Texas State Board of Pharmacy proposal to eliminate pharmacist-technician ratios draws opposition, support

NCPA opposes proposal; NACDS RxIMPACT supports

NEW YORK — A proposal by the Texas State Board of Pharmacy to eliminate the required ratio of pharmacy technicians to pharmacists in retail pharmacies in the state has drawn mixed responses from professional and industry trade groups.

Currently, the required ratio is three technicians to one pharmacist, which the board's proposal would remove for retail pharmacies, known under Texas law as "Class A" pharmacies. In response, the Texas Pharmacy Association has proposed an interim ratio requirement of four technicians to one pharmacist.

The proposal has drawn opposition from the National Community Pharmacists Association.

"We contend that elimination of ratios is not in the best interest of pharmacists or the patients they serve," a letter from NCPA VP policy and regulatory affairs Ronna Hauser to TSPB director of professional services Allison Benz read. "As the mission of the Texas State Board of Pharmacy is to promote, preserve and protect the public health, safety and welfare of its citizens, NCPA does not agree that state boards of pharmacy should allow individual pharmacies to set their own ratios."

Meanwhile, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores' RxIMPACT project urged members to express support for the proposal.

"NACDS RxIMPACT is calling on the pharmacy community to tell the Texas State Board of Pharmacy that allowing on-duty pharmacists to help determine adequate staffing will enhance patient care and public safety because pharmacists will have more time to focus on what they have been trained to do: interact with and counsel patients!" an action alert on RxIMPACT's website read.

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