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

Rosie Marie Parr Scottish chief pharmaceutical officer

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.”

Last updated
The Pharmaceutical Journal, PJ, November 2015, Vol 295, No 7883;295(7883):DOI:10.1211/PJ.2015.20200078

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