Magazine article Drug Topics

Employers and State Rules Are Driving Tech Certification

Magazine article Drug Topics

Employers and State Rules Are Driving Tech Certification

Article excerpt

If your technicians are not certified yet, better get them to take that exam soon. Texas has already mandated that by the year 2001, all technicians working in the state must be certified. Other states, such as North Dakota, Utah, and West Virginia, have either passed technician licensure or registration requirements or updated their pharmacy practice act, with provisions that also encourage certification.

Employers, too, are fueling the growth of tech certification. Every day, more and more classified ads list certification as a criterion for initial employment. According to Melissa Murer, executive director of the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB), a 70-store chain in the MidwestSchnucks-not only pays for techs to sit for the exam, it also gives them a pay raise if they pass the test. PTCB is setting up national accounts with large employers, such as chains, to facilitate tech certification. Reportedly, one interested party is Walgreens. Murer, who was speaking at ASHP's annual meeting in Minneapolis, said she will have more to announce on this by ASHP's midyear meeting this December.

The tech certification exam, which has certified 20,000 out of an estimated total universe of 150,000 techs so far, is even going overseas. Already held seven times to date, as of July 1995, the exam will be conducted at military bases abroad, Murer revealed. The armed forces will start to require tech certification at different branches.

Besides these new developments, Murer told the audience of the following new PTCB initiatives:

Since certification is valid for two years, it's time for techs who passed the 1995 exams to be recertified. …

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