Massachusetts Scorecard

Grading Scale:
A – 85-100%, B – 70-84.9%, C – 55-69.9%, D – 40-54.9%, F – 0-39.9%


Grading Categories & Criteria
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Massachusetts Law

I. Laws
Section 24C.
(a) A person who desires to become registered as a pharmacy technician shall, upon payment of a fee as determined annually by the commissioner of administration under the provision of section 3B of chapter 7, apply to the board of registration in pharmacy, herein and in sections 24 to 42A, inclusive, called the board, and be entitled to consideration by the board if such person meets the education, experience and examination requirements as established and adopted by the board.
(b) The board may adopt rules and regulations governing the practice of pharmacy technicians to promote the public health, safety and welfare including, but not limited to, adopting regulations establishing continuing education requirements for license renewal.
(c) The board may, without examination, register as a pharmacy technician any applicant who is duly licensed or registered under the laws of any state or territory of the United States, the District of Columbia or the commonwealth of Puerto Rico, where the requirements for licensure or registration are in the opinion of the board equivalent to those in the commonwealth.
(d) Each pharmacy technician shall register biennially and in the year designated by the board.



II. Regulations
8.02 : Pharmacy Technicians
(1) Requirements for Registration as a Pharmacy Technician.

(a) An applicant for registration as a pharmacy technician must meet the following requirements:

1. be at least 18 years of age;

2. be a high school graduate or the equivalent or currently enrolled in a program which awards such degree or certificate;

3. be of good moral character;

4. not been convicted of a drug related felony or admitted to sufficient facts to warrant such findings;

5. Training/Experience Requirement. An applicant for registration as a pharmacy technician must meet the following training program or experience requirements:

a. have successfully completed a Board-approved pharmacy technician training program, which training program shall include coverage of the topics of job descriptions, pharmacy security, commonly used medical abbreviations, routes of administration, product selection, final check by pharmacists, guidelines for the use of pharmacy technicians, and any other requirements of the Board. Training programs which may be approved by the Board include:

i. a pharmacy technician training program accredited by the American Society of Health System Pharmacists;

ii. a pharmacy technician training program provided by a branch of the United States Armed Services or

iii. a Board-approved pharmacy technician training program which includes a minimum of 240 hours of theoretical and practical instruction; provided a minimum of 120 training hours are in theoretical instruction in a curriculum; or

iv. any other pharmacy technician training course approved by the Board; or

b. have successfully completed a minimum of 500 hours of employment as a pharmacy technician trainee. Documentation of completion of the required 500 hours of experience shall be attested to by the applicant under the pains and penalties of perjury and witnessed by the employer; and

6. Examination Requirement. An applicant for registration as a pharmacy technician must achieve a Board-approved passing score on either:

a. a Board-approved pharmacy technician assessment examination administered by the employer or the employer’s agent. The examination must cover the following knowledge based areas:

i. practice settings;

ii. duties and responsibilities of a pharmacy technician in relationship to other pharmacy personnel;

iii. laws and regulations regarding the practice of pharmacy and patient confidentiality; medical abbreviations and symbols; common dosage calculations; and

vi. identification of drugs, dosages, routes of administration, and storage requirements; or

b. a Board-approved national technician certification examination.

(b) GRANDPARENT PROVISION FOR EXPERIENCE PRIOR TO JULY 1, 2002 ONLY-Application Expiration Date of July 1, 2003 for Experience Prior to July 1, 2002. An applicant for registration as a pharmacy technician based on at least 500 hours of employment as a pharmacy technician prior to July 1, 2002 shall be required to:

1. apply to the Board for registration prior to July 1, 2003. Documentation of completion of the required 500 hours of experience must be attested to by the applicant under the pains and penalties of perjury and witnessed by the employer; and

2. meet the examination requirements of 247 CMR 8.02(1)(a)6. prior to July 1, 2003. Documentation of satisfaction of the examination requirements of 247 CMR8.02

(1)(a)6. must be provided with the application for technician registration.

(2) Reciprocity Registration. A pharmacy technician currently registered and in good standing in another state may be registered by the Board; provided the requirements for registration in the state of original and current registration are equivalent to the requirements of the Board.

(3) Pharmacy Technician Duties and Responsibilities.

(a) A pharmacy technician shall wear a name tag which indicates the individual’s name and the title “Pharmacy Technician”.

(b) A pharmacy technician may relay to the patient or responsible person the pharmacist’s “offer to counsel”, as referenced in M.G.L. c. 94C, § 21A and 247 CMR 9.07(3).

(c) With the approval of the pharmacist on duty, a pharmacy technician may request and accept authorizations for refills from the prescriber or prescriber’s agent provided that no information has changed from the previous prescription.

(d) A pharmacy technician may not administer controlled substances; perform drug utilization review; conduct clinical conflict resolution; contact prescribers concerning drug order clarification or therapy modification; provide patient counseling; perform dispensing process validation; receive new prescription drug orders; or conduct prescription transfers.

8.03: Pharmacy Technician Trainees

(1) A pharmacy technician trainee must meet the following requirements:

(a) be at least 16 years of age;

(b) be a high school graduate or the equivalent or currently enrolled in a program which awards such degree;

(c) be of good moral character; and

(d) not been convicted of a drug related felony or admitted to sufficient facts to warrant such findings.

(2) Pharmacy Technician Trainee Duties and Responsibilities.

(a) A pharmacy technician trainee shall wear a name tag with the individual’s name and the title “Pharmacy Technician Trainee”.

(b) Except as set forth below, a pharmacy technician trainee may be authorized to perform the duties of a pharmacy technician while receiving the training and supervision required by 247 CMR 8.02(1)(a)5. and acting under the direct supervision of a pharmacist.

(c) A pharmacy technician trainee is not authorized to take prescriptions over the telephone.

(3) Limitation on Period of Employment as a Pharmacy Technician Trainee.
An individual may act and be designated as a pharmacy technician trainee for not more than 1000 hours, unless an extension is granted by the Board. Pharmacy technician trainees under the age of 18 are not subject to the 1000 hour limitation.

8.04: Certified Pharmacy Technicians

(1) Qualifications.

(a) A pharmacy technician currently:

1. registered by the Board; and

2. certified by a Board-approved certifying body may perform the duties as authorized to be performed by a certified pharmacy technician in 247 CMR 8.04(2).

(b) At any time that certification lapses, the certified pharmacy technician:

1. is limited to performing the functions of a pharmacy technician;

2. must use the title “pharmacy technician” and be limited to performing the duties authorized to be performed by pharmacy technicians, as set forth in 247 CMR 8.02; and

3. must be counted as a “pharmacy technician” in calculating supervisory ratios, as set forth in 247 CMR 8.06(3).

(2) Certified Pharmacy Technician Duties and Responsibilities.

(a) A pharmacy technician eligible to function as a certified pharmacy technician shall wear a name tag with the individual’s name and the title “Certified Pharmacy Technician”.

(b) A certified pharmacy technician may relay to the patient or responsible person the pharmacist’s “offer to counsel”, as referenced in M.G.L. c. 94C, § 21A and 247 CMR 9.07(3).

(c) A certified pharmacy technician, after identifying him/herself as such, may request refill authorizations from the prescriber or prescriber’s agent and, with the approval of the pharmacist on duty, receive new or omitted prescription information from the prescriber or agent, except where otherwise prohibited by federal or state law and regulations.

(d) A certified pharmacy technician may, with the approval of the pharmacist on duty, perform prescription transfers between pharmacies or pharmacy departments for prescriptions issued for controlled substances in Schedule VI only, any such transfer to be in accordance with the requirements of 247 CMR 9.02.

(e) A certified pharmacy technician may not administer controlled substances; perform drug utilization review; conduct clinical conflict resolution; contact prescribers concerning prescription drug order clarification or therapy modification; provide patient counseling; or perform dispensing process validation.

(3) Supervisory Ratios.

(a) A pharmacist utilizing pharmacy interns, certified pharmacy technicians, pharmacy technicians, and pharmacy technician trainees to assist in filling prescriptions may utilize such support personnel in accordance with the following ratio requirements:

1. 1:4 One pharmacist for a maximum of four support personnel; provided:

i. at least one of the four support personnel is a certified pharmacy technician and one is a pharmacy intern; or

ii. at least two of the support personnel are certified pharmacy technicians.

2. 1:3 One pharmacist for a maximum of three support personnel; provided at least one of the three support personnel is a pharmacy intern or a certified pharmacy technician.

(b) Sales clerks, messengers, delivery personnel, secretaries and any other persons who do not fall within the definitions of a pharmacy intern, certified pharmacy technician, pharmacy technician or pharmacy technician trainee shall not be included for purposes of determining the ratios set forth in 247 CMR 8.06(3) as long as such persons are not supporting the pharmacist in any professional capacity.

8.07: Registration and Renewal Procedures; General Requirements

(1) Application for Registration. Upon meeting the requirements for registration as a pharmacy technician, an applicant may apply for registration on forms provided by the Board.

(2) Renewal of Registration.

(a) Pharmacy technician registrations expire every two years on the birth date of the registrant.

(b) A pharmacy technician registration must be timely renewed to continue practice as a pharmacy technician. Any practice as a pharmacy technician after the expiration date of a pharmacy technician registration shall constitute unlicensed practice as a pharmacy technician subjecting the individual to any and all penalties established for unlicensed practice.

(c) A pharmacy technician whose registration has lapsed may renew such registration upon filing of a renewal application and payment of an annual license, applicable back fees, and a late fee, as established by the Commissioner of Administration and Finance, pursuant to M.G.L. c. 7, § 3B.

(d) A pharmacy technician whose registration has lapsed for more than two years may be required to meet other conditions as determined by the Board as a prerequisite to registration renewal.

References

Massachusetts Law
http://www.malegislature.gov/Laws/GeneralLaws/PartI/TitleXVI/Chapter112/Section24C

Code of Massachusetts Regulations title 247
http://www.lawlib.state.ma.us/source/mass/cmr/cmrtext/247CMR8.pdf

The data contained in this 2012 Annual Scorecard are accurate as of December 2012 .  Because statutes and regulations are continually revised, the data are subject to change.  These data have been verified with the state board of pharmacy.  This scorecard is updated on an annual basis in order to incorporate statutory and regulatory changes.  A new scorecard will be issued in July 2013.

Scoring rationale for Education and Training:
In order to protect the public and help ensure patient safety, it is important that pharmacy technicians are properly educated and trained.  The most rigorous training is accredited training.  The sole entity empowered to accredit pharmacy-technician training programs is the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP).  Please note that this is “programmatic accreditation” – not “institutional accreditation.”  It is the content of the training program – as measured against established standards – that is being evaluated and accredited.  Accredited training is vital to protecting patient safety because it means that a pharmacy-technician training program has met established quality standards to provide assurance and confidence to the public.  For more information, please see http://www.ashp.org/menu/Accreditation/TechnicianAccreditation.aspx.

Scoring rationale for Certification:
Certification is the process by which a nongovernmental agency or association grants recognition to an individual who has met certain predetermined qualifications specified by that agency or association.  This is often determined by an examination process.  Numerous organizations have recommended that the certification exam conducted by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) should be recognized as the sole, nationally-accredited certification exam for pharmacy technician certification – including the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP), the Texas State Board of Pharmacy (TSBP), and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). In a recent report, NABP recommended that states be encouraged to “recognize certification by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB).” Moreover, NABP performed a psychometric audit of the PTCB’s pharmacy technician certification examination (PTCE) in 2001 and determined that the PTCE is psychometrically sound, defensible, and valid. In May 2010, the TSBP awarded the PTCB with the Pharmacy Technician Certification Provider contract in Texas. PTCB was selected for the contract after a rigorous bidding and evaluation process that included formal reviews and evaluations from three independent psychometricians. TSBP confidently recognizes PTCB as the single provider of certification examinations for pharmacy technicians. In addition, in June 2010, the VA began requiring PTCB certification for VA pharmacy technicians employed at grade GS-6 and above.

Scoring rationale for Registration/Licensure:
Registration/licensure is the process by which the state maintains a list of all pharmacy technicians in the state and grants permission for an individual to work as a pharmacy technician in the state based on the applicant’s completion of all pre-requisites to registration/licensure – such as required training and certification.

Scoring rationale for Continuing Education:
Continuing education enables pharmacy technicians to fulfill their professional responsibility to maintain competence and up-to-date knowledge and skills in an environment of technological advances and increasingly complex, new medications and therapies.


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