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AB-1589 Pharmacy: pharmacist supervision: technicians.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 02/18/2017 04:00 AM
AB1589:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 1589


Introduced by Assembly Member Salas

February 17, 2017


An act to an act amend Section 4115 of the Business and Professions Code relating to pharmacy.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1589, as introduced, Salas. Pharmacy: pharmacist supervision: technicians.
The Pharmacy Law provides for the licensure and regulation of pharmacists by the California State Board of Pharmacy, which is within the Department of Consumer Affairs. Existing law authorizes a pharmacy technician to perform certain tasks under the direct supervision and control of a pharmacist. Existing law prohibits a pharmacy with one pharmacist from having more than one pharmacy technician and prohibits the ratio of pharmacy technicians to any additional pharmacists from exceeding 2:1, except as specified.
This bill would require the board to review that ratio on a biennial basis and would require the board to provide a report to the Legislature with legislative recommendations if the board decides a change is necessary.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 4115 of the Business and Professions Code is amended to read:

4115.
 (a) A pharmacy technician may perform packaging, manipulative, repetitive, or other nondiscretionary tasks only while assisting, and while under the direct supervision and control of, a pharmacist. The pharmacist shall be responsible for the duties performed under his or her supervision by a technician.
(b) This section does not authorize the performance of any tasks specified in subdivision (a) by a pharmacy technician without a pharmacist on duty.
(c) This section does not authorize a pharmacy technician to perform any act requiring the exercise of professional judgment by a pharmacist.
(d) The board shall adopt regulations to specify tasks pursuant to subdivision (a) that a pharmacy technician may perform under the supervision of a pharmacist. Any pharmacy that employs a pharmacy technician shall do so in conformity with the regulations adopted by the board.
(e) A person shall not act as a pharmacy technician without first being licensed by the board as a pharmacy technician.
(f) (1) A pharmacy with only one pharmacist shall have no more than one pharmacy technician performing the tasks specified in subdivision (a). The ratio of pharmacy technicians performing the tasks specified in subdivision (a) to any additional pharmacist shall not exceed 2:1, except that this ratio shall not apply to personnel performing clerical functions pursuant to Section 4116 or 4117. This ratio is applicable to all practice settings, except for an inpatient of a licensed health facility, a patient of a licensed home health agency, as specified in paragraph (2), an inmate of a correctional facility of the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, and for a person receiving treatment in a facility operated by the State Department of State Hospitals, the State Department of Developmental Services, or the Department of Veterans Affairs.
(2) The board may adopt regulations establishing the ratio of pharmacy technicians performing the tasks specified in subdivision (a) to pharmacists applicable to the filling of prescriptions of an inpatient of a licensed health facility and for a patient of a licensed home health agency. Any ratio established by the board pursuant to this subdivision shall allow, at a minimum, at least one pharmacy technician for a single pharmacist in a pharmacy and two pharmacy technicians for each additional pharmacist, except that this ratio shall not apply to personnel performing clerical functions pursuant to Section 4116 or 4117.
(3) A pharmacist scheduled to supervise a second pharmacy technician may refuse to supervise a second pharmacy technician if the pharmacist determines, in the exercise of his or her professional judgment, that permitting the second pharmacy technician to be on duty would interfere with the effective performance of the pharmacist’s responsibilities under this chapter. A pharmacist assigned to supervise a second pharmacy technician shall notify the pharmacist in charge in writing of his or her determination, specifying the circumstances of concern with respect to the pharmacy or the pharmacy technician that have led to the determination, within a reasonable period, but not to exceed 24 hours, after the posting of the relevant schedule. An entity employing a pharmacist shall not discharge, discipline, or otherwise discriminate against any pharmacist in the terms and conditions of employment for exercising or attempting to exercise in good faith the right established pursuant to this paragraph.
(g) Notwithstanding subdivisions (a) and (b), the board shall by regulation establish conditions to permit the temporary absence of a pharmacist for breaks and lunch periods pursuant to Section 512 of the Labor Code and the orders of the Industrial Welfare Commission without closing the pharmacy. During these temporary absences, a pharmacy technician may, at the discretion of the pharmacist, remain in the pharmacy but may only perform nondiscretionary tasks. The pharmacist shall be responsible for a pharmacy technician and shall review any task performed by a pharmacy technician during the pharmacist’s temporary absence. This subdivision shall not be construed to authorize a pharmacist to supervise pharmacy technicians in greater ratios than those described in subdivision (f).
(h) Notwithstanding Section 10231.5 of the Government Code, the board shall review the ratio of pharmacy technicians described in subdivision (f) on a biennial basis and provide a report to the Legislature, as set forth in Section 9795 of the Government Code, with legislative recommendations if the board decides a change in the ratio is necessary.

(h)

(i) The pharmacist on duty shall be directly responsible for the conduct of a pharmacy technician supervised by that pharmacist.

(i)

(j) In a health care facility licensed under subdivision (a) of Section 1250 of the Health and Safety Code, a pharmacy technician’s duties may include any of the following:
(1) Packaging emergency supplies for use in the health care facility and the hospital’s emergency medical system or as authorized under Section 4119.
(2) Sealing emergency containers for use in the health care facility.
(3) Performing monthly checks of the drug supplies stored throughout the health care facility. Irregularities shall be reported within 24 hours to the pharmacist in charge and the director or chief executive officer of the health care facility in accordance with the health care facility’s policies and procedures.