A pharmacy technician is a registered health care professional who looks after the technical aspects of pharmacy services. This includes things like filling prescriptions, and making sure that dispensing systems work and are maintained. They work with pharmacists. The College of Pharmacists of BC started regulating pharmacy technicians in 2011. Before applying for a license with the college, pharmacy technicians must complete an accredited pharmacy technician program and a practical training program. They must also pass a national qualifying exam and a second exam that covers legal, ethical, and professional issues.
Only a pharmacy technician that is registered with the College of Pharmacists of BC can be called a “pharmacy technician” or a “registered pharmacy technician”.
What does a pharmacy technician do?
Pharmacy technicians perform technical and administrative functions in the pharmacy. These might include preparing, processing and combining products (compounding) to fill a prescription. They can also conduct final checks to make sure that the correct drug is dispensed. They cannot do things that are the responsibility of the pharmacist, for example check prescriptions for completeness and drug dosage, delivery, or frequency. They cannot provide patient consultation.
How do pharmacy technician keep their skills up to date?
Pharmacy technicians must renew their registration with the College of Pharmacists of BC every year. As part of the renewal process, they must complete a minimum of 15 hours of continuing education, and at least 5 of those hours must be accredited learning. Pharmacy technicians are reviewed at their pharmacy every six years to make sure they meet College standards.
What happens when I first visit a pharmacy technician?
Pharmacy technicians may interact with patients but their work is mostly supportive. They may enter your information into the pharmacy computer that links all community pharmacies in B.C. You can ask for a copy of your patient information at any time. Pharmacy technicians often receive prescription information from patients and can answer general pharmacy questions. Specific medication questions will be referred to a pharmacist.
How can I find a pharmacy technician?
Pharmacy technicians work in pharmacies to support the delivery of pharmacy services. The College of Pharmacists of BC has a list of pharmacy technicians and the pharmacies where they work on their website www.bcpharmacists.org
How do I pay for a pharmacy technician?
Pharmacy technicians do not provide pharmacy services directly to patients and will not require payment from you. Professional costs associated with visiting a pharmacy (including dispensing fees) and the cost of the medication may vary depending on your drug plan coverage.
What if I have concerns about the care I received from a pharmacy technician?
As a patient you have the right to expect a professional standards of care from your pharmacy technician. If you think that has not happened, please contact:
College of Pharmacists of BC
Complaints Line 778.330.0967 or toll free 1.877.330.0967
Where can I find more information about pharmacy technicians?