Advocate for Greater Pharmacy Technician Roles

Pharmacy TimesApril 2024
Volume 90
Issue 4

Multiple state and federal laws since the COVID-19 pandemic highlight the growing role of technicians

Pharmacy technicians play a crucial role in the ever-changing realm of health care, a fact that became particularly evident during the COVID-19 pandemic when they assumed a heightened responsibility in patient care. Effectively advocating for an expanded scope of responsibilities for pharmacy technicians demands a multifaceted strategy, addressing both employer perspectives and state regulatory frameworks. Simultaneously, creating accessible career paths at the workplace level is vital for enthusiastic pharmacy technicians dedicated to advancing their profession and enhancing patient care. Equally important is the provision of adequate resources to guarantee that technicians receive the necessary training and credentialing to succeed.

Serious thoughtful medical colleagues using digital tablet while viewing report together and discussing results standing by oxygen cylinders in laboratory- Image credit: Seventyfour |

Image credit: Seventyfour |

The pandemic played a pivotal role in redefining the responsibilities of pharmacy technicians when the US Department of Health and Human Services invoked the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act, which authorized technicians to administer COVID-19 immunizations and other vaccines. Later, influenza vaccines for adults as well as COVID-19 therapeutics were added.1 Beyond immunizations, pharmacy technicians contribute to patient care by enhancing pharmacists’ ability to provide clinical services, leading to cost savings and improved health care outcomes.

About the Author

William Schimmel is executive director and CEO of the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB). In this role, he builds upon PTCB’s strong foundation, leading the organization to advance patient care through the credentialing of pharmacy technicians and by recognizing the essential work done by the more than 290,000 active PTCB-certified pharmacy technicians nationwide who support the mission every day.

Legislative milestones, such as the 2023 bill in Maryland requiring a technician voice on the state board of pharmacy,2 underscore the industry’s recognition of technicians as essential team members. In fact, pharmacy technicians now serve on 16 state boards of pharmacy,3 actively influencing decision-making processes and ensuring that technicians are involved in decisions that affect their roles and responsibilities.

During the 2023 119th National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) Annual Meeting in Nashville, Tennessee, 2 technicians certified by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) delivered a compelling presentation in the form of a poster. The presentation, titled “Snapshot of Current Pharmacy Technician Practice,” focused on showcasing the involvement of technicians in state boards of pharmacy and the varying registration and licensure requirements for technicians nationwide. In a significant decision during the voting on NABP resolutions, members approved a resolution emphasizing the necessity for each state board of pharmacy to incorporate at least 1 technician representative.4

Within their state regulations, employers are creating opportunities for pharmacy technicians to increase their scope. Insights from PTCB’s 2022 Pharmacy Technician Workforce Survey highlight that technician satisfaction is linked to a desire for expanded roles. With 84% of technicians satisfied with their jobs and a significant percentage entering the profession to make a positive impact, there is a clear indication of their commitment to advancing patient care.5

Data from the survey also indicate that pharmacy technicians certified by PTCB are working longer as pharmacy technicians than noncertified pharmacy technicians.5 Many employers are acknowledging the career potential of technicians, creating pathways for advancement and incorporating PTCB credentials into career ladders.

Empowering pharmacy technicians with expanded responsibilities is a win-win for pharmacy teams, bottom lines, and patient care. It is time for all leaders to advocate for and implement the necessary changes to ensure that pharmacy technicians can play an even more significant role in meeting the health care needs of the population.

1. Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness (PREP) Act. Administration for Strategic Preparedness & Response. Updated May 9, 2023. Accessed March 11, 2024.
2. State Board of Pharmacy - Board Membership, Delegated Pharmacy Acts, and Sunset Extension, HB 693. 2023 Session (Md 2023). Accessed March 11, 2024.
3. Carter L, Schimmel W. Leading the profession. Drug Store News. October 24, 2023. Accessed March 11, 2024.
4. PTCB supports technician roles during NABP Annual Meeting. News release. Pharmacy Technician Certification Board. May 25, 2023. Accessed March 11, 2024.
5. PTCB releases 2022 Pharmacy Technician Workforce Survey results. News release. Pharmacy Technician Certification Board. August 18, 2022. Accessed March 11, 2024.
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