PTSA recently participated in a meeting with technician representatives from across Canada. Representatives from British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island all traveled to Ottawa to collaborate in this national meeting. This was a follow-up from a meeting of Pharmacy Technician stakeholders arranged by Blueprint for Pharmacy that took place in Halifax, Nova Scotia last year. Don Ridley and I made the trip to Ottawa May 5 & 6, and then attended the Canadian Association of Pharmacy Technicians (CAPT) annual conference which was taking place that same weekend.
What’s happening across Canada?
At the meeting everyone shared some of the successes and difficulties technicians are experiencing in our respective provinces. It was interesting to hear that other provinces are experiencing some of the same issues as Alberta.
The consensus was that technicians, all across Canada, are not practicing to their full scope of practice. This is why PTSA, The Alberta College of Pharmacists (ACP), and The Alberta Pharmacists’ Association (RxA) came together last year to create the Scope of Practice Checklist, a useful reference for pharmacies across Alberta.
We heard wages were a concern, and while PTSA is unable to address this issue directly, we encourage you to show the companies you work for the value of hiring and utilizing pharmacy technicians as integral members of the pharmacy team.
PTSA brought forward the need for changes to be made to federal legislation to allow pharmacy technicians to sign for the receiving and destruction of narcotic, controlled and targeted substances. We are happy to report that the other provincial stakeholders agree that this change is necessary and we are planning to coordinate our approach to the federal government on this matter.
All representatives agreed that our profession would be best served if collaboration on a national level continued; a National Pharmacy Technician Advocacy Working Group was formed and terms of reference and mission statement were discussed. In the future we will have more information as the provinces come together working on common goals across our country. The purpose of this group is to promote and advocate for Pharmacy Technicians on a national level, working closely with the provincial advocating bodies.
To Sum it Up
What a wonderful opportunity to meet leaders in the Pharmacy Technician profession from across Canada. Leaders who are like minded and want the best for OUR profession; although from different backgrounds and work settings, we all had a common goal and are excited about the possibilities as technician regulation nears its end.