What is PTCB?

PTCB stands for “Pharmacy Technician Certification Board.” It is a private national organization which provides certification to qualified pharmacy technicians. Their goal is to promote more effective pharmacy technicians and ensure safe patient care to pharmacy customers.

PTCB History

The PTCB was established in 1995 through the joint efforts of four pharmacy entities: the American Pharmacists Association, the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, the Illinois Council of Health-System Pharmacists and the Michigan Pharmacists Association.In 2002, they were joined by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy.

In 2006, the PTCB was granted accreditation by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA). The program earned this status by demonstrating compliance with the NCCA Standards for the Accreditation of Certification Programs.

In 2007 the death of 2-year old Emily Jerry sparked support for the PTCB. Emily died in a hospital after being given an IV which had been prepared incorrectly. The pharmacy technician who had prepared the IV solution was not certified, and the pharmacist failed to catch the mistake. This incident caused Representative Steven LaTourette, a Republican from Ohio to propose Emily’s Act.

This act calls for standardized training and certification for all pharmacy technicians and allows them to be held responsible for their professional actions. To date, Emily’s Act has not been adopted by all states, and it has not been passed nationally.

PTCB headquarters are in Washington, DC. Since their inception, they have certified over 300,000 pharmacy technicians in the United States.

Purpose of PTCB

ptcb purposeThe purpose of the PTCB is to advocate for the improvement of pharmacy technician standards. One of their main goals is to achieve standard training guidelines in all 50 states. Currently, they offer pharmacy technician training, testing and certification in all states, but only 19 states require certification in order to work as a pharmacy technician.

According to their website, www.ptcb.org, their mission statement is (quote):

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“PTCB develops, maintains, promotes, and administers a nationally accredited certification and recertification program for pharmacy technicians to enable the most effective support of pharmacists to advance patient safety.”

Functions of the PTCB

The PTCB is most well known for their role in developing and administering the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE). Passing this exam allows the pharmacy technician to carry the status of Certified Pharmacy Technician (CphT). This status signals to pharmacy employers that the technician is knowledgeable and competent in their field.

The PTCB also develops training programs for pharmacy technicians. These training programs are implemented by many pharmacies to prepare technicians for passing the PTCE. Some national pharmacies that participate in PTCB training programs include Walgreens, CVS, Eckerd’s, and Rite Aid.

Another function of the PTCB is to work with state boards ofpharmacy to develop anduniform standards forpharmacy technicians. This means working to get standardized training programs and certification or licensing requirements in place. They also lobby congress in an effort to pass laws regarding the standardization of national pharmacy technician requirements. Their purpose is protecting publichealth by ensuring that pharmacy technicians are well trained and competent for working in a public health setting.

PTCB certified pharmacy technicians are required to renew their certification every two years. They are also required to perform 20 hours of continuing education each two-year period to qualify for recertification. The PTCB offers continuing education courses which are available to pharmacy technician employers, schools, and on their website.


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