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CPhT Connection - April May 2016

by PTCB | May 24, 2016


PTCB Executive Director & CEO Everett McAllister and CPhTs Look at Changing Technican Roles 
recent article in Drug Topics features PTCB Executive Director & CEO Everett McAllister, MPA, RPh, and others discussing the varying and important roles of CPhTs and the push for more uniform rules across states.
REMINDER: Recertify On Time
If your certification expires on June 30, your Application Window opened on May 1 and your Application Deadline is June 1. Be sure to complete your CE and apply by Midnight ET on June 1 to avoid a $25 Late Application Fee in addition to the standard $40 recertification fee. If your certification expires on May 31, be sure to apply by Midnight ET on May 31 to keep your certification active. A $25 late fee is charged for applicants with a May 31 expiration date who apply after May 1. If your expiration date is July 31, you will be able to submit your application beginning on June 1 when your Application Window opens. Read more.

Not Sure of Your Certification Date?
PTCB's new recertification schedule means your certification expiration date may have changed. It’s easy to quickly view your certification expiration date on PTCB's website.

IMPORTANT: Watch Your Inbox for PTCB's Job Analysis Study Survey - Earn 1 CE Hour
Soon all active PTCB CPhTs will receive an email from PTCB about the upcoming PTCB Job Analysis Study of the pharmacy technician occupation. This study collects data on the tasks, knowledge, and skills of pharmacy technicians in every state and practice setting. The study will analyze the requirements of the occupation, and will be used to develop content for the next update of PTCB's Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination (PTCE). CPhTs certified with PTCB will be eligible to earn 1 CE credit hour by completing the survey according to instructions. We encourage PTCB CPhTs to take time to respond and be part of this important study.

You Ask. We Answer. CE Requirements - What You Need To Know 
We are receiving a number of questions on changes in CE requirements, so here's a refresher:

Your Question: What do I need to know about PTCB’s ‘technician-specific’ (T-specific) CE requirement?
PTCB’s  Answer:  All recertification and reinstatement candidates eligible to renew in 2015 and beyond are required to submit pharmacy technician-specific CE for hours earned on or after January 1, 2015. For recertification, 20 hours of technician-specific CE must be completed, including 1 hour in pharmacy law and 1 in patient safety. For reinstatement, 20 hours of technician-specific CE is required, including 2 hours in pharmacy law and 1 in patient safety. PTCB has determined that all CE programs offered by Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE)-accredited providers with the target audience designator ‘T’ satisfy the requirement for technician-specific subject matter. PTCB will not accept any CE hours earned after January 1, 2015 with the target audience designation ‘P’ (pharmacist-specific). If you have already earned CE that is P-specific, PTCB recommends checking with your CE provider to see if they offer an equivalent course with a ‘T’ designation. (Please note that PTCB will accept CE programs from non-accredited providers if PTCB determines the program’s objectives are technician-specific and assess or sustain the competency critical to pharmacy technician practice as stated in PTCB’s Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination Blueprint.)

Your Question: What else do I need to know about CE requirement changes?
PTCB’s Answer: PTCB has made the following changes in two other requirements:
1) In-Service Hours: Beginning in 2015, the maximum number of CE hours that can be earned through certain in-service projects and training has been reduced from 10 to 5. Recertification applications submitted in 2015 and later may only include 5 CE hours earned through in-service projects and training, even if the in-service hours were earned before January 1, 2015. Note that in-service hours are optional, not mandatory. Credit will only be granted for the completion of in-service training that is outside of regular work responsibilities; specific requirements are outlined in the Universal Continuing Education Form.
2) College Credits: Beginning in 2016, the maximum number of CE hours that can be earned through college credits has be reduced from 15 to 10. Recertification applications submitted in 2016 and beyond will be limited to inclusion of 10 CE hours earned through college credits, even if the college credits were earned prior to January 1, 2016. Please note that college credits are optional, not mandatory.
PTCB Likes You Too! PTCB Likes on Facebook Exceed 80,000
Social media is a key platform for CPhTs and the PTCB community to engage in dialogue and share news. PTCB’s total likes exceeded 80,000 on Facebook in early May. Our Twitter followers have grown to 3,162. There are 23,730 members of PTCB's LinkedIn Group, and 1,438 followers of PTCB's LinkedIn Company Page. PTCB recently established an Instagram account. Join the conversation and stay engaged! 


PTCB does not recommend or endorse specific educational or CE courses or materials for pharmacy technicians; however, PTCB does share examples of CE resources for informational purposes only. Resources shared are in no way authored, supported, sponsored, owned, or endorsed by PTCB. 

CE Subscription Service Offered by
Earn your T-specific recertification CE using the method that works best for you with Purchase a subscription to receive unlimited access for a year to more than 40 topics. Topics are presented in multiple formats, including on-demand activities, CE monographs, and podcasts. Plus, live CE webinars on new topics are available. Learn more.

Now Available: Online Webinar Taught by Hannah Peabody, 2014 CPhT of the Year
The CE course, Patient Assistance - Technicians Impacting Access to Care, is now available in an online webinar format. This webinar, taught by Hannah Peabody, PTCB 2014 CPhT of the Year, explores ways to secure financial support to assist patients. Note that this course (in the Professional Practice category) requires a subscription.


Improving Empathy By Educating Pharmacy Technicians
Educating pharmacy technicians about common disease states allows them to feel more empathy for patients; and disease state education can also boost technicians’ confidence and prepare them for expanded roles, according to Joey Sweeney, PharmD, BCPS. Read the full story.

Iowa Telepharmacy Bill Becomes Law
On April 21, Iowa Governor Terry Branstad signed into law a bill that makes it easier for rural towns to set up telepharmacies, venues where technicians are on site to interact with patients while pharmacists are working elsewhere. In telepharmacies, a video screen is typically set up at a brick-and-mortar pharmacy that allows customers to talk with pharmacists remotely. Pharmacists are able to explain how to take medications and address customer questions while on-site certified pharmacy technicians fill prescriptions and interact face-to-face with patients. The new law allows state pharmacy regulators to routinely approve telepharmacies instead of handling them as limited pilot projects.

CDC Issues New Recommendations for Prescribing Opioid Medications
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued new recommendations for prescribing opioid medications for chronic pain, excluding cancer, palliative, and end-of-life care. The CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain is designed to help primary care providers ensure the safest and most effective treatment for their patients. The US is currently experiencing an epidemic of prescription opioid overdose. Increased prescribing and sales of opioids—a quadrupling since 1999— helped create and fuel this epidemic. “More than 40 Americans die each day from prescription opioid overdoses, we must act now,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, MD, MPH. “Overprescribing opioids, largely for chronic pain, is a key driver of America’s drug-overdose epidemic. The guideline will give physicians and patients the information they need to make more informed decisions about treatment."

More Than 40 States Are Now Members of PMP Interconnect
Alabama, the District of Columbia, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania have joined 38 other states by executing a memorandum of understanding with the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) to participate in NABP PMP InterConnect®. These states/jurisdictions will be working toward a live connection with other states in the coming months. NABP staff highlighted the importance of state prescription monitoring services (PMPs) in the fight against prescription drug abuse in a recent interview with NPR. PMP InterConnect is designed to provide a highly secure communications exchange platform that facilitates the transmission of PMP data across state lines to authorized requestors, while ensuring that each state’s data-access rules are enforced. Read more.  


Come Talk to Us
Come see us on the road! PTCB is working with CPhTs, educators, employers, boards of pharmacy, and state/national organizations as we approach the implementation date for the 2020 Initiative when PTCB’s initial certification requirements will change. Beginning in 2020, CPhTs applying to become certified for the first time will be required to complete an education program accredited by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists and the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ASHP/ACPE). PTCB announced the changes in February 2013. We continue to gather feedback from technicians and stakeholders across the country during our time on the road. You are invited to stop by our exhibit location to share your comments.

Coming Up 

May 25-26: PTCB will exhibit at the Louisiana Society of Health-System Pharmacists Annual Meeting in New Orleans, LA.
June 11-12: PTCB will attend the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists Summer Meeting and Exposition in Baltimore, MD.
June 16-19: PTCB will exhibit at the Georgia Pharmacy Convention in Hilton Head, SC.
June 18-22: PTCB will exhibit at the Mississippi Pharmacists Annual Convention and Trade Show in Sandestin, FL.
June 23-25: PTCB will exhibit at the Pharmacists Society of the State of New York Convention in Rye Brook, NY.
July 7-9: PTCB will exhibit and present at the American Association of Pharmacy Technicians Convention in Omaha, NE.
July 9-12: PTCB will exhibit at the American School Counselor Association Annual Convention in New Orleans, LA.
July 14-16: PTCB will exhibit at the Pharmacy Technician Educators Council Conference in Charlotte, NC.
July 15-16: PTCB will exhibit at the Nebraska Pharmacists Association Annual Convention in Lincoln, NE.
July 15-17: PTCB will exhibit at the Texas Pharmacists Association Conference and Expo in Austin, TX.
PTCB Was There
April 14-16: PTCB exhibited at the Utah Pharmacy Association Convention in St. George, UT.
April 19-22: PTCB attended the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy Annual Meeting in San Francisco, CA. 
April 23-24: PTCB exhibited at the Hawaii Pharmacists Association Annual Meeting in Honolulu, HI.
April 22-24: PTCB exhibited at the Texas Society of Health-System Pharmacists Annual Seminar in Frisco, TX.
April 29-May 1: PTCB attended the New York State Council of Health-System Pharmacists Annual Assembly in Saratoga Springs, NY.
May 14-17: PTCB exhibited and presented at the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy Annual Meeting in San Diego, CA.

Do you know your certification expiration date? Check here to see if it has changed

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