Changes to Ohio Pharmacy Laws Bring New Requirements for Pharmacy Technicians

April 20, 2017
Legal Update

On April 6, 2017, Ohio Senate Bill 319 repealed R.C. 4729.42, which controlled Ohio’s process for qualifying pharmacy technicians. S.B. 319 will enact a series of new statutes establishing a tiered system of Registered and Certified Pharmacy Technicians, changing both the requirements for practice as a pharmacy technician, and the permitted scope of a technician’s work. Pharmacies in Ohio should be aware of these changes to Ohio law, not only for the hiring of new pharmacy technicians, but also to ensure compliance for all currently-employed technicians who will all be required to register.

Under the new statutory regime, a pharmacy technician may either be registered or certified. A Registered Pharmacy Technician must be 18 years old, have a high school diploma or equivalence, pass a criminal background check, be of good moral character, and file a statement from the employing pharmacy’s Responsible Person (Pharmacist in-Charge) that the technician has completed an education and training regimen approved by the Board of Pharmacy.

If a person has been employed as a pharmacy technician since before April 8, 2009, despite not having a high school equivalence, they may nevertheless register as a registered pharmacy technician.

If a pharmacy technician has had a criminal background check performed within the last two years, then, until April 6, 2019, they may request the Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation make that background check available to the Board, rather than requesting a new background check. After April 6, 2019, a pharmacy technician will have to obtain a new background check as part of the registration process.

Until April 6, 2019, in lieu of obtaining Board Approval of the training program, the Responsible Person may certify that the training provided to the pharmacy technician is of appropriate breadth and depth. Such programs must cover packaging and labeling of drugs, quality control, basic drug information, basic calculations, pharmacy terminology, and a survey of State and Federal laws concerning pharmacy technicians. We anticipate that the Board of Pharmacy will soon promulgate regulations detailing the approval process for training and education programs.

To register as a Certified Pharmacy Technician, the technician must comply with all of the above, as well as obtain and maintain a certification from a program recognized by the Board of Pharmacy. We anticipate that the Board of Pharmacy will soon promulgate regulations detailing the approved certification programs. Unlike Registered Pharmacy Technicians, Certified Pharmacy Technicians must have their high school equivalency, without exception.

While the Board of Pharmacy will likely develop the statutory framework further as it promulgates its regulations, at present, the Statute restricts the sterile compounding of drugs and the accepting or requesting of refill authorizations for dangerous drugs to Certified Pharmacy Technicians only.

We will continue to monitor the developments from the Ohio Board of Pharmacy during the implementation of this new regime. For more information on S.B. 319, and how it may affect your business, please do not hesitate to contact Greg Mitchell, Ellis Wilder or Jay Holley in Frost Brown Todd’s Insurance Industry Group.

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