Tech Bill Passes
SB 203, the Pharmacy Technician legislation was passed by the Ohio House on Tuesday, December 16, and received concurrence in the Senate. The bill is now on its way to the Governors desk for signature. SB 203 will become effective in 90 days or at the end of March 2009. The Board of Pharmacy will take up the task of writing rules in January and February. Keep in mind that many details will be worked out during the writing of the rules, and we will keep a close eye on those rules as they are being developed. The following is a summary of the key points of the new legislation.
"Qualified pharmacy technician" means a person whom, under the direct supervision of a pharmacist, all of the following apply:
- The person is 18 years of age or older
- Possesses a high school diploma or GED
- Passes a criminal records' check (has no felony convictions ) that is submitted to the employer
- Passes a competency exam approved in rule by the Ohio Board of Pharmacy (BOP).
Several caveats to these requirements exist:
- High school students enrolled in a pharmacy technician program offered at a joint vocational school approved by the Ohio Department of Education are excluded from the age requirement, but must pass a competency exam approved in rule by the Ohio Board of Pharmacy within 210 days of graduation.
- People employed as pharmacy technicians on the effective date of the bill who do not possess a high school diploma or GED are "grandfathered."
- New-hires and pharmacy techs employed by an employer for fewer than five years must submit to the criminal records' check.
- Those employed as pharmacy technicians on the effective date of the bill have one year from that date to pass a BOP-approved competency exam (Board will need time to promulgate rules in that regard).
- New-hires will have 210 days from the date of hire to pass a BOP-approved competency exam.
What does SB 203 allow a "qualified pharmacy technician" do?
In a pharmacy or while performing a function of the pharmacy and under the direct supervision of a pharmacist, a qualified pharmacy technician may do any of the following:
a. engage in the compounding of any drugs
b. package or label any medication
c. prepare or mix any intravenous medication to be injected into a human being
- A pharmacy technician who has not yet passed a BOP-approved competency exam to become a qualified pharmacy technician may work in that capacity as long as he/she has completed a training program that meets criteria established in rule by the BOP. (The BOP will state what constitutes an acceptable training program and employer-sponsored training programs will have to meet that criteria.)
- Anyone convicted of violating these provisions or permitting these violations to occur is guilty of a second degree misdemeanor for the first offense, a first degree misdemeanor for the second offense, and a fifth degree felony for the third offense.