Statement from Melissa Murer Corrigan, RPh, Executive Director and CEO of Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB)

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The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) is pleased to support the Ohio Legislature for passing the "Emily's Law" measure into law on December 16, requiring a competency test and background check for pharmacy technicians in the state. The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) and PTCB will serve as resources to Ohio and any state board of pharmacy to implement a law that has strong safeguards and standards for consumer safety.

The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) is pleased to support the Ohio Legislature for passing the "Emily's Law" measure into law on December 16, requiring a competency test and background check for pharmacy technicians in the state. The story of Emily Jerry's tragic death from receiving the wrong IV solution demonstrates that errors in pharmacy can have dire consequences. This critical patient safety legislation passed with significant input from the Ohio Pharmacists Association (OPA) and the Ohio Society of Health-System Pharmacists (OSHP). In addition to efforts in Ohio, pharmacy associations across the country are invested in the protection of the public. The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) and PTCB will serve as resources to Ohio and any state board of pharmacy to implement a law that has strong safeguards and standards for consumer safety.

Pharmacy technicians play a critical role in ensuring patient safety - technicians prepare and dispense medications and maintain related records for patients in a hospital or community setting under the supervision of a pharmacist. Safe medication-use-systems require the support of well-qualified and competent pharmacy technicians. The pharmacy technician is accountable to the supervising pharmacist who is legally responsible through state licensure for the care and safety of patients served by the pharmacy. PTCB is the only certification currently available that has received high marks in an evaluation by the NABP and is endorsed by the American Pharmacists Association (APhA), the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP), NABP, and other professional pharmacy organizations. PTCB has certified over 320,000 technicians since 1995 with the goal of ensuring that pharmacy technicians are able to work more effectively with pharmacists to offer better patient care and service and prevent medication errors.

Studies show without a doubt that Americans expect consistent standards for competence of pharmacy technicians. Last year, a poll commissioned by PTCB showed that American consumers - in fact, 91% of those surveyed - support strong regulations across the country to protect patient safety by requiring that pharmacy technicians be trained and certified. In fact, the study showed that the majority believe such protections already exist - only 13% of Americans polled correctly recognized that there are no nationwide requirements for the training and certification of pharmacy technicians.

In addition to Ohio, states such as Florida and Illinois have recently enacted regulations for pharmacy technicians to protect the public. PTCB believes that patients expect and deserve a high standard of safety when it comes to how their prescription medications are dispensed and consistent requirements for pharmacy technician certification in every state is an important first step towards meeting those standards.

About the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB)

PTCB was established in January 1995 and is governed by five pharmacy organizations - the American Pharmacists Association (APhA), the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP), the Illinois Council of Health-System Pharmacists (ICHP), the Michigan Pharmacists Association (MPA) and the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP). The goal of the PTCB national certification program is to enable pharmacy technicians to work more effectively with pharmacists to offer safe and effective patient care and service. PTCB contracts with Pearson VUE, the industry's technology leader, as its computer-based testing vendor. PTCB draws upon the experience and expertise of its 13-year partner, Professional Examination Service (PES) for test development.

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Claire Sheahan

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