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Global network linking pharmacy techs is rapidly expanding

Canadian involved in startup of Pharmacy Technicians International says organization was launched to create opportunities and raise awareness.
Diane Reeder
Pharmacy technician Diane Reeder

Since the launch of Pharmacy Technicians International (PTI) in 2021, pharmacy technicians the world over have joined the organization, whose stated mission is to create a pharmacy technician global community of practice to share, innovate and collaborate on research.

Canadian pharmacy technician Diane Reeder, a team member of the Centralized Drug Production & Distribution Project within Alberta Health Services, was involved in the group’s startup, and is currently one of the six administrators listed on its Facebook page. 

Reeder met founder and chairman Alison Hemsworth at the Canadian Association of Pharmacy Technicians (CAPT) conference in 2018, where the two discussed the notion of a global community of practice. In 2020, a steering group was established, with membership from England, Wales, Canada and the U.S. Subsequently, it has expanded to include members from Ireland, Portugal and Australia. 

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“The purpose of PTI is to promote awareness of the pharmacy technician profession and its role in healthcare,” explains Reeder. “PTI exists to create opportunities to raise awareness of the existing and developing roles of pharmacy technicians across the world. The goal is to see the development of international best practice across the profession. By sharing knowledge and information, we hope to inspire and empower other pharmacy technicians to create and lead change relevant to their own communities.” 

PTI aims to do this by eventually creating an international conference (online in the first instance) directed at pharmacy techs across the world. It currently holds virtual events on topics of interest to pharmacy techs, often featuring colleagues who have undertaken or been involved in research. For example, Hemsworth, a fellow at the Association of Pharmacy Technicians UK (APTUK), is a full-time PhD student at the University of Huddersfield in England.

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There are currently 2,218 individual members—and growing steadily—from 59 countries, including 423 Canadian pharmacy technicians. “There is great interest from other countries about scope of practice, entry to practice and recognition of qualifications in other jurisdictions,” says Reeder. “Broad, open-ended pharmacy questions are often posed on Facebook, with many responses. There appears to be a real interest in learning about best practices in other countries.”

Pharmacy technicians can request to join PTI—which is a private group centred around professional development, not recruitment—at Pharmacy Technicians International | Facebook.

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