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Pharmacy practice

Technicians will be managing pharmacies to free up pharmacists, suggests chief pharmaceutical officer

Pharmacy technicians will manage community pharmacies in order to free pharmacists’ time, hinted Keith Ridge. However, the training of technicians still needs reform, noted Scotland’s chief pharmaceutical officer Rose Marie Parr (pictured).

Source: Simon Wright / The Pharmaceutical Journal

Rose Marie Parr, Scotland’s chief pharmaceutical officer, says the training of technicians still needs reform, while her England counterpart Keith Ridge mulls a wider role for them

It is only a matter of time before pharmacy technicians will manage community pharmacies in order to free pharmacists’ time for clinical activities, hinted England’s chief pharmaceutical officer Keith Ridge.

His comments were made at a pharmacy education conference, organised by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC), on 10 November 2015 in London, in response to a question about improving pharmacy technician training from Jane Dreaper, BBC health correspondent, who was chairing the event. 

As part of his answer, which touched on the debate around whether a pharmacist must always be present in a pharmacy, Ridge suggested: “If we are to see clinical pharmacists in community working elsewhere… I can see that there will be a situation where pharmacy technicians are effectively managing a pharmacy.

“There are all sorts of possibilities… for example, whether there is a need for an annotation on the [GPhC] register to ‘even out’ [pharmacy technicians’] current range of experience,” he added.

However, the training of technicians still needs reform, Rose Marie Parr, Scotland’s chief pharmaceutical officer noted.

“The education and training of technicians is archaic,” she explained. “I think it needs to change radically to allow technicians to take forward their ambitions.” She also said she believes pharmacy technicians need to be given more support in the workplace.

Separately, Duncan Rudkin, chief executive of the GPhC, reflected: “[It was] quite shocking for me to sit in a room this afternoon with colleagues who had absolutely no idea what pharmacy technicians did, in some cases.”

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2015.20200078

Readers' comments (4)

  • 15 years ago I had a technician who operationally ran my dispensary, her title was 'Dispensary Manager' and good at it she was too!

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  • Music to my ears like nearly everything our new chief Pharmaceutical officer says! One great technician in particular made me the pharmacist I am today. For that I am grateful and firmly believe that pharmacy technicians deserve this opportunity.

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  • While technicians and accuracy checking technicians are taking up roles previously occupied by pharmacists in order to free up time for the same pharmacists to undertake services that do not exist, can some explain why we are churning out some 3000 qualified pharmacist a year? Where exactly are they going to employed?"

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  • Robin Conibere

    Aren't many places doing this already/have been doing this for years?!

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  • Pharmacy technicians will manage community pharmacies in order to free pharmacists’ time, hinted Keith Ridge. However, the training of technicians still needs reform, noted Scotland’s chief pharmaceutical officer Rose Marie Parr (pictured).

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