House committee passes bill to increase number of pharmacy techs

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Florida could increase the number of pharmacy technicians supervised by a single pharmacist in a bill that passed its final committee stop on Thursday.

Currently, a pharmacist can observe only up to three technicians. HB 323 gives permission to change that number to the state Board of Pharmacy.

Rep. Mike La Rosa, the bill’s sponsor, promised the House Health and Human Services Committee to amend the bill placing limits on the technicians a pharmacist can monitor, prior to the bill making it to the House floor.

The bill’s first draft capped the number at six, but La Rosa’s amendment left that number open. 

Rep. Jimmy Patronis also filed an amendment to the bill reinstating the cap, which he later withdrew.

“The board is made up professionals making their own decisions and they’re certainly qualified to do that, but I just felt after talking to the hometown pharmacists, putting the cap of six across the profession was a moderate place to stop,” Patronis told the House committee. “It’s more of a posturing position for the Senate.”

La Rosa’s proposal was approved 11-5 after about a half hour of debate, mostly over Patronis’ amendment.

Sen. Denise Grimsley filed the Senate companion was filed that removes of cap of three pharmacy technicians, as well as changing the Board of Pharmacy makeup. 

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.