The PDA has raised concerns that the public may potentially be “confused or misled” about the capabilities of pharmacy technicians.
In their continued focus on the respective roles of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians, the PDA have said:
“It is of fundamental importance that the public must not be confused or misled about the respective capabilities of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians.
“It is also in the public interest to ensure that both pharmacists’ and pharmacy technicians’ skills and competencies are used to the best effect, which requires an understanding of where the boundaries lie between their respective skills and competencies. These boundaries must be clearly linked to the underpinning qualifications, competency assessment and professional awareness, to ensure that their roles interlock effectively and safely.
“It is in the public interest that healthcare professionals are involved in all clinical and ethical decision-making. Pharmacists do not need to perform every task themselves, but as individuals held to account by the public for patient safety, they must be satisfied that only suitable tasks are delegated to pharmacy technicians, who in turn must be appropriately qualified and experienced. Pharmacists should usually be supervising the work of pharmacy technicians to some extent, and always be readily available for pharmacy technicians to consult when the need arises.”
Paul Day, Director of the PDA commented:
“It’s really important from a patient safety perspective that the public know who they are talking to and the value of the advice they receive from that person. If the public are told they’re dealing with a pharmacy professional, they’d naturally expect that means a pharmacist. An understanding of the respective capabilities of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians is fundamental to ensuring the roles can be developed safely and symbiotically so that the role of the technician complements the role of the professional.”
Mark Koziol, Chairman of the PDA commented:
“This report has been developed over three years and its publication at this time is designed to assist in the instigation of a wider consideration of all factors and to enable an intelligent debate within the profession at this time of potentially great change. It includes observations which are applicable to pharmacy technicians as a group but concentrates particularly on the community pharmacy sector.”
The PDA has produced a 300-page report on the development of the roles and skill mix of community pharmacists and pharmacy technicians. The report has taken over three years to put together. They have chosen to release this report in stages over the coming weeks. Pharmacy in Practice will cover the release as the information becomes available.
The views and opinions are those of the PDA and are therefore not intended to represent the views of Pharmacy in Practice.