With flu season fast approaching, PTCB Certified Pharmacy Technicians (CPhTs) will again play a critical role in immunization efforts at retail pharmacies across the country. For example, last year Walgreens successfully immunized over 7.4 million patients against H1N1 and seasonal influenza with the direct support of PTCB CPhTs. In preparation for the 2010–2011 influenza season, Walgreens healthcare providers in pharmacies across the country are looking to build upon past success to continue to protect the public through efficient immunization practices.
This year, CPhTs will again be needed to provide pharmacists with logistical support, as well as perform greater tasks within their scope of practice to keep operations running smoothly and allow pharmacists more time to work directly with patients.
"We believe PTCB CPhTs enhance the pharmacy team, resulting in higher quality care for patients," said Melissa Murer Corrigan, RPh, Executive Director and CEO of PTCB. "We applaud the influenza campaign efforts of Walgreens and its pharmacist immunizers and appreciate the way they have effectively utilized the skill sets of CPhTs across the country to better connect with the communities and patients they serve."
"Our pharmacists and other certified immunizers are specially trained and well positioned to provide immunizations in communities across the country. PTCB Certified Pharmacy Technicians at Walgreens are essential to maintaining pharmacy operations and making sure the pharmacists have the support to give the immunizations," said Dan Luce, RPh, MBA, Director, Pharmacy Affairs for Walgreens. "The involvement of CPhTs is critical to our campaign's success."
Walgreens employs more than 25,000 certified immunizers including pharmacists, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants. In a recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report, over 12% of Americans reported receiving their immunizations from a pharmacy or drugstore during the 2009–2010 influenza season. The CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends a yearly flu shot for everyone over the age of six months during the 2010–2011 flu season.
PTCB has certified over 380,000 pharmacy technicians since its inception in 1995. Walgreens requires pharmacy technicians in their organization be PTCB certified. In addition, all Walgreens store managers are PTCB certified as an important part of providing affordable, accessible, and quality health care at all its locations. Pharmacy technicians assist pharmacists in dispensing medications and are accountable to the supervising pharmacist who is legally responsible through state licensure for the care and safety of patients served by the pharmacy.
Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB)