Texas State Board of Pharmacy Requirements

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In addition to playing an integral role in the health of Texas patients, professionals in the pharmacy industry enjoy the flexibility of being able to choose a variety of specializations in pharmacy including medical specializations such as infectious diseases, oncology, and cardiology. Moreover, pharmaceutical professionals play a vital role in a variety of health settings such as clinics, hospitals, and retail stores. For those considering a career in pharmacy, it is important to know that in order to work in this field, professionals must obtain a license from the Texas State Board of Pharmacy for their specific role. The purpose of licensing professionals is to create the best quality of care and to uphold pharmaceutical professionals to a high standard.

What Is the Texas State Board of Pharmacy?

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As its name suggests, the Texas State Board of Pharmacy is a state-run agency which is responsible for ensuring the safety and quality of pharmaceutical care within the state of Texas. The Board is responsible for a myriad of regulations and standards within the field of pharmacy.

The need for regulation in the practice of pharmacy in Texas was recognized in 1889. Three-man committees were established in each senatorial district of Texas and were responsible for examining pharmacists for professional capacity and skills in the field. Although this was the first step needed in regulating the practice, Texas lacked a central authority to coordinate the findings and activities of each district. Two decades later, Texas established the Texas Pharmacy Act of 1907. The act created an independent, regulating body which eventually became known as the Texas State Board of Pharmacy. A year later, the Texas State Board of Pharmacy joined the National Association Board of Pharmacy.

What Does the Texas State Board of Pharmacy Do? 

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As a statewide organization which oversees a field which affects more than 28 million people, the Board assumes a wide range of responsibilities. However, they can best be summarized in the following points:

  • Licensing and registering pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, and pharmacies in the state of Texas
  • Regulating the practices of pharmaceutical practitioners within the state
  • Promoting and protecting the public health and safety of Texans 
  • Setting standards with regards to the distribution of prescription drugs within the state
  • Holding the pharmaceutical industry to high standards of ethics, efficiency, effectiveness, and openness

Texas State Board of Pharmacy Requirements

Whether you are a technician trainee or wish to become a full-fledged pharmacy technician, you need to be licensed and have an active registration with the Texas State Board of Pharmacy in order to legally practice your profession. Depending on your position, the requirements will vary. Below, we have outlined the steps you need to take to become registered.

Requirements for Pharmacy Technician Trainees

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In order to be able to participate in a pharmacy technician training program, you must first be registered as a pharmacy technician trainee with the Texas State Board of Pharmacy Requirements. It is important to note that technician trainee registration is available for only two years and is not renewable. You are responsible for completing your technician registration within this time frame. You can see below for more information regarding how you can become a registered technician.

To begin your path to becoming a pharmacy technician trainee, you must first complete an online application with the Texas online licensing system. There, you can apply for a new license as a pharmacy trainee. You will have to pay a small fee and have your fingerprints submitted via an official form in order for the Board to perform a criminal background check. Assuming your criminal history is clear, you will be registered as an “Active” technician trainee, and be ready to start your training in a registered pharmacy.

Requirements for Pharmacist Technicians 

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The process may seem daunting at first, but with persistence and attention to detail, you can make sure that you are properly licensed and registered in accordance with the law, and so begin working as a pharmacy technician. Below, we have listed out the process in a series of steps.

Step One: Obtain your Pharmacy Technician Training Registration

Certification agencies will require that you complete a certain number of hours either in a pharmacy technician course or as a pharmacy technician trainee in order to be considered for licensing. See above for information regarding how you can become a registered trainee.

Step Two: Obtain Your National Pharmacy Technician Certification

Any practicing technician must first become certified with a national agency. The two agencies accepted by the Texas State Board of Pharmacy are the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) and the National Healthcareer Association (NHA). It is not necessary for you to be certified with both organizations.

To be certified with the PTCB, applicants must have a high-school diploma or GED equivalent, undergo a full criminal background check, and receive a passing score on the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE). Students apply to take the exam online; the total cost of the application and exam is $129. These requirements are similar for the NHA: applicants for this exam can apply online and must pay a $117 fee.

Both the PTCB and the NHA require applicants to have completed a pharmacy technician course within the last five years, or to have at least 1200 hours of supervised, pharmacy-related work in the past three years, or to have completed a Registered Apprenticeship Program as a pharmacy technician.

It is important to note that certified technicians are generally required to recertify once every two years, which they can do by completing 20 hours of continuing education (CE) courses.

Step Three: Apply with the Texas State Board of Pharmacy for a Pharmacy Technician Registration

Once you have completed your certification, you must apply to the board for your state registration. This is done through the Board’s website. First-time applicants are required to create an online account with the board and provide their certification exam number and expiration date. Applicants must both pay a fee and submit a complete fingerprint session, with may require an additional fee. As the Board checks the applicant’s criminal background, this process may take up to three weeks to complete.

Once the application is approved, the Texas State Board of Pharmacy will notify the applicant, and their registration status will be changed to “Active”. Within ten to seventeen business days, you will receive a certificate of your registration within ten to seventeen business days. At that point, congratulations! You are a registered, certified pharmacy technician within the state of Texas, and are free to practice your profession at registered pharmacies within the state.

Staying Registered

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Once you have become registered as a pharmacy technician with the Texas State Board of Pharmacy, you will always be required to have an Active registration in order to legally practice your profession. It is important to remember that both your certification and your state registration have expiration dates, and it is your responsibility to keep up to date.

As mentioned above, your certification exam is valid for a length of two years. Your state registration is also valid for two years. Luckily, you may renew both your certification and your registration in the same way: by completing Continuing Education (CE) coursework. According to the Texas State Board of Pharmacy’s code, all pharmacy technicians must complete twenty hours of CE within this two-year period: no more than five of these hours may be earned at their workplace.

The PTCB, the NHA, and the Texas State Board of Pharmacy list available CE programs throughout each year. It is the pharmacy technician’s responsibility to correctly document the programs they participate in and obtain the signatures of any sponsor representatives. Technicians must hold on to this information for three years after the date of the course, as they may be subjected to an audit by the Board.

Assuming a pharmacy technician complies with this requirement, he or she may apply to the Texas State Board of Pharmacy for a renewal of their registration via the Board’s website. This may be completed up to 60 days before the expiration of their registration and requires a small application fee.

Conclusion

Whether you are just starting out your career in the field of pharmacy, or you are a professional with years of experience in the field, it is absolutely necessary to keep up to date on your licensure requirements. While these regulations may seem strict and burdensome at times, it is important to note that they play a vital role in ensuring the safety and quality of care for all residents of the Lone Star State. As a healthcare professional, it is your constant responsibility to meet these high standards of care.

The Texas State Board of Pharmacy has the last word regarding pharmaceutical regulations within the state. Should you have any specific questions or concerns regarding this process, you should contact their website or helpline for more information. And, as with any governmental agency, be sure to keep yourself posted on any and all eventual changes to policy, as legislation changes to meet the evolving needs and standards of the field of pharmacy.