Effective September 14, 2019, Washington will no longer require pharmacies to comply with a set technician to pharmacist ratio. The Pharmacy Quality Assurance Commission's amendment to Wash. Admin. Code § 246-901-130 eliminates the previous requirement that all pharmacies comply with the pharmacy technician to pharmacist ratio of 3 to 1, regardless of the pharmacy practice setting.
Washington's ratio rule now provides that "[t]he ratio of pharmacy technicians to pharmacist(s) on duty is to be determined by the responsible pharmacy manager." In addition, the new rule states that "[t]he responsible pharmacy manager will ensure that the number of pharmacy technicians on duty can be satisfactorily supervised by the pharmacist(s) on duty."
The new regulation allows responsible pharmacy managers to use their professional judgment to determine the appropriate staffing levels for their practice setting while ensuring satisfactory supervision of ancillary staff. In sum, it recognizes that the mandated ratio may not be practical or necessary in all pharmacy practice settings.