State Board of Pharmacy: Pharmacy Technician

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Pharmacy Technician Certification Deadline Approaching Webinar

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Under new state law, pharmacy technicians must obtain a certification from the State Board of Pharmacy (Board) by August 29, 2020. This means pharmacy technicians in Colorado cannot practice on or after August 29, 2020, without certification or a provisional certification from the Board. Governor Jared Polis signed the bill HB19-1242 - Regulate Pharmacy Technicians on June 3, 2019.  

The application is available on the pharmacy technicians' webpage. The fee for a pharmacy technician certification or provisional certification is $57.

The Board held a Rulemaking Hearing on October 3, 2019, and the new rules affecting pharmacy technicians went into effect on November 30, 2019. Certification requirements are located in Rule 29, which is found on page 199 of the new Rules. Pharmacy technicians should apply for certification (provisional or non-provisional certificate) as soon as possible to ensure they can continue practicing on or after August 29, 2020. We encourage all pharmacy technicians to review the new Rules as well as the FAQ on the Board’s website. While this law required certification by March 30, 2020, this certification requirement was temporarily suspended under Emergency Rule 30: Temporary Suspension of State Board of Pharmacy Rules Related to COVID-19.  This suspension is ending on August 28. 2019, which means that pharmacy technicians must obtain a certification from the State Board of Pharmacy in order to practice on or after August 29, 2020.

 If you have questions, please send an e-mail to dora_pharmacyboard@state.co.us.

Bill summary:

On June 3, 2019, Governor Jared Polis signed HB19-1242 Regulate Pharmacy Technicians.

This new law went into effect on October 1, 2019, and requires pharmacy technicians practicing in Colorado on or after March 30, 2020, to obtain a certification or provisional certification from the State Board of Pharmacy (Board). An applicant for certification by the Board must pass a criminal history record check and provide proof of certification by a board-approved, nationally-recognized organization that certifies pharmacy technicians. To allow time to meet the requirements, the Board may grant a one-time provisional certification of up to 18 months to an applicant who has not satisfied certain requirements for certification. The provisional certification may be extended due to hardships. Pharmacy technicians also must meet continuing education requirements before renewing a certification. The new law states that any pharmacy technician on duty must be certified or have a provisional certification. Finally, the law includes a sunset date of September 1, 2021. While this law required certification by March 30, 2020, this certification requirement was temporarily suspended under Emergency Rule 30: Temporary Suspension of State Board of Pharmacy Rules Related to COVID-19.  This suspension is ending on August 28. 2019, which means that pharmacy technicians must obtain a certification from the State Board of Pharmacy in order to practice on or after August 29, 2020.

Stakeholder meetings
The State Board of Pharmacy held stakeholder meetings to collect input regarding the implementation of and rulemaking related to House Bill 19-1242. The purpose of these meetings was, in part, to discuss the addition of Rule 29.00.00 and changes to include pharmacy technicians in Board rules 2.01.50, 2.01.52, 2.01.53, 2.01.56, and 2.01.80.

Listen to the Meeting Held on June 17, 2019
Listen to the Meeting Held on August 28, 2019.

Pharmacy Technician Q&A

What does this bill/law require of pharmacy technicians?

In order to practice on or after August 29, 2020, pharmacy technicians now must obtain a certification or provisional certification from the State Board of Pharmacy.

What is the deadline for obtaining a pharmacy technician certification?

Pharmacy technicians cannot practice on or after August 29, 2020, without certification or a provisional certification from the Board.

When can I start my application to obtain a certification?

The application is now available online. Applicants should begin the process as soon as possible to ensure they obtain certification and can practice on and after August 29, 2020.

I already am certified by a national organization as a pharmacy technician. Do I still need to obtain a certification from the State Board of Pharmacy?

Yes. Certifications from national certifying organizations do not authorize practice in Colorado after August 29, 2020, However, a certification by a national organization is a requirement for obtaining a certification issued by the State Board of Pharmacy.

What is required to obtain a certification from the State Board of Pharmacy?

Applicants must have a certification in good standing as a pharmacy technician from a certifying organization, submit to a criminal background check, and must be able to read and write the English language.

What is a provisional certification?

If an applicant does not hold a certification in good standing as a pharmacy technician from a certifying organization, the Board may issue a provisional certification, during which time the applicant may obtain such certification. Provisional certification is valid for no more than 18-months unless extended by the Board due to hardship.

What are the consequences if someone practices as a pharmacy technician on or after August 29, 2020, without a certification from the State Board of Pharmacy?

A person who practices or offers or attempts to practice as a pharmacy technician without an active certification commits a class 2 misdemeanor for a first offense and a class 6 felony for the second or any subsequent offense. Additionally, the Board of Pharmacy may issue a Cease and Desist Order.

What requirements must a pharmacy technician meet in order to renew a certification from the State Board of Pharmacy?

In order to renew a pharmacy technician certification, a pharmacy technician must present evidence of maintaining active certification with a certifying organization. This includes completing the certifying organization's continuing education requirements.

How much will a certification cost?

The base fee for pharmacy technicians will be $57.

How long will the application process take?

The application process typically takes 30 days. The application is now available online. Applications should begin the process as soon as possible to ensure they obtain certification and can practice on and after August 29, 2020.

Am I required to submit to a criminal history record check?

NO. You are required to attest to having completed a criminal background check. You do not need to submit the results of your background check to the Board. The attestation is part of your application.