Kansas News: Pharmacy Technician Ratio

Topics: Pharmacy technicians

Published in the March 2006 Kansas State Board of Pharmacy Newsletter

During the 2004 Legislative Session, the Board was authorized by statute to adopt regulations setting the pharmacist to pharmacy technician ratio. The Board has studied this issue at length and adopted a regulation setting the ratio at 2:1. The Board reviewed expanding the ratio further to coincide with additional training of technicians because there appeared to be majority support for a change of 3:1. It is clear that prescription volumes are rising and pharmacists are being asked to interact meaningfully with the patient and provide increasing amounts of pharmacy patient care services. The Board believes that safety and quality of care for patients would not be compromised with proper management and organization used in conjunction with evolving technologies.
The Board agreed that the ratio could be raised so long as there were improved competencies of technicians since everyone involved will have greater responsibility. Therefore, the Board agreed to amend the regulation permitting a 3:1 ratio so long as two of the three technicians have been nationally certified by a vendor that has been approved by the Board. Vendors such as the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board and the International Academy of Compounding Pharmacists would have an opportunity to come before the Board and have their programs approved. Technicians would then have some choice in which examination they would take. The Board further determined that a legislative change should be sought that required a super majority vote of the Board before the ratio could be changed in the future. Since there are six board members a super majority would require five affirmative votes before a change could be made.