule E 201-002:410 effective 11/23/2020.

  • Allows a pharmacy intern or a certified pharmacy technician to administer vaccines to patients age three or older if ordered by a pharmacist or according to a prescriber approved protocol if they:
    • Complete or have completed an ACIP practical training program that includes hands-on injection techniques;
    • Complete a minimum of 2 hours continuing education related to immunizations; and
    • Hold a current certificate in CPR.

Regulation 201:002:311 was effective on 11/19/2020.

  • Allows a pharmacist, intern, or technician to compound non-controlled compounded drug to be dispensed for non-patient specific veterinary use under particular conditions.

Missouri

Temporary regulation 20-2220-2.710ER was effective on 06/19/2020.

  • Allows for the use of technology in supervision of pharmacy interns and technician.

Temporary regulation 20-2220-6.055ER was effective on 06/19/2020.

  • Permits pharmacy technicians and interns pharmacists to perform non-dispensing activities outside of a pharmacy under the direct supervision of a Missouri licensed pharmacist.

Temporary regulation 20-2220-2.725ER was effective on 06/09/2020.

  • Allows pharmacist technicians to perform certain non-dispensing data entry functions remotely.

Nebraska

Bill LB 74 effective on 8/31/2019.

  • Provides for validation of acts, tasks, and functions of a certified pharmacy technician by another certified pharmacy technician working within the confines of a hospital.

Bill LB 74 was effective on 8/21/2019.

  • Permits certified pharmacy technicians to validate the tasks and functions of other technicians under defined settings.  

New Hampshire

Bill SB 57 was effective on 6/11/2021.

  • Enables pharmacy technicians/interns to perform non-dispensing tasks remotely.
  • Allows remote processing for pharmacists/technicians/interns if all work requiring pharmacist supervision is supervised electronically/remotely by a licensed pharmacist.
  • Enables a pharmacy technician/intern under pharmacist supervision to access a pharmacy’s electronic database from outside the pharmacy and perform non-dispensing functions.

North Dakota

Bill SB 2279 was effective on 3/26/2021.

  • Permits pharmacy technicians to administer drugs under the authority and supervision of a pharmacist.

Oregon

Regulation 535:15 Subchapter 13 was effective on 9/11/2020.

  • Permits pharmacy technicians to administer drugs under the authority and supervision of a pharmacist.

Texas

Regulation 22-291.74 was effective on 12/10/2020.

  • Updates application requirements regarding a pharmacy technician’s ability to verify another pharmacy technician’s work in a Class C pharmacy setting.

Rule 22-291.121 was effective on 12/10/2020.

  • Allows a pharmacy technician at a remote site to receive an oral prescription drug order for a dangerous drug.

Rule 22-291.33 was effective on 12/10/2020.

  • Establishes that pharmacy technicians may perform the following nonjudgmental duties;
  • Receive oral prescriptions for dangerous drugs and reduce the orders to writing, either manually or electronically;
  • Transfer or receive transferred original prescriptions for dangerous drugs for a patient; and
  • Contact a prescriber regarding additional information for an existing prescription for a dangerous drug.

Rule 22-291.153 was effective on 12/10/2020.

  • Broadens a technician’s duties to include:
    • Receiving oral prescription orders for dangerous drugs and reducing them to written orders, either manually or electronically.
    • Transfer or receive transfers of original prescriptions for a dangerous drug for a patient.
    • Removes pharmacist to technician ratio. 

Regulation 22-291.34 was effective on 12/10/2020.

  • Adds pharmacy technicians to a list of people authorized to receive oral therapeutic/diagnostic drugs prescriptions from a practitioner.

Regulation 22-291.129 was effective on 12/10/2020.

  • Broadens a pharmacy technicians’ duties at a satellite pharmacy to include:
    • Receiving oral prescriptions for dangerous drugs and reducing them to written orders, either manually or electronically.
    • Transferring or receiving a transfer of an original prescription for a patient.

Regulation 22-291.53 was effective on 12/10/2020.

  • Modifies the ratio of pharmacists to technicians and technician trainees from 1:4 to 1:6 if at least three of the six are technicians trained in the handling of radioactive materials.

BulaDigestJuly-map

Conclusion

An increased focus on patient care and access to care has enabled pharmacy practice to evolve.  As such, state legislators and pharmacy boards continue to assess and change the law to ensure pharmacists and pharmacy technicians provide exceptional care.

BulaDigestJuly-conclusion

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.
You need to agree with the terms to proceed

Menu