WSR 19-04-032
(Pharmacy Quality Assurance Commission)
[Filed January 28, 2019, 2:27 p.m.]
Original Notice.
Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 17-13-097.
Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: WAC 246-901-130 Pharmacist to pharmacy technician ratio, the pharmacy quality assurance commission (commission) is proposing to amend the rule to eliminate a standardized pharmacist to pharmacy technician ratio in all practice settings. The proposed rules authorize the pharmacist to set the ratios based on their practice needs and ability to provide appropriate supervision.
Hearing Location(s): On April 26, 2019, at 1:15 p.m., at the Department of Health, Room 152/153, Point Plaza East, 310 Israel Road S.E., Tumwater, WA 98501.
Date of Intended Adoption: April 26, 2019.
Submit Written Comments to: Doreen Beebe, Department of Health, Pharmacy Quality Assurance Commission, P.O. Box 47852, Olympia, WA 98504-7852, email, fax 360-236-2260, by April 19, 2019.
Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Doreen Beebe, phone 360-236-4834, fax 360-236-2260, TTY 360-833-6388 or 711, email, by April 19, 2019.
Purpose of the Proposal and Its Anticipated Effects, Including Any Changes in Existing Rules: The proposed rule would permit the responsible pharmacist manager to use their professional judgement to determine the number of pharmacy technicians he or she can adequately supervise. This would potentially allow the pharmacist to perform more professional and clinical services and may lead to a reduction in health care costs and improved health outcomes through patient education and medication compliance. The proposed rule removes the standard ratio of one pharmacist to three pharmacy technicians, eliminating the need for pharmacies to submit requests for exception to be considered by the commission.
Reasons Supporting Proposal: The proposed rule is necessary to accommodate changes in the practice of pharmacy. Many pharmacies offer patients more than simply dispensing prescriptions; these services include specialized therapeutic review, medication therapy management, and patient adherence and persistence programs, among others. Pharmacy technology has also advanced with automation, interactive voice response (IVR) systems, electronic processing/filling, and alternative counseling solutions, eliminating the need for some specific services to be performed by pharmacists or pharmacy technicians. The proposed rules would eliminate an outdated pharmacist to technician ratio to allow pharmacists the flexibility to maximize their resources to meet diverse patient needs.
Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 18.64A.040, 18.64.005.
Statute Being Implemented: RCW 18.64A.040.
Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.
Name of Proponent: Department of health, pharmacy quality assurance commission, governmental.
Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting: Doreen Beebe, Program Manager, 111 Israel Road S.E., Tumwater, WA 98501, 360-236-4834; Implementation and Enforcement: Steven Saxe, Executive Director, 111 Israel Road S.E., Tumwater, WA 98501, 360-236-4853.
A school district fiscal impact statement is not required under RCW 28A.305.135.
A cost-benefit analysis is required under RCW 34.05.328. A preliminary cost-benefit analysis may be obtained by contacting Doreen Beebe, Pharmacy Quality Assurance Commission, P.O. Box 47852, Olympia, WA 98504-7852, phone 360-236-4834, fax 360-236-2260, TTY 360-833-6388 or 711, email
The proposed rule does not impose more-than-minor costs on businesses. Following is a summary of the agency's analysis showing how costs were calculated. The proposed rule does not mandate a change in the operation or staffing of a pharmacy. The proposed rule is permissive and provides flexibility for pharmacies in meeting patient and operational needs.
January 28, 2019
Tim Lynch, PharmD, MS, Chair
Pharmacy Quality Assurance Commission
AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 00-15-081, filed 7/19/00, effective 8/19/00)
WAC 246-901-130Pharmacist to pharmacy technician ratio.
(((1) A standard ratio of one pharmacist to a maximum of three technicians is established for each licensed pharmacy.
(2) The pharmacist must be actively practicing pharmacy.
(3) In determining which pharmacists may be included in the calculation of the ratio, the board will consider approval of pharmacy technician utilization plans which include all pharmacists within the pharmacy who are engaged in the actual practice of pharmacy. When the pharmacy provides service to inpatients of a hospital or extended care facility, pharmacists who are practicing pharmacy outside of the confines of the licensed pharmacy (for example, performing nursing unit inspections, reviewing charts, consulting with health professional staff) may be included in the ratio, if:
(a) There are sufficient numbers of pharmacists within the pharmacy to properly supervise the work of the pharmacy technicians;
(b) The pharmacy is not open to the public;
(c) The medications are being checked by another health professional before being given to the patient;
))(1) The ratio of pharmacy technicians to pharmacist(s) on duty is to be determined by the responsible pharmacy manager.
(2) The responsible pharmacy manager will ensure that the number of pharmacy technicians on duty can be satisfactorily supervised by the pharmacist(s) on duty.