Role of Pharmacy Technicians

May 27, 2015

The Evolving Role of Pharmacy Techns

As healthcare continues to shift and transform, many pharmacy technicians are seeing significant changes in their roles and responsibilities. Technicians’ presence in the pharmacy has been growing steadily and will continue to do so. Pharmacy technicians are very integral to the pharmacy operation. They are team members who support pharmacists in many different roles and in all practice settings.

Initially, technicians had a very limited function, typically only serving as clerks or cashiers. Many states established clear restrictions on the tasks technicians were allowed to perform and they maintained low pharmacist-to-technician ratios. With higher patient volume and an increasing workload for pharmacists, technicians gradually began to take on additional responsibilities, including entering and filling prescriptions, reconstituting medications, and communicating with physician’s offices and insurance companies.


Today, roles and responsibilities of pharmacy technicians continue to increase and evolve including participating in research, assisting in clinical settings, and helping to provide medication therapy management. Some of the roles of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians are almost blending, as technicians are being asked to be more educated in the role of filling prescriptions and recognizing drug interactions and therapy duplication. Technician roles have changed from simply a ‘helper’ to actually being a co-partner or team player in the process of providing patient care. I see our profession earning an even greater professional status and State Boards of Pharmacy requiring increased higher educational requirements as technicians are asked to do more directly related to patient care.

The best thing that pharmacy technicians can do is step outside of their comfort zones and be willing to accept deeper roles, as it will strengthen the pharmacy team as pharmacists are increasingly providing direct patient care.