Credentialing of pharmacy technicians in the USA

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Objective This review will compare the USA and UK regarding pharmacy technicians' roles, it will summarize the current roles and responsibilities of pharmacy technicians in the USA, public perception of pharmacy technicians, pharmacy organizations' perspectives on pharmacy technician credentialing, academic programmes for pharmacy technicians, accreditation of pharmacy technician programmes, pharmacy technician certification exams and differing perspectives on the push for standardized technician training. It will conclude with observations regarding the importance of standardized pharmacy technician training.

Methods Articles were identified via searches of PubMed and IPA from inception to November 2010 related to credentialing of pharmacy technicians. Search terms included pharmacy technician, pharmacy technician certification, pharmacy registration, technician education and technician requirements. Articles describing the roles and responsibilities of a technician, public perception of technicians, demographics, certification processes and the future of technician roles were included. An Internet search was also performed to identify articles in the lay press related to this topic.

Key findings Providing a pharmacy technician with proper training and education is necessary for operating a successful pharmacy. In the USA, mandating a national standardized training programme is the source of the debate. Current rules and regulations regarding the training and education needed for a pharmacy technician vary from state to state in the USA. Attitudes of technicians towards standardized training may be difficult to change.

Conclusion This paper provides a review of pharmacy technicians' roles and responsibilities across different pharmacy settings. Although the literature provides some insight, more studies are needed to assess the value and impact of the knowledge and skills possessed by certified pharmacy technicians with standardized training compared with technicians with site‐specific or limited training.


Copyright © 2011 The Authors and IJPP