January 18, 2019
Who Are the Other People at the Pharmacy?

Who Are the Other People at the Pharmacy?

by Jeanine Barone  

Not everyone working at your local pharmacy is a pharmacist. Here are two other types of professionals you’re likely to encounter working under the direction of the pharmacist:

Pharmacy clerk. Often the first person you talk to behind the pharmacy counter is the clerk. This is someone with no formal pharmacy (medication) training. They ring up your prescription and, in some states, help the pharmacist fill the prescriptions and deal with insurance companies. In states that have mandatory counseling for all new prescriptions, the clerk may ask if you would like to talk with the pharmacist about your medicine.

Pharmacy technician. Pharmacy technicians help in the distribution of the drug and in the process of getting the drug ready, packaged, and possibly authorized by the insurance company. Their licensing is state-based. In one-quarter to one-third of states, there is no licensure requirement for pharmacy technicians; other states allow them to take on greater responsibilities and consequently have more extensive licensing requirements. In California, which is one of the most stringent, the pharmacy technician has to register with the state board of pharmacy and receive abackground check and get fingerprinted and have specific pharmacy technician training. Depending on the state, some pharmacy technicians may have an associate’s degree in pharmacy technology or complete a pharmacy technician program that’s accredited by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists.