Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine signed into law House Bill 6 sponsored by State Rep. Bill Roemer which provides patients with continued access to COVID-19 vaccinations, COVID-19 testing and other immunizations and expands employment options for pharmacy technician trainees.
The legislation expands pharmacists’ and pharmacy interns’ authority to provide COVID-19 vaccines to patients seven years of age and older, also allowing pharmacists to order and administer diagnostic and antibody tests for COVID-19. Under the direct supervision of a pharmacist, pharmacy interns and certified pharmacy technicians may also administer the tests. Additionally, the legislation authorizes pharmacists and pharmacy interns to administer to an individual 13 years of age or older an immunization for any disease without a prescription.
The bill also made revisions to the law that remove barriers for individuals to train as pharmacy technicians. The law allows a 17-year-old enrolled in a Board-approved career-technical education program to register with the Board of Pharmacy and extends the time frame for technicians to complete training.
In addition, it requires the State Board of Pharmacy to comply with the law known as the “Fresh Start Act” — enacted by H.B. 263 of the 133rd General Assembly — when registering a pharmacy technician trainee who (1) holds a license or is registered in another state or (2) has satisfactory work experience, government certification or private certification as a pharmacy technician trainee in another state.
Indiana Makes Changes
The state of Indiana recently enacted House Bill 1468. The legislation increases the pharmacy technician-to-pharmacist ratio from 6:1 to up to 8:1 – a move which empowers pharmacists to deploy more optimized care models that consider the specific needs of the patient population served. It also allows pharmacy technicians to work remotely for certain non-dispensing duties, including data entry and insurance processing and expands patients’ access to critical immunizations by permitting pharmacists, pharmacy students and pharmacy technicians to administer an influenza or COVID-19 vaccine pursuant to a prescription, protocol or standing order (in addition to the 11 other vaccination categories listed in the statute).