Sunday, June 28, 2015

Reprieve for Pharmacy Technicians in Michigan

In response to concerns about the ability of pharmacies to resolve conflicts with outstanding licensing applications prior to June 30, there has been a reprieve, pending Gov. Snyder's signature, to implementing the new law until October 1, 2015.

The challenge was the overwhelming number of applications, so many that the board could not examine and license the applicants until past the July 1 deadline.   The work-around was challenging to interpret, and there are still questions surrounding technicians long in the field who haven't completed high school.

The following clarification about the dispensing process, also on the heels of more pharmacy inquiries, deal with the definitions of "the dispensing process", "cashiers", and "technicians" :

"To dispense medication means to issue one or more doses of a drug for subsequent administration to, or use by, a patient. The dispensing process for medication begins when medication is placed in an approved container pursuant to a prescription. The dispensing process for medication ends when the container is closed and a label containing the information required by MCL 333.17745(6) is affixed to that container.
"An individual who handles the container after that point does not need to have a pharmacy technician license as long the container is not opened or the label is not changed or replaced; this will include the handling of the container to complete the payment transaction for the prescription."

Now what of pre-packaging?  Unit dosing? Technicians who dutifully licensed at the start of the year, but now are being told to renew by July 1?  There are many challenges to the board and its inspectors with this new set of regulations, and it is of some comfort that now there will be a pharmacy technician sitting on the Michigan Board of Pharmacy.

One significant decision has been made amid all this - when a technician is initially certified to become licensed, the technician no longer has to maintain that certification to keep the license active.  The licensing requirements are more strict than the terms required for re-certification. This is as of June 2015... check with the Michigan LARA website for updates in its FAQ section.

Take a deep breath and HERE WE GO!!!!!

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