Remote Rx: A future pharm tech weighs in

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06/01/2011

Yesterday, I wrote about remote pharmacies, in which prescriptions will be filled by pharmacy techs, with no pharmacist on site.

It just so happens my roommate is studying to be a pharmacy tech, so I ran this scenario by her.

"I wouldn't be comfortable with that," she said. "They double check pill counts and do other stuff."

I think a lot of people would be uncomfortable with that: patients, pharmacists and physicians along with pharmacy techs. Correct me if I am wrong, but doesn't it seem like not having a pharmacist on staff raises the risk for errors?

Becoming a pharmacist takes six to eight years of full-time study. My roommate is enrolled in a 9-month, four day a week course. I guess I'd like to think she'll always have a pharmacist supervising her.

But the argument made, and its a tough one to argue with, is that this can save money for patients (and the health care system). That's if mistakes aren't made in greater rates than they surely happen now. Which seems unlikely.

Given the choice, which pharmacy would you rather visit? I know which one I'd choose.

Theresa Flaherty

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