LAS VEGAS A survey released today by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board shows that Americans have strong misperceptions about the required qualifications of the people helping pharmacists prepare prescriptions in pharmacies. The poll results, released today at the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists’ Midyear Clinical Meeting, show that the vast majority of Americans believe that all pharmacy technicians are required to be trained and certified, when in reality, these regulations vary from state to state.
“This data shows without a doubt that American consumers–in fact, 91 percent of those surveyed–support strong regulations across the country to protect patient safety by requiring that pharmacy technicians be trained and certified,” said Melissa Murer Corrigan, executive director and chief executive officer of PTCB. “Consumers recognize how important it is to have a standard that they can rely on at their pharmacy, in hospitals, and everywhere that medication is dispensed.”
The survey, which consisted of a 1,000 people nationwide, was administered by Opinion Research Corporation on behalf of PTCB, showed that consumers have high expectations for qualifications of the people who help pharmacists prepare prescriptions. In fact, 45 percent of those surveyed incorrectly thought that people without formal training were not allowed to help pharmacists prepare prescriptions, and a majority, 58 percent thought that only licensed pharmacists are involved in dispensing drug prescriptions.
In fact, most respondents in the poll assumed that requirements are already in place across the country. Only 13 percent of respondents correctly recognized that there are no nationwide requirements for the training and certification of pharmacy technicians.
“It is time to live up to what consumers expect,” said Douglas Scheckelhoff of the Federation of Associations of School of the Health Professions, and vice president of professional development for ASHP. “We know patients deserve a high standard of safety when it comes to how their prescription medications are dispensed. Now we know it is what they expect, as well.”