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Pharmacy Technicians Assist Pharmacy Teams in Development of Drug Shortage Protocols
Date:5/26/2011

WASHINGTON, May 26, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Hospital and health-system pharmacies continue to develop proactive strategies to manage drug shortages and promote patient safety with the support of Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) Certified Pharmacy Technicians (CPhTs).

Manufacturing issues, including shortages in raw materials and packaging supplies, product discontinuation, limited manufacturing capacity, and pharmaceutical industry consolidation, have led to a significant increase in drug shortages over the last five years. To avoid compromising patient care associated with shortages, hospital and health-system pharmacies have developed proactive strategies to streamline inventory maintenance and utilize key staff, including CPhTs, in pharmacy operations.  

As part of the supply chain team, many health-system pharmacies utilize CPhTs as the pharmacy purchaser or buyer. In this capacity, CPhTs play a crucial role in assisting the pharmacy team with procurement of medications and managing inventory.  

"Pharmacy technicians are instrumental in managing inventory and communicating department needs to supervisors," said Erin Fox, PharmD, Manager, Drug Information Services, University of Utah Hospitals and Clinics. "By working cooperatively within the pharmacy team, they allow the department to better optimize daily workflow output and reprioritize medication distribution activities as patients' needs change."

Health-system pharmacies may better manage drug shortages by effectively utilizing available technology.  Automation has evolved to expand distribution system capabilities and improve safety and efficiency in distribution. Automation pharmacy technicians, responsible for the management of automated dispensing devices such as robots or automated dispensing cabinets, assist with implementation, maintenance, and optimization of these technologies and may be called upon to assist with drug shortage responsibilitie
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SOURCE Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB)
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