Top Challenges for Pharmacy Technicians

October 19, 2018

As a pharmacy technician, you are a key member of the pharmacy team.

You’re the friendly face behind the counter. And you’re the detail-oriented team member tracking inventory in the back. In your role, you face many demands that even the most seasoned technicians consider challenging.

We understand patient care is at the top of your list of concerns. But often you have to wrestle with the challenges of (1) product knowledge and (2) inventory management. The way these challenges are met directly affects the success of your pharmacy.

As a pharmacy technician, your challenges may include:

Product Knowledge

  • Knowing the drugs. You need to be familiar with the drug products that are ordered and dispensed at your pharmacy. Your knowledge prevents the incorrect drug from being ordered to fill a prescription. This ensures that customers are receiving the correct medications, and prevents license forfeiture, which can happen if the wrong medicine is dispensed.
  • Knowing drug storage conditions. Some drugs must be stored at specific temperatures to maintain potency and avoid spoilage. Knowing and adhering to specific storage conditions ensures that drugs remain viable and available for use by customers.
  • Dispensing the correct product. Pharmacy technicians are responsible for accurately filling prescriptions and dispensing products to customers. Any errors could result in a customer receiving the wrong medication or the wrong quantity of medication.

Inventory Management

  • Accurate and regular inventory management. In many pharmacies, inventory counts or “cycle counts” are highly important, and must be done on a regular basis. Typically, technicians must perform these counts with high accuracy while also managing a full shift of demanding pharmacy tasks. Inaccurate counts could cause a pharmacy to order improper quantities of drugs for its inventory.
  • Accurately identifying controlled substances. For the drug return process, pharmacy technicians must be able to identify and sort controlled substances. In some pharmacies, controls are not identified by the pharmacy’s computer system. In these cases, pharmacy technicians must take extra care to find and pre-sort controlled substances before packing returns to be shipped to the drug returns company.
  • Timely tracking of recalled drugs. Tracking recalled products and pulling them from the shelves is an important part of a pharmacy technician’s job. Swift and accurate returns of these products help ensure that a pharmacy’s inventory is stocked only with products that are safe for consumers and therefore viable for purchase.

To learn more about solutions for overcoming these challenges, download our handbook.

Download the Pharmacy Technician Handbook