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Recent Survey Shows Broad Support Among Americans For Pharmacy Technician Certification

The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board recently sponsored research to assess how well the public understands the qualifications of the people helping pharmacists prepare prescriptions in pharmacies across the country. The results show that Americans assume that laws are in place requiring pharmacy technicians to be trained and certified. In addition, the vast majority of the public support the need for certification of the people who help licensed pharmacists dispense prescription medicines.

Some Key Findings

There are major misperceptions about the requirements for training and certification for pharmacy technicians.

  • Incorrectly, 73% of the public accept as true that “pharmacy technicians are required by law to be trained and certified before they can help prepare prescriptions.” Only 9% of respondents recognize this as a false statement. The remaining 17% have no idea.
  • A majority (58%] wrongly believe that “only licensed pharmacists are involved in dispensing drug prescriptions.” Only 26% recognize this as a false statement.
  • Almost half (45%) accept as false the true statement that people without formal training are allowed to help pharmacists prepare prescriptions for patients. A third correctly judge this statement as true.
  • Three-fourths of Americans assume that pharmacy technicians are required by law to be trained and certified before they can help prepare prescriptions.

The American public strongly supports state regulations that require the training and certification of pharmacy technicians.

  • A strong consensus of 91% of the public agrees that state regulations are in order, including 76% who strongly agree.
  • At the same time, consumers support the idea of employers only hiring pharmacy technicians who are certified (92% agree with this approach, including 76% who strongly agree).
  • The strength of this support for certification of pharmacy technicians is best understood in the context of what people already assumed.
  • Most people assumed that the people preparing prescriptions in a pharmacy were regulated by the state (87% agree) and assumed that drug prescriptions were being prepared by persons certified to do so (87% agree).

Note — 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.