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PTCB: Surge in pharmacy techs seeking certification
January 25th, 2011
WASHINGTON – The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) reports that it's seeing record numbers of pharmacy technicians seeking certification through the organization.
PTCB said Tuesday that more than 55,000 candidates sat for the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE) in 2010 alone, and over 400,000 pharmacy technicians nationwide have earned the PTCB Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT) credential since 1995.
According to the board, certified pharmacy technicians will continue to be relied upon to help keep pharmacy operations running smoothly as prescription medication regimens become more complex and cost-conscious insurers look to pharmacists to provide direct-patient care and medication therapy management.
The Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) Occupational Outlook Handbook for 2010-11 projects that pharmacy technician employment stands to rise more than 31% by 2018, PTCB said. The bureau also suggests that pharmacy technicians with formal education or training, previous work experience, and national certification will be specifically sought after to meet these demands.
"Certification through PTCB represents an excellent pathway to employment for pharmacy technicians practicing in the United States," stated Melissa Murer Corrigan, executive director and chief executive officer of PTCB. "It also enables pharmacy technicians to meet the growing demands of a changing pharmacy landscape."
The board noted that a rising number of states have decided to allow only pharmacy technicians certified through PTCB to be employed by pharmacies. Pharmacy technicians assist pharmacists in dispensing medications and are accountable to the supervising pharmacist, who is legally responsible through state licensure for the care and safety of patients served by the pharmacy, PTCB added.
"America's evolving health care system calls for qualified support personnel that will enable pharmacists to provide patient-centered care with authority and autonomy," commented Thomas Menighan, chairman of the PTCB Board of Governors. "PTCB's certification program not only assesses technicians' knowledge up front but also requires ongoing commitment to the profession by requiring technicians to maintain certification through continuing education."