The role of pharmacy technician is regulated and has developed significantly in recent years.
General practices have started to employ pharmacy technicians to help them with a range of tasks that vary in complexity from preparing the repeat prescriptions to undertaking prescribing audits and helping patients get the best outcomes from taking their medicines.
Pharmacy technicians can become an important member of the practice team and support practices in the following areas:
Ensuring accurate records of medication following discharge from hospital and liaising with patients to help their understanding of any changes
Releasing pharmacist and GP time by resolving medication queries with patients
Acting as a point of contact with community pharmacies where usual medications are out of stock
Looking for equivalent medication alternatives for patients with difficulty swallowing tablets
Advising on cost- effective prescribing choices and avoiding medication waste
Pharmacy technicians may also give advice to patients on stopping smoking, and provide expertise on different treatment options for patients in a specialist area, such as mental health or general practice.
Training to become a pharmacy technician usually takes two years. It combines practical work experience with study, either at college or by distance learning. Courses cover:
actions and uses of medicine pharmacy manufacturing
There is now also a Pharmacy Technician Apprenticeship option available and further information can be found here.
Benefits to patients
Help to increase patient action to support and advise on taking medicines and medicines optimisation.
Work in partnership with patients to ensure they use their medicines effectively.
Provide specialist expertise, where able to demonstrate competence, to address both the public health and social care needs of patients, including lifestyle advice and service information.
Benefits to PCN’s
Supervise practice reception teams in sorting and streaming general prescription requests, so as to allow GPs and clinical pharmacists to review the more clinically complex requests.
Work with the PCN multi-disciplinary team to ensure efficient medicines optimisation, including implementing efficient ordering and return processes and reducing wastage.
Provide training and support on the legal, safe and secure handling of medicines, including the implementation of the Electronic Prescription Service (EPS).
Benefits to the wider NHS
Develop relationships with other pharmacy technicians, pharmacists and members of the multi-disciplinary team to support integration of the pharmacy team across health and social care including primary care, community pharmacy, secondary care and mental health.
Help in tackling local health inequalities.
Support initiatives for antimicrobial stewardship to reduce inappropriate antibiotic prescribing.