PHARMACY

Pharmacy tech certifications pass half-million mark, PTCB says

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON — The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board has issued more than half a million certifications, the group said Wednesday.

The PTCB said the number of certifications it had granted was 503,620 as of June 30. Last year alone, 39,729 candidates passed the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam.

"Passing the half-million mark is an exciting milestone in the growth of PTCB’s nationwide certification program," PTCB executive director and CEO Everett McAllister said. "The PTCB [Certified Pharmacy Technician] credential represents an excellent pathway to employment opportunities for pharmacy technicians. It enables them to stay current and be prepared to meet the requirements of the occupation as our healthcare system evolves."

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook, pharmacy technician employment is likely to increase more than 32% between 2010 and 2020, compared to the bureau’s projected 14% growth for all occupations during the same period.

 

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PHARMACY

Navarro offers information about ACA

BY Alaric DeArment

MIAMI — Navarro Discount Pharmacy is reaching out as an information resource about the implementation and rollout of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the 33-store chain said Wednesday.

Navarro, based in Miami and the largest Hispanic-owned pharmacy chain in the country, said several healthcare companies would be available at its stores to explain insurance options, costs and other important information. The chain also will offer free health screenings like glucose testing, blood-pressure monitoring and others.

"Our continuing goal is to provide options to our customers and assist them in any way we can to make informed decisions," said Manuel Leon, VP of Navarro subsidiary OTC Health Solutions; more than half a million members of the subsidiary receive benefits through insurance companies for OTC health products. "As a community pharmacy, our customers already have strong relationships with our pharmacists, who are the logical choices to liaison with customers and insurance company representatives when healthcare questions arise."

The company also will support a community-wide healthcare education effort for Hispanics by sponsoring Univision’s "Salud es Vida" event, which will take place on Saturday and Sunday at the Miami-Dade County Fair and Expo. The event will provide consumers with up-to-date information on the options available under Florida’s health insurance marketplace, with health insurance companies, community pharmacies, government officials, local radio and television personalities and healthcare providers attendees and free health screenings, exercise demonstrations and healthy cooking instructions.

 

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PHARMACY

California expands scope of pharmacy practice

BY Michael Johnsen

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Along with a number of Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act-themed pieces of legislation, California Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday signed into law a provision that will allow pharmacists to perform physical assessments; order and interpret laboratory tests; refer patients to other providers; start, adjust and terminate medications under physician protocol; and work with other healthcare providers to evaluate and manage a patient’s health issues.  

"This legislation will take important steps to allow pharmacists to provide patients care at a level they are educated and fully capable of providing," the National Community Pharmacists Association stated in a blog. "The bill also is notable for its collaborative approach to other healthcare providers. It is supported by many healthcare-related organizations including the California Association for Nurse Practitioners, the California Association of Physician Groups and the California Hospital Association."

"Hopefully adoption of this legislation by the most populous U.S. state will prompt more states to enact similar legislation in the coming months," the association added.

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