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Fla. House Panel OKs Controversial Pharmacist-Technician Ratio Increase

Michelle Ress via Flickr

A bill allowing Florida pharmacists to oversee six times as many technicians is moving again in the Legislature after passing the full House last year. The Florida Pharmacy Association opposes the change because they say it could lead to more mistakes.

The bill passed the first of two scheduled House committees by a vote of 8-to-4 Wednesday. Rep. Joe Saunders (D-Orlando) says he voted no because he thinks patient safety could suffer for the sake of profit.

“There are major companies like CVS and Walgreen’s that have really leaned their shoulders into this bill, and they’re very powerful in this process, who understand that it’s much cheaper to hire a pharmacy technician than it is to hire a pharmacist who can sometimes make six figures," he says.

State law currently allows pharmacists to oversee just one tech at a time unless pharmacies petition the state Board of Pharmacy to allow up to three. The proposed change would allow up to six techs per pharmacist with no Board approval necessary.