Frequently Asked Questions for Pharmacists on Pharmacist-Managers
Q: What are the responsibilities of a Pharmacist-Manager?
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 24, 2019
PHARMACY AND PHARMACIST-MANAGER RESPONSIBILITIES FOR PHARMACY INTERNS. As pharmacists know, under North Carolina law, a student who is enrolled in a school of pharmacy is not required to register as a pharmacy technician. See NCGS § 90-85.15A(e). A student enrolled in a school of pharmacy is considered a “pharmacy intern” an is authorized to “perform all acts constituting the practice of pharmacy” while “working under a pharmacist preceptor or supervising pharmacist.” 21 NCAC 46.1317(29).
In recent months, Board staff have become aware of two instances in which a person working in a pharmacy as a “pharmacy intern” was not (and never had been) a student enrolled in a school of pharmacy. In both cases, investigations continue.
In the meantime, pharmacist-managers are reminded that, as the person who “accepts responsibility for the operation of a pharmacy in conformance with all statutes and rules pertinent to the practice of pharmacy” (21 NCAC 46.1317(27), your duties include vetting employees working as pharmacy interns to ensure that they are actually enrolled in a school of pharmacy. The risk to the public of an unqualified person “performing all acts constituting the practice of pharmacy” is obvious. A “pharmacy intern” who is not enrolled in a school of pharmacy is engaged in the unlicensed practice of pharmacy (which is a criminal offense) and the Pharmacy Practice Act specifically authorizes action on a pharmacist’s license or a pharmacy’s permit where either have “aided and abetted an individual to engage in the practice of pharmacy without a license.” NCGS § 90-85.38(a)(9).
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 17, 2018
PHARMACIST-MANAGERS REMINDED OF THEIR OBLIGATIONS WITH RESPECT TO PHARMACY TECHNICIAN HIRES AND REGISTRATION APPLICATIONS. In recent months, Board staff have seen an uptick in the number of pharmacy technician applications in which the applicant’s significant criminal history is not disclosed. Certainly, not every criminal conviction disqualifies a pharmacy technician applicant. But a failure to fully disclose a criminal history can – and often does – result in denial of the registration for the applicant’s having “made false representations or withheld material information in connection with registering as a pharmacy technician.” NCGS 90-85.15A(d)(1). Not infrequently, a withheld (or, for that matter, a disclosed) criminal history includes matters that are disqualifying of themselves or strongly suggest other grounds for disqualification. See NCGS 90-85.15A(d)(2)(“Been found guilty of or plead guilty or nolo contendere to a felony involving the use or distribution of drugs.”); 90-85.15A(d)(3)(“Indulged in the use of drugs to an extent that renders the pharmacy technician unfit to assist a pharmacist in preparing and dispensing prescription medications.”)
Pharmacist-managers “accept responsibility for the operation of a pharmacy in conformance with all statutes and rules pertinent to the practice of pharmacy and distribution of drugs . . . .” 21 NCAC 46.1317(27). Accordingly, pharmacist-managers must take reasonable steps to ensure that pharmacy technician applicants are qualified for registration. That includes taking reasonable steps to ensure that applicants make truthful and complete disclosures on their registration applications, and that applicants do not have disqualifying criminal histories. Such steps are, of course, also part of a prudent hiring process generally.