A global picture of pharmacy technician and other pharmacy support workforce cadres

Tamara Koehler, A. Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)
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Introduction: Understanding how pharmacy technicians and other pharmacy support workforce cadres assist pharmacists in the healthcare system will facilitate developing health systems with the ability to achieve universal health coverage as it is defined in different country contexts. The aim of this paper is to
provide an overview of the present global variety in the technician and other pharmacy support workforce cadres considering; their scope, roles, supervision, education and legal framework.
Material and methods: A structured online survey instrument was administered globally using the Survey Monkey platform, designed to address the following topic areas: roles, responsibilities, supervision, education and legislation. The survey was circulated to International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) member organisations and a variety of global list serves where pharmaceutical services are discussed.
Results: 193 entries from 67 countries and territories were included in the final analysis revealing a vast global variety with respect to the pharmacy support workforce. Roles and competency: From no pharmacy technicians or other pharmacy support workforce cadres in Japan, through a variety of cadre interactions with pharmacists, to the autonomous practice of pharmacy
support workforce cadres in Malawi. Responsibilities: From strictly supervised practice with a focus on supply, through autonomous practice for a variety of responsibilities, to independent practice. Supervision: From complete supervision for all tasks, through geographical varied supervision, to independent practice. Education: From on the job training, through certificate level vocational courses, to 3-4 year diploma programs. Legislation, regulation and liability: From well-regulated and registered, through part regulation with
weak implementation, to completely non-regulated contexts.
Conclusion: This paper documents wide differences in supervision requirements, education systems and supportive legislation for pharmacy support workforce cadres globally. A more detailed understanding of specific country practice settings is required if the use of pharmacy support workforce cadres is to be
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)271-279
Number of pages9
JournalResearch in Social and Administrative Pharmacy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar-2017
Externally publishedYes


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