Pharmacy technicians and pharmacy aides share many of the same responsibilities. In a pharmacy that does not employ an aide, the technician is required to do all the duties normally allotted to the aide. These duties include stocking shelves, working the cash register, answering telephone calls, keeping up patient profiles, dealing with insurance forms, corresponding with insurance companies, and taking inventory. Basically, the clerical work can be done by both the pharmacy aide and the pharmacy technician. If either the pharmacy technician or the pharmacy aide is asked a question by a customer about their prescriptions or any health related topic, the pharmacy technician / aide MUST refer the customer to the pharmacist.

Where the Pharmacy Aide and Pharmacy Technician Differ

It is in the filling of medications where the job descriptions of the pharmacy technician and the pharmacy aide differ. A pharmacy technician may receive an order for a prescription and verify that it is correct and complete. They must then get the ordered drug, count it, weigh it, and measure it. In some cases the pharmacy technician may be required to mix the medication. They then fill it into a bottle, label the medication, and price it. Before the medication is given to the customer, the pharmacist must check it and give approval. Because the pharmacy technician has duties that are more complicated than the pharmacy aide, it is desirable that they have training and certification. A slight slip up in counting or mixing medications could cost someone their life. In this respect, the pharmacy technician has much more responsibility than the pharmacy aide and carries greater respect.