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Researching Retail Pharmacy


Pharmacology can be defined as the field of science that deals with the source, essential qualities or characteristics, chemistry, consequences and uses of drugs; or the analysis of the science and clinical application of medications; the detailed critical inspection of drugs, their sources, essential qualities or characteristics and properties. In relation to this, retail pharmacies are on the leading edge of rendering health care services to patients after the health professionals trained in the art of preparing and dispensing drugs (pharmacist) have filled the consumer’s drug that is available only with written instructions from a doctor or dentist to the pharmacist. Because of the different types of drugs that patients and consumers may call for at any time, it is needed, retail pharmacies must stock a variety of drug brands and generic drugs.

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Keogh, James & Keogh, James defined pharmacology as the branch of knowledge that deals with the effects of chemicals on living tissues. On the other hand, focuses mostly on how chemicals assist in the prevention of diseases, correct functioning of living tissues and providing health care in order to reduce diseases. Nevertheless, chemicals with medicinal properties are referred to as drug or medicine that is prepared or dispensed in pharmacies and used in medical treatment. Pharmacology, therefore, minutely examined the safe and efficient use of pharmaceuticals (p 2).

The regulations regarding retail pharmacy technicians in Maine

Though Maine has not had much requirement or regulation regarding retail pharmacy technicians, therefore, pharmacists may independently provide therapy.

However, in Maine pharmacy technicians are trained through pharmacy employer-provided training programs are carried out by the head pharmacist.

In Maine, the regulation also necessitates that prescriptions or products must be sold by pharmacy/ pharmacist/ pharmacy technicians or clerks.

Additionally, the requirement to produce recognition documents to purchase pseudoephedrine products is put in force at the discretion of the pharmacist. The requirement even when put in force is inapplicable to 60mg. Single prescribed amount packages presented for sale pursuant to particular display methods. Inclusively Maine pharmacy technician’s regulation requires a log or record requirement but does not require the purchaser to sign the log or record.

A retail pharmacy shall install closed-circuit cameras to keep an eye on the important sections of the retail pharmacy department, together with, at least, the prescription collecting point, the important drug safe, and the departure point. The cameras shall operate continuously, without interruption, 24 hours per day each day of the year. The closed-circuit cameras (CCTV) shall always videotape and store images of the supervised departments at intervals. A place of business for retailing drugs (retail pharmacy) shall keep hold of recorded images for no fewer than 30 days after storing and recording and shall present the stored images to the board of pharmacists or agents when it’s being requested for.

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One of the most important tools of physicians providing treatment to persons requiring medical care is medication. In spite of the fact that doctors recommend pharmaceuticals, the health care professionals who really administer the medication are pharmacists. Pharmacists recommend proper selection and use of medicines for health professionals and the general public, with this, the specialized skill and knowledge of the pharmacist is essential because of the complexity and latent secondary and usually adverse effect of the large and rising quantity of pharmaceutical products on the market. Besides passing information, pharmacists dispense drugs and medicines suggested by physicians and other health professionals.

Pharmacy technicians perform their duties under the direction and management of pharmacists and may carry out the responsibilities allowed under state law. State pharmacy laws and regulations differentiate between the task and responsibilities that pharmacists perform and those that pharmacy technicians are allowed to perform under the pharmacist’s supervision (Hui, & Peggy 146).

Pharmacy technicians are not allowed to carry out pharmacy practice and responsibilities that demand the professional judgment, education and training of a licensed pharmacist. They are only allowed to carry out permissive and nondiscretionary tasks under the pharmacist’s supervision.

State pharmacy laws and regulations lay down requirements for pharmacy practice like licensure of pharmacies and pharmacists, the scope of pharmacy practice for pharmacists and pharmacist-in-control requirements. Many states have laws and regulations governing pharmacy technicians, as well as registration or licensure, tasks or duties that pharmacy technicians may carry out some chores performed only by pharmacists. State boards of pharmacy are the primary state agency in charge of supervision, discipline, and rulemaking authority for pharmacy customary way of operation or behavior, together with rules and regulations covering pharmacy technicians. Usual rules or principles which restrict the requirements for pharmacy technicians include registration or licensure, minimum age, training and education, examinations, certification examinations, criminal background checks, technician-to pharmacist ratios, permitted responsibilities, prohibited conduct and disciplinary penalties.

Duties of a Pharmacist Technician

Whether in a retail drug store, hospital, clinic, or nursing care facility, pharmacy technicians carry out a number of responsibilities, which require the quality of having high accuracy, consistency and attention to detail. In a retail pharmacy, technicians carry on their duties under the leadership of a pharmacist. Their tasks include filling prescriptions and preparing labels for drugs that are available only with written instructions from a doctor or dentist, in addition to stocking and taking record of prescriptions and over-the-counter medications.

They also do other book-keeping duties, like keeping a database of patient medication records, preparing insurance claim forms, and overseeing the cash register. The pharmacy technicians also clean and sterilize glassware and equipment.

In a hospital, pharmacy technicians carry out several of the same duties as in retail pharmaceutical outlets. In a nutshell, a pharmacy technician may effectively handle addictive and costly drugs, so they need to be principled. Since they (pharmacy technicians) handle patients’ files, they should not disclose personal information about patients or customers. Good communication skills are also necessary because pharmacy technicians are required to offer customers or patients instructions on taking prescribed drugs. However, they must relate well to a variety of people, as well as customers, patients and their colleagues (Ferguson 639).

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Code of Ethics for Retail Pharmacy Technicians

In a Pharmacy, there are specialists who assist in carrying out daily activities, in as much as patients care is concerned, however, these classes of people are known as the pharmacy technicians. The ethics of the pharmacy technician’s principles or laws are grounded on the function and maintenance of the ethical responsibilities that direct the pharmacist line of work in as far as patients and the entire society are concerned.

Pharmacy Technician-to-Pharmacist Ratios

There are laws and regulations that lay down limits on the number of pharmacy technicians that may help a pharmacist in the retail pharmacy or pharmaceutical stores. These are known as pharmacy technician-to-pharmacist ratios or pharmacy technicians ratios. If the ratio is 3:1 the pharmacist may oversee up to three pharmacy technicians. In relation to this in Maine, the ratio is 3:1, if no technicians are “advanced.”

Generally, the ratio varies from 2:1 or 4:1. In some cases, a higher pharmacy technician ratio is allowed if one or more of the pharmacy technicians meet supplementary requirements such as certification or pursuant to a utilization plan presented by the pharmacy and approved by the Board of Pharmacy (Darvey 92).


  • Pharmacy technicians’ main concern should be to guarantee the health and wellbeing of the patient.
  • Truthfulness and reliability in the profession are to be sustained, maintained and encouraged by a pharmacy technician, which includes the responsibility of observing the law, sustaining the highest honest and ethical behavior and sustaining the ethical ideologies of the profession at any given time.
  • A pharmacy technician helps and or supports the pharmacists in a safe, successful and in-pocket friendlier manner, with the delivery of health services and health care resources.
  • A pharmacy technician retains proficiency in their exercise and persistently improves their professional acquaintance and know-how (American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Ashp 346).

Roles and powers of the Pharmacy Board

Where there is any pharmacy, there has to be a watching power which in this case is the Board of Pharmacy. The Board has the mandate and authority to punish and/or ban pharmacists, pharmacy interns, certified pharmacy technicians, or pharmacy technicians who infringe the Act or Rules from carrying on to intimidate the public if it is to accomplish its everyday jobs. The Board must possess the capability of stopping those who transgress or goes against the Act, either enduringly or for a short term, discipline them, and if necessary, direct and support errant licenses in reinstating them (Darvey 107).

Standardized corrective action conditions and explanations were increased to alleviate the precise reporting of disciplinary actions taken by the Board of Pharmacy and to shun misunderstandings associated with state-to-state fluctuations in terms and definitions. The basis for disciplinary actions was developed to guarantee the protection of the public while reserving to the Board the power to expand upon them and adapt them to changing or local conditions as necessary. The penalties permitted under the Model Act will afford the Board the flexibility to conform and relate discipline to offenses.


American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Ashp Best practices for hospital and health-system pharmacy. Bethesda, MD: 2008. Print.

Darvey, Diane. Legal Handbook for Pharmacy Technicians. Bethesda, MD: ASHP, 2008. Print.

Ferguson Publishing. Exploring tech careers, Volume 1. New York, NY: Infobase Publishing, 2006. Print.

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Hui, Yiu. & Peggy, Stanfield. Introduction to the health professions. Mississauga, ON: Jones & Bartlett Learning, 2002. Print.

Keogh, James. & Keogh, James. Schaum’s Outline of Pharmacology. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Professional, 2010. Print.

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