The Honorable Rhonda Fields, Chairwoman
Senate Committee of Reference on Health and Human Services
Colorado General Assembly
200 E. Colfax Avenue
Denver, CO 80203
Subject: Support for House Bill 1242
Dear Chairwoman Fields:
On behalf of the Colorado members of ASHP (American Society of Health-System Pharmacists), I am writing in support of House Bill 1242, a bill that would enhance medication safety for Coloradans by requiring pharmacy technicians to obtain national certification and register with the Colorado State Board of Pharmacy.
ASHP represents pharmacists who serve as patient care providers in acute and ambulatory settings. The organization’s nearly 50,000 members include pharmacists, student pharmacists, and pharmacy technicians. For more than 75 years, ASHP has been at the forefront of efforts to improve medication use and enhance patient safety. ASHP believes that the mission of pharmacists is to help people achieve optimal health outcomes.
Pharmacy technicians play a key role in our healthcare system by supporting pharmacy in all patient care settings. Pharmacy technicians are responsible for a variety of duties— from the entry level of entering and filling prescriptions, to the advanced level of obtaining medication histories to facilitate safer transitions of care, preparing compounded sterile and non-sterile preparations including chemotherapy and hazardous drugs, and roles in clinical informatics, controlled substance diversion programs and pharmacy automation.
According to the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy 2018 Survey of Pharmacy Law, 33 states require registration of pharmacy technicians, assuring the public that these professionals are receiving reasonable oversight. As pharmacy technicians’ roles have evolved, some states have also expanded technician scope of practice. For example, Idaho now allows pharmacy technicians to administer immunizations and North Dakota allows them to participate in telemedicine.
As opportunities for pharmacists to provide direct patient care services increase, so does the need for an educated, certified, and registered or licensed pharmacy technician workforce. Pharmacy technicians can be certified through the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB). PTCB certification provides a uniform set of standards and ensures that technicians have the skills and competencies necessary to assist pharmacists in providing patient care. PTCB has certified pharmacy technicians in virtually all practice settings, including community pharmacy, hospitals and health systems, and long-term care.
Pharmacy technicians with advanced skills such as medication preparation are in high demand. In order to ensure a qualified workforce, it is essential for that pharmacy technicians be nationally certified and registered in Colorado to ensure that each technician has the requisite skill set to assist pharmacists in providing direct patient care. Thus, ASHP urges the Senate Committee of Reference on Health and Human Services to pass H.B. 1242.
Thank you for considering this important legislation. If you have any questions regarding this letter, or if we can be of any assistance, please do not hesitate to contact Nicholas Gentile, Director of State Grassroots Advocacy and Political Action, at [email protected] (301-664-8687).
Vice President, Government Relations