Eliminating The Pharmacy Technician Ratio
"Montana officials can keep the momentum going after eliminating pharmacy technician ratios by expanding pharmacist prescribing so that we can continue to increase health care access, especially in our rural communities."
“In the economy … a law gives birth not only to an effect, but to a series of effects. Of these effects, the first only is immediate; it manifests itself simultaneously with its cause — it is seen. The others unfold in succession — they are not seen.” – Frédéric Bastiat
In response to added stress to our healthcare system due to the pandemic, Montana temporarily waived over 130 regulations to boost health care system capacity. Among the regulations waived was a rule restricting how many pharmacy technicians a pharmacist is allowed to supervise, referred to as the “pharmacy technician ratio.”
The fact that the pharmacy technician ratio had to be waived to increase access to healthcare speaks volumes as to whether the rule was needed in the first place. The Montana Board of Pharmacy reached the same conclusion in January 2022 when they proposed a rule change to permanently do away with Montana’s pharmacy technician ratio.
Frontier President and CEO, Kendall Cotton explains in his latest op-ed:
“The Board of Pharmacy’s proposal is great news for efforts to expand health care access in Montana. There is firm evidence that eliminating pharmacy technician ratios will allow Montana’s pharmacies to do more to help patients, advance public health and bolster the resiliency of the health care system.”
While this rule change is a move in the right direction towards expanding healthcare in rural Montana, other states, like Idaho, have taken it a step further by allowing pharmacists to prescribe medications for minor, non-emergency ailments that do not require a new diagnosis.
Montana officials can keep the momentum going after eliminating pharmacy technician ratios by expanding pharmacist prescribing so that we can continue to increase health care access, especially in our rural communities.
In this month’s Legislative Viewpoint columns both minority and majority leadership discuss their efforts to address issues relating to skyrocketing housing costs.
Senate Minority Leader, Jill Cohenour explains efforts to limit property taxes known as a circuit breaker tax credit.
“It’s no secret that Montana has a property tax problem. Year after year, we continue to hear stories about Montanans being priced out of housing as property values rise and their tax burden rises with them, sometimes making a family home of many years suddenly unaffordable.”
Senator Greg Hertz discussed the likely effects of a continued housing shortage and how restrictive zoning laws are making it hard for builders to address the shortage.
“The biggest barriers to building more housing are restrictive zoning regulations. Some local governments are starting to wake up to this fact, but they all need to move faster and more aggressively. We need to build more housing units on a single lot such as duplexes, triplexes, and accessory dwelling units.”