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3-Mar-08 3:00 PM  CST  

Federal Legislation for Tech Standards Introduced 

U.S. Reps. Steven C. LaTourette (R-OH) and Stephen F. Lynch (D-MA) have introduced sweeping federal legislation that will mandate training, education, registration and certification requirements for pharmacy technicians nationwide. The Pharmacy Technician Training and Registration Act of 2008, or Emily’s Act, is named after 2-year-old Emily Jerry of Concord Township, OH, who died on March 1, 2006, after a pharmacy technician incorrectly prepared her chemotherapy dose.
The bill, HR. 5491, will require states to register pharmacy technicians and have them pass the national Pharmacy Technician Board Certification exam, which triggers mandatory continuing education and renewal every two years. It will also provide grants to the states to comply with the Act. Also, any state accepting a grant will have to report pharmacy technician errors to the Secretary of Health and Human Services. In addition, the Act indicates it is the Sense of Congress that pharmacists supervise no more than three technicians at one time.

Many of these points align with what national organizations feel contribute to an optimum practice environment for pharmacy a technician, which in turn increases patient safety. The National Pharmacy Technician Association (NPTA) believes that individuals should be required to complete a standardized education/training program, pass a validated competency-based exam and be registered with their State Board of Pharmacy, in order to practice as a pharmacy technician. The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) believes that pharmacy technicians should establish competency through a certification process and examination that is psychometrically sound and supports the requirement that pharmacy technicians must complete a training program accredited by ASHP. ASHP seeks to improve some of the provisions in the bill, specifically regarding error reporting and specific technician-to-pharmacist ratios.
Many feel that this legislation will lead to stronger training practices for pharmacy technicians while providing uniform safety accountability provisions for all states.

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Source: NPTA

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