DeLuca bill geared toward pharmacy technician oversight passes House, heads to state Senate

HARRISBURG, May 16 – On Wednesday, state Rep. Tony Deluca’s legislation, which would create a list of criteria for pharmacy technicians in Pennsylvania, passed the state House in overwhelming fashion.

DeLuca’s measure, House Bill 770, would provide needed oversight for pharmacy technicians, who play a supportive role to licensed pharmacists and play an even larger role in hospitals, where they are asked to perform complex tasks, like mixing chemicals for chemotherapy treatments.

“We’re grateful for the support and assistance provided by pharmacy technicians, but we currently have no oversight in Pennsylvania for a position that has a hand in filling residents’ prescriptions,” said DeLuca, D-Allegheny. “With an increase in prescriptions and a shortage of pharmacists, we need to – at the very least – ensure pharmacy technicians meet the minimal, universal standards, which is what this bill intends to do.”

Under H.B. 770, pharmacy technicians would be required to:

  • Register with the Pennsylvania Board of Pharmacy;
  • Submit to a background check;
  • Be at least 17 years old and have a high school diploma or the equivalent; and
  • Go through a training program approved by the Pharmacy Board.

Pennsylvania currently is one of four states in the U.S. that does not have any required criteria or oversight for pharmacy technicians, DeLuca added.

“Errors cost more than money – they cost lives, too,” DeLuca said. “My bill seeks to diminish the possibility of errors and increase the likelihood of having qualified, trained pharmacy technicians in our pharmacies.”

H.B. 770 now heads to the state Senate.