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South Dakota

By Diane Halvorson, RPhTech, CPhT-Adv | Pharmacy Buyer/ Board of Pharmacy Member
Sanford-ND BOP, Fargo, North Dakota

South Dakota is at the forefront of training and advancing pharmacy technicians into specialized roles.

State Regulation
A pharmacy technician is an individual registered by the South Dakota Board of Pharmacy (SDBOP), who is in either a technician training program or who is employed by a licensed pharmacy located in the state. Basic requirements include a high school diploma or GED.

The registration program for pharmacy technicians was established for the primary purpose of assuring competency of registered pharmacy technicians and for the purposes of identification, tracking, and disciplinary action. The initial registration does not include a determination, by the board, of the competency of the registered individual. The registration does not include a background check.

A pharmacy technician is required to register with the board by completing and submitting an application for registration within 30 days of accepting employment as a pharmacy technician in a South Dakota licensed pharmacy. An individual who fails to register as a pharmacy technician and works in the capacity may be subject to disciplinary sanctions. A person who is in a college-based technician training program is required to obtain a pharmacy technician registration prior to beginning on-site practical experience.

Based on Administrative Rules of SD § 20:51:29:06, a pharmacy technician must become certified within two-years of initial registration as a pharmacy technician.  Upon certification, a technician must provide the South Dakota Board of Pharmacy with a copy of the certificate issued by certifying agency, (currently approved agencies: PTCB and ExCpt). After certification, a technician must retain their certification to be employed and registered as a technician in South Dakota. 

Roles and Responsibilities
The pharmacy technician assists in the technical functions of the practice of pharmacy, enabling the pharmacist to provide pharmaceutical care to the patient. The supervising pharmacist is responsible for the actions of a pharmacy technician.

The SDBOP requires a ratio of three pharmacy technicians to one pharmacist in a retail establishment.  There are exceptions for other practice settings when the setting meets various other requirements, software, tracking for CS, and robust policies.  In hospital, long term care, and mail order pharmacies, the ratio is to be set by the pharmacist in charge of the pharmacy per ARSD 20:51:29.19.02.

Continuing Education/Certification 
The SDBOP has no requirements for technician continuing education (CE). The technician must comply with the requirements as outlined by the certifying agency’s requirements for recertification. South Dakota does require all registered pharmacy technicians to become certified within two-years of initial registration, once certification is achieved to maintain/keep certification current. 

Advocacy Efforts
The HHS authorization, “preempts any state and local law that prohibits or effectively prohibits (qualified pharmacy) technicians from administering COVID-19 or routine childhood vaccines” as outlined in the declaration.  Based on the HHS declaration under the PREP Act authorizing “qualified Certified Technicians” issued in October of 2020, pharmacy technicians have shown the benefits of allowing pharmacy technicians to administer vaccinations.  South Dakota embraced the PREP Act by allowing their pharmacy technicians, under the supervision of their Pharmacist-In-Charge, to administer vaccinations.  South Dakota is currently reviewing to move the allowances in the PREP Act to become a daily function by state laws and rules.

South Dakota updated the pharmacist/technician ratio to support the ability of pharmacy technicians to administer vaccinations.

South Dakota Board of Pharmacy has baseline requirements and a path of expectation for the pharmacy technician to be certified within two years of initial registration.  Currently the SDBOP does not identify areas of expanded roles/advanced practice of pharmacy technicians.

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