Pharmacy Technician Legislation

In September 2018, the NYS Education Department (NYSED) started to no longer recognize long-standing guidance and practice regarding the use of pharmacy technicians in sterile and non-sterile admixture (e.g. compounding). Their interpretation of the regulation was based on a plain language reading, which state that unlicensed persons cannot “measure, weigh, compound or mix ingredients”. This caused a crisis for many of our members, including having to remove technicians from sterile compounding and replacing them with pharmacists.

NYSCHP worked with GNYHA, HANYS, 1199 and PTCB to mobilize a coalition response to this crisis and worked with the NYS legislature to get S6517/A8319 passed and signed into law by Governor Cuomo. This law defines the practice of registered pharmacy technicians in hospitals/health-systems. This law will improve medication safety by creating competency and training standards for pharmacy technicians and eliminates the ambiguity of the previous regulatory framework. It will eventual require licensure/registration for technicians who compound in hospitals/health-systems.

The Pharmacy Technician Law goes into effect April 25th, 2021! Please read a quick summary of the law we have made:

  • Creates permanent professional title of Registered Pharmacy Technician
    • Definition and title to exist under the Department of Education and bill defines in statute what a Registered Pharmacy Technician can do, including compounding, which will resolve the ambiguity of previous guidance. Will openly allow pharmacy technicians:
      • “Assist [a] pharmacist, as directed, in compounding, preparing, labeling, or dispensing of drugs used to fill valid prescriptions or medication orders or in compounding, preparing, and labeling in anticipation of a valid prescription or medication order for a patient to be served by the facility…where such tasks require no professional judgment.”
    • Registered Pharmacy Technician will be able to do the above plus what unlicensed persons can currently do (typing labels, entering Rx data, getting drugs from stock, counting dosage units, etc)
  • Requirements for Registered Pharmacy Technician
    • 18 years or older
    • High School Degree or equivalent
    • National certification (NHA, PTCB)
    • Have undergone site-specific training
    • Supervision by a pharmacist and all compounds must be checked by a pharmacist
  • Defines Registered Pharmacy Technician practice solely in Article 28’s (hospitals and health-systems)
    • Community pharmacy technicians would still unlicensed persons for now; cannot “compound
  • Sets new ratio
    • Up to 4 total individuals, of which no more than 2 may be Registered Pharmacy Technicians, can be supervised by pharmacists. Interns excluded

Technician Bill Fact Sheet (2019)

In January 2021, The State Education Department presented draft regulations to the Board of Regents on 1/11/2021, which were enacted. Permanent regulations will be adopted in May, 2021.

**COVID-19** Governor Cuomo released an executive order that creates a temporary license for pharmacy technicians – unrelated to the permanent licensure/registration process the law will make – that will allow them to administer COVID-19 vaccinations under supervision and with the appropriate training, CPR/BLS, etc

Outside References:

Bill Information

PTCB Certification and Registration Page

Emily Jerry Foundation