Advancing Pharmacy Technician Training and Practice Models in the United States: Historical Perspectives, Workforce Development Needs, and Future Opportunities

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The United States healthcare system faces immense challenges related to cost, quality, and access. As the pharmacy profession addresses these challenges by shifting toward a practice model centered around direct patient care clinical services, a competent and capable technician workforce is needed to support the roles of pharmacists. Until recently, little focus has been paid to pharmacy technicians or their role as they relate to practice model change. With ongoing pharmacist practice transformation, an approach that ensures uniform technician education, training, registration, and certification is vital to support a practice model designed to transform medication management across the continuum of care. The purpose of this commentary is three-fold: to review the history of pharmacy technician training and practice, discuss current and future technician practice models, and examine workforce development implications.