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History of Pharmacy Technicians

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Pharmacy technicians serve a variety of administrative and customer service roles in pharmacies. In addition, pharmacy technicians assist licensed pharmacists with the preparation of prescription medications.


Numerous experts writing in the late 1960s and early 1970s saw an important role for pharmacy technicians. By taking over a variety of administrative duties, pharmacy technicians would allow licensed pharmacists to focus on the decision-making process of pharmacy.


In the first part of the 20th century, there was no real recognition of pharmacy technicians by the pharmacy profession. However, since the 1970s, several steps have been taken to recognize pharmacy technicians.

The 1970s

In 1975, the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) created training guidelines for hospital pharmacy support personnel. In 1979, the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy launched a hospital pharmacy technician training program.

The 1980s

In 1982, the ASHP created standards for the accreditation of pharmacy technician training programs.

The 1990s and Beyond

In 1995, the ASHP and other groups created the Pharmacy Technicians Certification Board (PTCB). By July 2006, the PTCB had certified more than 250,000 pharmacy technicians.

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