Legislative Auditor calls for proposed APTs be tested: Approves registering nuclear techs and pharmacy staff

Meeting at the Capitol January 7, the State’s Legislative Auditor recommended the Joint Committee on Government Organization and Operations not approve the WV Board of Pharmacy’s request to create and register Advanced Practice Pharmacy Technicians (APTs). The Auditor said the Board should first test their proposal in hospitals and institutional pharmacy settings and report the findings back to the Legislature.

The Auditor also recommended the concept of utilizing “Tech-Check-Tech” (TCT) and medication reconciliation be tested in hospitals and institutional settings, and the Board of Pharmacy report the findings to the Legislature within one year.

The Auditor told lawmakers it found nine states with TCT language. Each of these states defines the allowable practice setting, if specialized training is required for individual pharmacy technicians, if a method of quality assurance is in place and if TCT allows for the utilzation of pharmacists in other clinical roles.

In response to other requests by the Board, the Auditor recommended to the Joint Committee that the creation and registration of nuclear pharmacy technicians would reduce the risk of harm to the state and that the current requirements place an undue burden on pharmacy technicians working in nuclear pharmacies.

The Auditor also recommended to the Joint Committee approval of the Board of Pharmacy’s request to register all pharmacy support staff.

In response to the Board’s request to create and register APTs, the Auditor informed the Joint Committee that it found no states that license or register advanced pharmacy technicians separately from pharmacy technicians. However, the Auditor said nine states allow for a similar type of expanded role for some pharmacy technicians.

In disapproving APTs, the Auditor wrote it based its decision on the following criteria: (1) whether the occupation harms or endangers the health, safety and welfare of the public; (2) whether the occupation requires specialized skill or training which is readily measurable or quantifiable; (3) whether the public can be adequately protected by other means in a more cost-effective manner; and (4) whether the occupation should be regulated as proposed in the Board’s application.

Regarding registering all pharmacy support staff, the following initial registration fees and subsequent annual fees will be imposed: Pharmacy Technicians, $25 and $30; Nuclear Pharmacy Technician, $35 and $40; and Support Staff, $15 and $20.