Pharmacy Practice Faculty Publications


Description of Pharmacy Technician Training Programs in the United States

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Journal of the American Pharmacists Association





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Objective: The objectives of this project were to: (1) describe the current state of pharmacy technician training programs in the United States and (2) compare differences among programs.

Methods: The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) and American Society of Health-Systems Pharmacists (ASHP) websites were searched for accredited or affiliated pharmacy technician programs. An Internet search also was conducted to identify other pharmacy technician programs that were not listed on PTCB or ASHP websites. Once the list of programs were determined, each program's website was examined to gather information on student class size, faculty credentials, coursework components, program length, tuition rates, and admission criteria. If items were unavailable, program directors were contacted. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, χ2, and analysis of variance.

Results: Currently, there are more than 698 pharmacy technician programs operating at 1,114 campuses. Data were available for 698 programs; complete data from 216 were used for analysis. A broad range of faculty taught the pharmacology and pharmacy law courses, with 58.8% of the pharmacology courses taught by a technician alone or included technicians as faculty. Programs that had ASHP accreditation or had accreditation pending required significantly more entrance requirements than unaccredited programs (PP = 0.009). Accreditation had no impact on tuition prices.

Conclusion: This is the first study of its kind to describe and characterize the state of pharmacy technician training. The data indicate relatively little control of technician training by the profession of pharmacy. The current data do not address the quality of these programs in terms of student outcomes; such research still needs to be done. Rigorous debate and discussion is needed about the future of pharmacy technician roles and the training required fitting those roles.


Pharmacy technician training, United States